MMS ‘goes green,’ eliminating boxes full of paper with eSOA

The US Minerals Management Service describes how it built its new reporting portal.

The US Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) went live earlier this year with a new electronic system for invoice payment and reporting. MMS CTO Robert Prael described the new system’s functionality and the MMS’ technology stack to Oil IT Journal.

‘Our internal system is PeopleSoft which rides on an Oracle database. We use this to process companies’ monthly reports and payments. The MMS acts as a ‘pass through’ entity directing royalty revenue to stakeholders. We process reports and payments, providing statistics and audits. The new system provides companies with a simple invoice, along with supporting documents that can be analyzed using Access or Excel. Everyone agrees that this has greatly improved the process and we have saved on reams of paper.’

‘Before, invoices and associated reports were routinely printed and mailed to each industry reporter—often shipping boxes of paper files! Companies would annotate the paperwork and return it to us for further review. With the new system, all this information can be viewed online. The new ‘eSOA’ web site allows industry reporters immediate access to their statements and allows them to make annotations electronically. The system then sends the updates directly to the MMS servicing accountant for review.’

‘Most of our incoming production reporting processes are already on EDI. With the new portal, we are trying to get all outgoing processes electronic. We have been using Hyperion Brio Portal for years to provide industry with our reports and we are very satisfied with the product.’

‘Previously, a missing report, payment, or unpaid bill was sent out quarterly on paper. Now users log on and find out for themselves—this is real time data.’

‘Our data exchange format is PeopleSoft SPF. This can be read with a freely available viewer, you don’t need the software to use it. On the payment side, this is 99% electronic and we are pushing for more. E-Payment is safer than cutting checks. But it is expensive for a small ‘mom & pop’ shop. For these we are looking at Treasury’s system which will be free. This is already being used in the Gulf of Mexico. The onshore situation is a bit different with lots of small companies paying rent.’ More from

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