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Deputy assistant secretary, financial operations.

Former House Speaker Tip O'Neill famously said,

"All politics is local." Like politics, success in financial operations (FinOps) is measured by every Airman, uniformed and civilian, we serve at base, MAJCOM, and HAF level. I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you the many facets of FinOps--we are much more than audit readiness and DEAMS.

Our team oversees the military banking program, ensuring important financial services are available to Airmen around the world. You might ask why we need banks and credit unions at bases in the internet age. The answer is because these organizations provide much more than deposit and checking services. They provide financial education to our newest members, offer low-cost loans to help with the purchase of a new car or orders to a new location, and many offer employment to our spouses.

Another service your FinOps team provides is training for all FM systems you use every day. This training is offered through site visits and in a computer-based environment. The team routinely achieves a 95 percent or greater satisfaction rate with students, and I believe offers a model and benchmark for the entire Department of Defense to emulate.

Next, the 150 technicians at the Air Force Financial Services Center (AFFSC) process and review all non-Defense Travel System (DTS) travel vouchers. Did you know that the law requires vouchers to be paid within 30 days? In fact, your AFFSC team routinely processes 90 percent or more of the vouchers received within 10 days and upwards of 99 percent within the required 30 days. The small percentage that do not meet the timeline are typically the result of incomplete documentation or missing signatures. These team members work every day so our Airmen and their families can focus on their lives and jobs, and not their vouchers.

Additionally, our Air Force Accounting and Finance Office (AFAFO) supports our Airmen directly. When there is flooding in North Dakota, tornados in Oklahoma, or a tsunami in Japan, the AFAFO team is advising Air Force leadership and field personnel on the tools available to them. This includes increasing the cash resources available at a disaster site, finding ways to pay contractors to travel to impacted areas and repair damaged homes and facilities, or transporting family members out of an impacted area.

Finally, travel is a large part of our jobs. Whether it is flying a mission to distant lands or a short TDY for training, to review the work of a contractor, or to meet with other Airmen to resolve a challenge, chances are you will use DTS to plan and book your travel and lodging, and the Government Travel Card (GTC) to pay for your expenses. The FinOps team ensures these programs are the best they can be. We advocate for improvement to the DTS and work with our GTC vendor to maximize services available to Airmen, such as the ability to transfer credit balances from the card to a personal account.

Financial Operations, we worry about you and your family so you don't have to.


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Author:Bennett, Doug
Publication:Air Force Comptroller
Date:Sep 22, 2013
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