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In This Issue

 




CFO-ADMIN NEWS YOU CAN USE

A Monthly Newsletter from the
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and
 Director of Administration

 

January 5, 2010

 

In this issue of CFO-Admin News You Can Use, we focus on the following: 

  • How Much Money Does ITA, or Any Federal Agency Get During A CR?

  • FY 2010 Clean Audit Opinion

  • New year's Resolutions:  Have You Got Yours For 2011?

  • Mail Management Tips

  • ITA's 30th Anniversary Video

  • The SAVE Program

  • MyIdeas. MyITA.

  • ITA Comings and Goings

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How much money does ITA, or any Federal Agency get during a CR?

 

A continuing resolution (CR) is usually a short term appropriation that allows Federal Agencies to continue operations because Congress has not passed an Appropriation.  In some years Congress may pass a full year CR instead of a regular appropriation.

 

Continuing resolutions are normally crafted by Congress using two basic rules: organizations cannot stop or start projects during the CR period; and spending is restricted by providing funds based on the amount spent in the previous year.  OMB apportions (makes available to the agencies) 95% of the previous year’s spending during that same time period.  OMB allows some exceptions to this funding rule (under the CR) to provide for a more reasonable level of spending than currently exists, but requires ITA to submit a formal request to OMB with supporting documentation explaining why more funding is required.

 

Given that ITA has been operating under CR’s for the last couple of years, and after considering our personnel compensation and benefits costs, there is very little left to cover our “other objects” minimum needs (travel, transportation, training, rent, utilities, communications, supplies, printing, equipment, etc.).  To better manage our fiscal resources during the CR, all procurements including Memoranda of Understanding that would obligate ITA to $100,000 or more must be approved by the Program Resource Coordinator and the Budget Officer, Michael House.

 

If you have any questions please contact Michael House via email Michael.House@trade.gov or at 202-482-5739.

 

FY 2010 Clean Audit Opinion

The Department of Commerce and ITA received a clean audit opinion.  Each federal agency is audited by independent accounting firm under the authority of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 The Department of Commerce was audited by KPMG this year.  In addition to closely reviewing samples of all of our accounting, payroll and property records, the auditors also visit field locations. 

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) Accounting Office staff accompanied the KPMG auditor to the Midwest Network (Chicago) to conduct an exhaustive and detailed on-site review. The auditor commented on the excellent level of cooperation from the Network Director, Mary Joyce and her staff, and the National Field Support Team, Kathy Dupriest and Anita Santiago. As a result of this teamwork and excellent financial and property practices, ITA received only one minor audit finding from this site visit. 

Next year, another site or sites will be selected by the auditors and we will repeat the process.  To prepare for the next audit, OFM staff will be conducting virtual audit preparation activities, including a comprehensive survey of topics and issues frequently tested by the auditors.  Field locations should look for our survey in early summer 2011.

If you have any questions please contact Doug Allis via email Doug.Allis@trade.gov or 202-482-9151

New Year’s Resolutions: Have you got yours for 2011?

 

Yes, yes, I know… the year is not all that new anymore! But for those of you who, like me, sometimes are a tad late for oh so many things in this busy life, mid-January is not too late to stop for an hour or two, and to put down in words a set of priorities for the months ahead. Since this year I already took the time to do my homework (it looks good on paper, and I am resolute about fulfilling each one of the promises…I mean, commitments), I thought I would share some ideas and information to get you started.

 

First and foremost, make time to sit down and think about your accomplishments and your…well… non-accomplishments of 2010. How does it look?  Not so good? Reasonable? Mostly in line? A perfect 10? Whatever your score was, the good news is that a new year has just begun and you have a chance of doing better in 2011.

 

Each one of us can have our own tailored set of resolutions, but if you are lacking inspiration, let’s look at what others are doing. The USA.gov website lists the ten most popular resolutions (it doesn’t specify whether the source is the Federal job force or the general population, and if they are in order of importance). They are: drink less alcohol; get a better education; get a better job; get fit; lose weight; manage debt; manage stress; quit smoking now; save money; take a trip; and volunteer to help others.

