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Message from the PSC Director
Welcome to the Winter 2017 issue of Service Matters! With the new calendar year and a new administration, we look forward to providing you essential support through our range of more than 40 mission-support shared services.
As a trusted business partner, our goal is to improve your agency business operations and enable you to save resources for your core mission with our dynamic services. We remove the burden, so you can focus on accomplishing your important work. PSC’s impact begins with cost avoidance, including reduced labor expenditures for mission-support functions, reduced backlogs, streamlined management and resource sharing, and operational efficiencies.
Every day we strive to live up to our PSC values of curiosity, partnership, simplicity, impact, and passion, in order to provide great service and be the leading provider of shared services in the federal government. We have the experience, and are always looking for innovative solutions.
We are proud to share some of our FY 2016 service accomplishments in this edition. I encourage you to also browse our service offerings on psc.gov. Our service directors are available to provide you with any information you need about the services you utilize or would like to explore.
I look forward to another successful year, and encourage you to let us know how we can best serve you. Thank you for your continued support.
Acting Director, Program Support Center
Record Fiscal Year-End Close and System Reopen
Teams Collaborated at an Exemplary Level
PSC achieved another record successful fiscal year-end closing and system reopening, all the while meeting significant increased customer demand. The result was outstanding service for customers.
Closing out the fiscal year completes the annual financial activity for six HHS operating divisions and 16 OS staff divisions, as well as acquisitions for the entire Department and other federal agencies. This effort provides the basis for annual reporting to the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Department of the Treasury.
PSC closed the books in four days. Two of those were over the weekend ― October 1 and 2 were Saturday and Sunday and the system was only down two business days, Monday and Tuesday. It is a PSC record, being down only two business days. PSC reopened the financial system to customers on October 5. PSC has shaved off several days over the years, which is value-added customer service. PSC has been recognized as a role model for the Department.
PSC’s accounting, financial reporting, and acquisitions teams operated around the clock including weekends through midnight on September 30 to process all the final contract awards. By law, contracts must be awarded and obligated by midnight to be included in the fiscal year.
“Not only did we get things done earlier, but we did more and got things done earlier.”
― Scott Brna, PSC Deputy Chief Financial Officer
“It really was an outstanding achievement,” said PSC Deputy Chief Financial Officer Scott Brna. “Number one because we upgraded the finance system this year from Oracle release 11 to release 12. So with that came new processes and technology that we had to learn and modify our existing processes. There was a lot of fine-tuning. I think given the amount of change we went through and the stabilization we went through this year to maintain the four-day close is certainly is an outstanding achievement for the team.”
PSC’s financial management and procurement revenue grew 39 percent year over year based on that increased demand. “Not only did we get things done earlier, but we did more and got things done earlier,” added Brna.
For the acquisitions team, there was about $350 million in awards more than last year. Acquisitions increased their awards from $1.6 billion to over $2 billion. Besides accounting, the other piece is the acquisitions side of the house, who really made an effort to close early. “In prior years, we’ve done a lot of work in the last day or two,” said Brna. “Meaning the last hour of the year we were making awards until midnight. We only had a handful of awards going on September 30 after normal business hours and those were all done by 11 p.m. We weren’t the last acquisition office out this year. This was a significant improvement over prior years and our customers continue to send thank you notes in appreciation of this achievement.”
The year-end process goes in different cycles. One is getting all the data in the system. There’s the acquisitions group getting the contracts awarded, operating divisions awarding grants, and feeder systems recording payroll, travel, and other items. The grants team also prepares and generates the expenditure, advance, and accrual files to interface with the finance systems. All this activity happens up until and through October 1 to input data in the finance systems. PSC then rolls forward the data from one fiscal year to the next and loads budgets into the new fiscal year allowing for operations in the new year. Next, the PSC Financial Reporting Service analyzes the data in the system and finalizes the year-end reports to Treasury and OMB. Finally, independent auditors review the data and render an opinion on the financial statements by November 15.
There are six accounting centers across HHS. PSC is by far the leader in closing and the role model. PSC has been asked to perform an overview of this achievement to the other OPDIVs. This effort demonstrates the value in continuous improvement and took several year-end closes to achieve. In preparation for year-end, PSC holds many meetings and three mock conversions during the year that the accounting team goes through working with the UFMS system team downtown. The PSC grants team paid about $503 billion and almost $600 billion in obligations. “We paid $503 billion dollars of a $4 trillion budget, so one in eight dollars of the federal budget is flowing through our office,” said Brna.
