project opens at HUD

Advanced Technology Systems Inc. of McLean, Va., has implemented an application that allows electronic payments and account reconciliation at the Housing and Urban Development Department.

It is the first application at HUD, said Rosalind Hager, ATS project manager. is a governmentwide transaction portal developed by the Treasury Department to support federal agencies with new electronic collections methods.

ATS implemented the office's interface with Treasury's portal under a five-year, $3.5 million contract to develop and maintain HUD's Institution Master File System, Hager said. The task order under the contract was worth $108,000, she said.

The Institution Master File System tracks all lenders that do business with HUD. Any bank branch that does business with the department has to pay a fee and annually recertify.

Previously, the fees were submitted to HUD via a bank lockbox in Atlanta. They were processed every night, and photocopies of all canceled checks were sent to HUD, where staff members manually reconciled each collection against their records.

Now the payments and reconciliations are done online, Hager said. The payments go directly to Treasury, eliminating HUD as an intermediary, she said. Treasury provides the transaction services for free, saving HUD about one dollar for every form and collection authorization received electronically, according to ATS.

ATS took about six months to build HUD's application. Subsequent implementations will take less time, Hager said. ATS now has a contract with the Export-Import Bank of the United States to implement a interface, she said.

To implement HUD's interface, ATS used a variety of technologies and servers, including Cold Fusion, Java, XML, Mainframe COBOL, iPlanet and Sybase Enterprise Connect.

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