 

Statistics presented by Serge Prengel in his book “Resolutions that Work” show that between 40 and 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. That’s more than 100 million people!  Staying on track as time goes by is another story. After the first week, 75 percent stay committed; after two weeks, 71 percent; after one month, 64 percent; after six months, 46 percent.

 

To avoid feeling guilty about breaking the promises you made to yourself, and to stick with the strong willed, here are some tips from the experts:

  • Be specific. Resolutions must be measurable and achievable by your own efforts;

  • Be realistic. Do not bite more than you can chew;

  • Be objective on your planning by setting goals and revising them periodically;

  • Build a roadmap to keep track of your successes or corrections needed;

  • Resolution is not wishful thinking. Therefore, fight for what you want to achieve;

  • Take good care of yourself. Get support if you feel it would help.

 

The statistics also show that people who take the time to plan and write down their resolutions are much more likely to achieve results.  So, don’t just think about them: write them down, and put them into action! Your new resolutions may include big things like buying that beach house in a Caribbean paradise or running a marathon in the fall; or they might be as small as reducing your sugar intake or taking the stairs everyday instead of the elevator. In all cases, they will have some desirable or necessary impact in your lifestyle, make you feel better about yourself, and give you a sense of fulfillment if achieved according to plan.

 

If you already have set your New Year’s resolutions for 2011, stick to them, and good luck! If not, it is time to catch up. Need more ideas?  Here are some suggestions: 

 

Become more self-confident! Become more cost-effective! Eat well! Take a course to enhance your education! Get out of debt! Save money! Get fit! Decrease anxiety! Be more autonomous! Learn something new! Be less grumpy! Get organized! Forgive! Learn to cope! Declutter! Write a love letter! Drink more water! Eat more fruit! Take more photos! Go camping! Reduce! Volunteer! Appreciate Nature! Talk to the stars! Create! Let go! Jog! Be on time! Lighten up! Broaden your horizons! Move around! Empower others! Slow down! Speed up! Focus! Try new food! Trust your instincts! Tell him that you love him! Tell her that you love her! Make a quilt! Apply for a better job! Go to yoga! Bike! Hug your friends! Believe! Dance! Throw a costume party! Get married! Be true! Spend more time with the kids! See your parents more often! Carpool! Draw! Be spiritual! Encourage a co-worker! Be remarkable! Learn an instrument! Go back to school! Turn off the TV! Sing! Take a break! Avoid drama! Avoid gossip! Shine! Tolerate more! Listen! Jump rope! Follow through! Paint! Get some sleep! Enjoy every minute! Smell the roses! Find the time! Stay in touch! Inspire! Be fearless! Change the world!

Do it!

 

Article submitted by Eugenio DaSilva.

 

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"Other News"

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Mail Management Tips

 

ITA has transitioned from Federal Express to the United Parcel Service (UPS) under GSA’s Domestic Delivery Service 2 (DDS2) contract, effective June 21, 2010. Federal Express should no longer be used for domestic shipments sent within the continental 48 states.  If you choose to continue to use Federal Express for a shipment within the continential U.S., you can expect your rate to be three times the old rate since they no longer have a contract with the government.

 

Federal Express may be used for shipments sent internationally or to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, and for shipments sent from international posts.  UPS may also be used; however, ITA has experienced billing and customs issues with the UPS service to international locations. 

 

Please contact Kelli Walters at 202-482-3265 if you have any questions regarding which service you should use.

 

UPS Shipping

 

What shipment method should I select? What is the most cost-effective shipment method?

  1. When shipping to the continental U.S., use UPS Ground service first.  UPS does not provide packaging for Ground shipments, so you will have to use your own envelopes or boxes for these shipments.  If you’re shipping to DC, MD, VA, your item will still arrive within one business day. This is the most cost-effective shipment method.
  2. Use UPS 2nd Day Air for essential shipments.
  3. Use Next Day Air ONLY when shipping time sensitive documents.
  4. You should not be using Next Day Air Early AM. This method is much more expensive than regular Next Day Air.

 

UPS GROUND SERVICE MAP – TIME IN TRANSIT

 

Map Source:  http://www.ups.com/maps/results

How do I create a shipping label for UPS?