“The year-end is really a lot of teams working a lot of overtime,” said Brna. “It's 24/7 for those four days when we're closing. It's coordinating all of our customers, working hand-in-hand with keeping communication going constantly. They're really partners in this. They're available over the weekend and play a key role in the process. It is important to recognize them for their efforts, too, because they're our liaison and partners in making sure everything in that recording phase goes smoothly.”
Consolidation of the budget, acquisitions, grants, and accounting functions under the Financial Management Portfolio have played a key role in streamlining the closing process. “We easily get all the players we need together to coordinate these events, whereas before I don't know that if it was so seamless,” added Brna. “But really, it's getting to be seamless in the service where we're working with each other because we're in the same house.”
PSC is Managing the Business of Government.™ To learn more, please visit the web page for PSC’s financial services and acquisitions services.
Partnership Launched to Improve Health and Wellness of Government Executives
Top Image: The Federal Executive Institute building in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bottom Image: Adair Lindsay, Registered Dietitian, PSC Clinical Health Services, makes a presentation.
In November 2015, members of PSC’s wellness and fitness team met with faculty at the exclusive Federal Executive Institute (FEI) in Charlottesville, Virginia to discuss a strategic partnership. After months of development, PSC assumed responsibility of a comprehensive health and wellness program at FEI effective October 2016.
What is FEI?
The FEI, part of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Center for Leadership Development, offers a full range of leadership development programs in a variety of formats ranging from virtual delivery to in-resident. The Center offers courses and programs designed to develop outstanding federal leaders able to drive organizational excellence.
The most prevalent and prominent program is the four-week Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS) program for senior executives (GS-15, Senior Executive Service members or their equivalent) from all departments/branches of the federal government, offered 10 times a year at FEI’s 14-acre campus in Charlottesville. This program includes a variety of plenary sessions, small group work and individual coaching on areas including Personal Leadership in Government, Transforming Public Organizations, and Policy in the Constitutional System.
What is PSC doing at FEI?
The primary goal of the FEI wellness program is to improve the health consciousness and health status of program participants and to provide them with information necessary to initiate and support wellness programs in their own organizations. Thus, the partnership between the FEI and PSC centers around the health of the executives enrolled and the culture of health in the organizations these executives lead.
The programs and services that PSC is providing the executives enrolled include:
- Comprehensive health screenings and fitness assessments
- Group fitness classes
- Health and wellness seminars and presentations
- One-to-one health and nutrition coaching
- Walking groups
The PSC-FEI Partnership
The LDS program provides an unprecedented opportunity to reach senior government leaders in a four-week in-residence setting where executives are encouraged to reflect and work to achieve personal and professional goals.
PSC helps equip government executives with the knowledge, skills, and tools that lead to the development of a worksite health program aligned with their agency’s worksite culture, needs, and environment.
The commencement of FEI’s new health and wellness program represents a partnership with PSC, which enables FEI participants to learn and apply the latest advances in well-being, fitness, nutrition, and technology during their program and thereafter at their home agency.
Realizing Benefits of Occupational Health Accreditation
Since PSC Occupational Health earned a Systems Accreditation from The Joint Commission (TJC) — clinics, fitness centers, and the employee assistance program — continue to see the benefits of accreditation as improvements are made utilizing the TJC standards as a road map.
The benefits are many! The TJC accreditation standards provide a solid framework for health care organizational structure and management that guides quality improvement efforts, helps organizations strengthen client/patient safety efforts, improves risk management and risk reduction, strengthens community confidence and provides a competitive edge in the marketplace. TJC standards are evidence-based guidelines developed by the top minds in medicine.
“We have seen benefits from the very beginning of the process,” said Dr. Geralyn Johnson, Acting Chief of Staff for our occupational health, wellness, and employee assistance services. “Survey preparation gave us the opportunity to improve our policies and get more stakeholders involved through the establishment of committees and workgroups. The survey process was a learning experience for field staff. The establishment of a solid credentialing and privileging program assures qualified staff to support top-notch provision of services. Staying survey-ready keeps us focused on quality, safety, and efficiency. The benefits are too many to count.”
