Skip to main content

Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

Usda logo color

U.S. Department of Agriculture National Finance Center Modernization Assessment



The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Finance Center (NFC) is an Office of Personnel Management-certified shared service center that provides payroll, human resources management, and financial services. The NFC assists the USDA and other government and quasi-government agencies in achieving cost-effective, standardized, and interoperable solutions that provide the functionality to support those agencies’ strategic financial management and human resource management direction. The NFC services more than 170 diverse agencies and provides payroll services to more than 600,000 federal employees. The NFC’s core operations are in New Orleans, LA, with additional sites in Washington, DC, and Denver, CO. The NFC’s backup facilities are in St. Louis, MO, and Shreveport, LA.


The USDA NFC required an assessment of its mission and operations as a shared service provider and its organizational capacity to meet ongoing mission requirements efficiently and effectively going forward. The USDA contracted with the Academy to provide a modernization assessment of the NFC. The Academy

  1. Analyzed the NFC's governance and finance structures, supporting technology systems and processes, internal organization and infrastructure, and stakeholder engagement;
  2. Reviewed how the NFC evaluates and benchmarks its service levels and performance;
  3. Examined how the NFC budgets as a shared service provider—including workload forecasting, capital investment, operations and sustainment, and rate/fee setting—and considered the benefits of alternative funding structures;
  4. Examined the NFC's collaboration with its stakeholders, including customers, Congress, other USDA components and federal agencies, and the OMB;
  5. Reviewed the resources needed to support the NFC in its mission delivery; and
  6. Identified, with NFC, the "desired future state" of the NFC and what supporting functional changes are needed for the NFC to achieve that desired future state.

Click the button below to view the Final Report.

Final Report


The report offers 16 actionable recommendations under four themes: Improving Governance and Developing a Vision, Engaging Customers and Employees, Implementing a Multi-Phase IT System Modernization Process, and Obtaining the Funding Needed Now and in the Future.


If you have any questions or comments regarding the study, please contact, Brenna Isman, Director of Academy Studies (

Study Fellows