  1. You must use the UPS CampusShip online shipping tool located at:  https://www.campusship.ups.com/login/doc-os
  2. Do not use paper shipping documents (waybills).  Each office has been given log-in information from UPS to access the CampusShip system.
  3. Training on CampusShip has been, and continues to be, provided to administrative personnel to ensure that all users know how to use the system.   To request CampusShip training, please contact Kelli Walters at 202-482-3265.

 

How do I pay for shipments sent via UPS?

  1. While Federal Express was billed directly to the user’s purchase card, UPS charges will be billed directly to your office through NIST. 
  2. Within the CampusShip system, there are three required “reference” fields that must be populated with your office’s accounting code information.  The first field is the Project-Task Code, the second field is the Bureau-Organization Code, and the third field is the “Requisition Reference” field, which is a notes field that must be populated.  If you are unsure what to put in the “Requisition Reference” field, put your last name or a one word description of the item you are sending.
  3. Paper waybills should NOT be used because your account will not be billed correctly. 

 

Shipping via Federal Express (FedEx)

 

**Note:  Federal Express may be used when shipping internationally.  International posts should use Federal Express or DHL (if Federal Express is not available) rather than UPS.

 

  1. You must use the FedEx online shipping tool when preparing your shipment.
  2. Please do not use paper shipping documents (waybills).

 

How do I pay for shipments sent via FedEx?

  1. You will use your office credit card to pay for shipments sent via FedEx.  

 

What shipment method should I select when sending via FedEx?

  1. The most cost-effective FedEx shipment method when shipping overseas is Next Day Air.

 

If you have any questions regarding mail management, please contact Kelli Walters at 202-482-3265 or kelli.walters@trade.gov.

 

ITA's 30th Anniversary Video

In case you were not able to attend ITA’s 30th Anniversary Celebration on October 20, we videotaped the entire event. 

Click on the link below to watch the video.  http://itacentral/ita/administration/osr/Pages/30thAnniversary.aspx.

If you have any questions please contact Ruben Pedroza at 202-482-3072 or via e-mail Ruben.Pedroza@trade.gov.

 

Got Any Good Ideas On How To Save The Government Money?

ITA is getting ready for your 2011 suggestions for the SAVE Program.

You are probably wondering what is the SAVE Program? SAVE stands for Securing Americans Value and Efficiency and was launched by President Obama through OMB.

The goal of the SAVE Award Program is to produce ideas that will yield savings while also improving the way that government operates.  Ideas are submitted through www.SaveAward.gov.  The SAVE Award works in parallel with the President's line by line review of the Federal budget. Start thinking today of what you can suggest to SAVE in 2011"Please note suggestions submitted through the MyIdeas. MyITA. Program" (see below) that are suitable for the SAVE Program can be automatically submitted on your behalf.

The Employee Suggestion Program -- MyIdeas. MyITA.

ITA's "MyIdeas. MyITA. Program is a separate year long initiative.  For the 1st quarter of this program, ITA received eight ideas that are under review and consideration.

ITA is looking for ideas that will lead to improvements in day-to-day operations as well as ‘big picture’ ideas that could lead to greater efficiencies and improved ITA mission effectiveness.  Your ideas could include ways to create monetary savings, better working conditions, process improvement, customer service, achieving greater time savings, as well as green initiatives.  The subject areas are only limited by your imagination!

To submit ideas to the Employee Suggestion Program: MyIdeas. MyITA., please click here.

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ITA Comings and Goings

 

Arrivals - WELCOME!

 

IA: Aditi Palli; Christopher Seipmann; Jonathan Hill; Krisha Hill; Andrew Medley

 

Departures

 

ADMIN:  Sheila Wright; Tony Proctor IA:  Andrea Berton; Maryann Burke; Summer Avery; Viola Barnes; Anna Flaaten; Weihuan Xu; Lyn Barden; Cecile Bowlding; Martha Douthit MAC:  Jennifer Derstine

MAS:  Tim Miles; Joyce Watson

 

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Send your suggestions or comments about this newsletter to Nina.Harris@trade.gov.

 

The International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, manages this global trade site to provide access to ITA information on promoting trade and investment, strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

 

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