We are the first health organization providing occupational health, wellness and employee assistance services to the federal government to achieve this prestigious status, Support of the occupational health program with TJC accreditation is a strong statement to the staff, customers, and the occupational health, wellness, and employee assistance industry of a serious commitment to quality, safety, and efficiency. This recognition has improved the ability to attract a highly skilled workforce, and has played a role in attracting new customers. Most importantly, accreditation has resulted in a sense of pride for staff.
Accreditation and the relationship with TJC provides continuous access to nationally recognized subject matter experts to aid and assist in quality improvement and risk management efforts. It provides a validation of strategic and tactical improvements and has aided in the development of effective corrective actions to problem areas of risk. PSC has maximized the use of this benefit to obtain customized, professional support for the unique healthcare services and customer relationships that it manages. The resources available through TJC support continuous guidance and training for essential components of an organization focused on quality, safety, and efficiency.
The vast size of the organization over a large geographic proximity challenges the relationship between Headquarters and the field. The process of accreditation has strengthened the relationship between Headquarters and the field staff by providing avenues for reporting, such as the Safety Event Reporting system. Before accreditation, risk events went unidentified and unreported on a national level. Problems were skillfully resolved on a local level but the opportunity to make improvements, system-wide, was lost. Now, issues and problems are reported to a Risk Manager who ensures that information reaches all who need to be informed and that risk events are evaluated to determine if improvements are needed system-wide to prevent reoccurrence. Now, all sites benefit from information learned as a result of a safety event or concern. This is only one example of the many benefits of a solid infrastructure build on TJC standards.
Bearing the golden seal of accreditation in a health care system is much more than initial preparation and revising a few protocols. PSC has formally committed to adhere to the highest medical standards, to actively engage in continuous improvement, and to place patient safety and health at the forefront. In this time of intense focus on healthcare systems and practices, it is more important than ever to demonstrate competency in providing quality services. Having a strong partnership with TJC fosters and expands its ability to enhance the health, safety, and productivity of the federal workforce.
“TJC standards empowered us to develop a centralized safety event reporting system and thus providing staff with access to a dedicated patient safety and risk representative,” said Tracey Martin, RN, Quality, Safety, and Risk Manager, for PSC Occupational Health. “Reported safety events and concerns have resulted in new and revised education, policy, standard operating procedure, equipment, supplies, and more. The benefits of these improvements are countless in our quest to provide the highest quality occupational health services.”
To learn more, visit the accreditation web page.
PSC Hosting HHS Fleet Summit 2017
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Fleet Summit, hosted by PSC, is an annual venue for agency fleet managers to collaborate, discuss, and brainstorm fleet management elements.
The summit will be held in conjunction with the General Services Administration (GSA) FedFleet at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on January 30 and February 3, 2017.
HHS Fleet Summit is an event for HHS Operating and Staff Division fleet managers. This year’s summit will focus on fleet topics and problem-solving discussions that:
- Provide insights on the future state of the HHS system of record (MVMIS/FedFMS)
- Examine asset level data initiatives
- Review telematics current state
- Review electronic vehicles and charging station status
- Develop processing maps for current procedures
Attendees will participate in GSA FedFleet sessions pertinent to the Department’s key initiatives as a team.
For more information, including the summit agenda, visit the HHS Fleet Summit web page. For questions or information about HHS Fleet Summit, please email HHSFleetManagement@psc.hhs.gov. To learn more about these services, visit the PSC Fleet Operations web page.
PSC Leads Way at Shared Services Conference
Jamie Cooke, HHS Department Fleet Manager, PSC Transportation Services, speaks with a conference participant.
PSC participated in the 9th Annual Shared Services and Process Improvement for Higher Education and Government conference at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia, November 30-December 2, 2016.
PSC spoke on panel discussions and exhibited at the event. The conference drew more than 150 executives, with expertise in shared services, contract services, accounting, customer experience, operations, and procurement.
The event focused on helping higher education establishments as well as federal and local government agencies to be more competitive in today's highly cost-sensitive, process-efficiency-driven marketplace. It also addressed the challenges, identified opportunities, and provided perspective on the implementation and expansion solutions within the public sector.
PSC speakers included Arik “Mak” Karim, Director, Cost Allocation Services, who joined on the panel, “How to Reduce Waste & Increase Value by Utilizing Six Sigma/Lean Practices into Your Back Office Administrative Processes”. Karim also participated on the higher education panel, “Process Innovation Intensives: Effective Practices to Ensure Service Delivery Excellent”, while Earl Pinto, Director, Acquisitions, on the government panel. Jd Walter, Director, Customer Relationship Management, joined in the “Fireside Chat: How to Ensure Effective Service Provider and Client Program Collaboration” and “Day in Review: ‘Now That I Better Understand X, How Do I…?’” sessions.
There were over 50 industry leaders who spoke, including keynote speaker Beth Angerman, executive director, Unified Shared Services Management (USSM), General Services Administration (GSA). Subject matter experts from U.S. Departments like Commerce, Agriculture, and Institutes for Higher Learning like Brown University, North Carolina State University and the University of Michigan also presented on the customer experience to increase customer satisfaction and drive adoption. Also, how similar organizations have successfully set up, optimized and expanded shared services initiatives despite even extreme internal resistance, budgetary constraints, and institutional complexity.
Participants heard real-world, action-oriented perspectives on how to effectively navigate the speed, uncertainty, and complexity of change with systematic and relationship-focused change management strategies. Finally, they learned from the experiences of others and exchanged proven solutions for maximizing customer satisfaction and employee engagement in small group discussions broken out by industry and maturity.
Attendees were introduced to next-generation solutions and innovative strategies to engage customers, drive accountability and more effectively manage the performance of shared services and admin employees.
The event was sponsored by the Shared Services Outsourcing Network, and International Quality and Product Center. Media partners included Federal News Radio and SSON. For more information on conferences that PSC attends, please contact Ginny Aristorenas at email@example.com or (301) 492-4661.
Out Front at Shared Services Summit
Top Image: Arif "Mak" Karim, Director, PSC Cost Allocation Services (far right), speaks on a panel. Bottom Image: Jd Walter, Director, PSC Customer Relationship Management, talks with the crowds at the summit.
PSC showcased services at the Shared Services Summit, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., on October 4, 2016.
This conference brought together over 400 government and industry leaders from across the entire Federal CxO community (acquisition, financial, grants, HR, and IT) from many different agencies. It was the Shared Services Summit inaugural conference addressing common opportunities and challenges in sustaining progress in shared services implementation through the 2016 presidential transition.
PSC had an exhibit to present services that focused on accounting, grants finance and administration; acquisition management services; and transit subsidy program management.
“The event was a good opportunity for PSC to build brand awareness as a federal shared services provider and for our financial and acquisition services,” said Ginny Aristorenas, PSC Marketing Manager. “We networked with various agencies, met with current customers, and continued to establish PSC as a thought leader.”
The Association of Government Accounts, the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council, and the Shared Services Leadership Coalition, sponsored the event.
The focus of the conference was on shared services through the presidential transition. Among several shared services leaders who presented included Beth Angerman, Executive Director, Unified Shared Services Management, General Services Administration; and Dave Mader, Controller, Office of Management and Budget.
The summit agenda featured discussions on:
- Leading edge success stories in the global public and private sectors
- A look ahead into what to expect from the next Administration
- Networking opportunities with key leaders in the federal shared services community.
It was a unique venue for government and industry leaders to collaborate. The summit provided opportunities to connect with other government and industry financial experts facing the same or similar issues, allowing the exchange of ideas and best practices, and providing much helpful information to bring back to the organization.
For more information on conferences that PSC attends, please contact Ginny Aristorenas at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 492-4661.
Homeland Security Recognizes Burchess with Minted Coin
Krystal Jordan presents Mark Burchess with a coin at the PSC Supply Service Center in Perry Point, Maryland.
Mark Burchess, Chief of Logistics and Deputy Director for PSC Supply Chain Management Services, was recently honored with a newly minted coin by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Health Affairs (OHA).
OHA staff from the Office of General Counsel (OGC), Krystal Jordan and Sam Smith, recently visited PSC at Perry Point, Maryland.
The visit was part of an OHA OGC-sponsored site orientation for OGC representatives with other DHS components.
PSC’s Perry Point and North East facilities support the DHS OHA and BioWatch program office. BioWatch is a federal government program whose mission is to detect the release of pathogens into the air in case of a terrorist attack on a major American city.
After a briefing and tour of the several facilities, Jordan (pictured) coined Burchess, on behalf of Dr. Brinsfield, Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs. This coin was presented in recognition of the partnership between OHA and PSC, and the great service and support that PSC has been providing for several years.
This news was also featured in the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Health Affairs enewsletter.
CDR Tomas Bonome, Director, Occupational Health Portfolio, PSC, receives his flu shot.
PSC Provides Key Services in Fight Against Flu
Did you know that PSC provides key support to the federal government in the fight against the flu?
PSC supports the HHS mission by preventing the spread of illness and keeping federal workers healthy. PSC distributes the vaccine, and administers flu shots to hundreds of thousands of federal employees in its health clinics
Flu season is here. In the U.S., flu season occurs in the fall and winter. Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.
For the annual influenza vaccine campaign, PSC’s Medical Supply Fulfillment service usually averages from 600 to 700 next-day refrigerated shipments to customers. From early fall to late winter, PSC’s ships approximately 300,000 doses of the vaccine to customers worldwide, including over 200,000 doses to PSC clinics. PSC has more than 300 health clinics throughout the United States. In a normal flu season, PSC administers approximately 200,000 doses of flu vaccine to federal employees.
PSC encourages employees to get your flu shot. Vaccination for the virus is the best protection against getting the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visit flu.gov to learn more on how to protect yourself and your family from the flu.
Category Management – Changing the Way Market Research Is Conducted
Earl Pinto, Director, PSC Acquisition Management Services
What is Category Management?
A strategic approach that enables the Federal Government to buy smarter and
more like a single enterprise. It involves managing large categories of procurement spend that are comprised of ten commonly purchased products and services across federal agencies.
How does it benefit you?
It is a valuable tool to be used in conducting market research. Category management better utilizes taxpayer dollars by eliminating redundancies, increasing efficiency, and delivering more value and savings throughout the acquisition lifecycle.
What products and services are available under Category Management?
- Information Technology (IT)
- Facilities and Construction
- Industrial Products and Services
- Professional Services
- Security and Protection
- Transportation and Logistics Services
- Office Management
- Travel and Lodging
- Human Capital
PSC Celebrates Heart Health
February is American Heart Month and PSC is encouraging federal employees to fill in the blanks for those important indicators of heart health. The PSC initiative urges employees to get a cardiac screening (or CRP) so they can know their numbers — blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. — and know what lifestyle changes, if any, are needed.
The cardiac screening is a simple test available via onsite health clinics provided through Federal Occupational Health, a component of PSC, or through one’s personal health care provider. Employees can plug these heart health numbers into their Wellness Profile (formerly the HRA) to receive an instant health appraisal that can help identify some of the more common wellness and safety issues we all face. The profile provides specific and practical ways to improve health through lifestyle changes — such as going smoke-free, being more physically active, eating more fruits and vegetables, or consistently using your seat belt.
Know Your Numbers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends tracking your body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels to know where you stand regarding your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other medical disorders.
Body mass index
BMI numbers can give the average person a good indication of whether or not any adjustments are needed to maintain a healthy weight.
Measuring your blood pressure can be a quick and easy gauge of your heart and vascular health. Knowing these numbers can be a lifesaver. Talk your health care provider if you notice your blood pressure levels are outside the healthy range.
Cholesterol and other blood lipids
Your cholesterol levels are another important indicator of heart and vascular health. A simple blood test can measure your “good” and “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides levels in your blood. Talk to your health care provider about what your readings mean for you.
A test of your blood sugar levels after you have gone eight hours or more without eating (a fasting glucose test) can help your health care provider determine if you are at risk for diabetes or are already showing signs of the disease. Having uncontrolled diabetes can also put one at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both women and men. That is why it is important for federal workers to know their heart health status in order to make those lifestyle changes that lower their risk for the disease. The cardiac screening and Wellness Profile are excellent tools for employees to stay healthy.
Additionally, PSC’s monthly observances feature user-friendly promotional materials and toolkits, which include fliers, posters, bulletin board graphics, and even customized email blast messages. Check out toolkits for February and the rest of the year at foh.psc.gov/toolkit.
PSC Service Matters is published quarterly by the PSC Office of Communication. To ask questions, provide comments, add news or subscribers, please contact the editor, John Moynihan, at email@example.com, or call (301) 492-4650. Learn more about PSC by visiting http://www.PSC.gov.