News

U.S. operations against ISIL cost $8.7 billion in FY2016 through July

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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The Department of Defense (DoD) reported that since August 8, 2014, the cost of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria (Operation Inherent Resolve-OIR) against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) totaled $8.7 billion as of July 31, 2016. 

Flying operations accounted for 43 percent ($3.7 billion) of total costs, while mission support costs were 34 percent ($3.0 billion) and munitions were 23 percent (2.0 billion) of total costs.

The average daily cost is $12.1 million, up $.9 million reported at the end of 2015. DoD reports that $5.2 million of the daily average is for flying OPTEMPO, $2.7 million for munitions, $2.1 million for logistical support, $1.9 million for operational support, and $0.2 million for other costs.

The Air Force continues to bear the lion’s share of total costs at 65 percent ($5.7 billion). The Army share is 16 percent ($1.4 billion) and the Navy share is 11 percent (almost $1 billion). Special Operations Command (SOCCOM) costs at $700 million are 8 percent of the total.

Air Force costs are averaging $7.8 million per day, while the Army daily costs are averaging $1.9 million and Navy costs are $1.3 million a day. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) costs are averaging $1 million daily.

Nations partnering with the U.S in conducting airstrikes against ISIL include Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Through June 30, DoD reports that coalition forces conducted 10,615 close air support, escort, and interdiction air sorties in 2016. In 2014 (August through December) coalition forces conducted 6,591 such sorties and in 2015 (January through December) they carried out 21,113 sorties.

GSA sets higher per diem rates for federal employees in FY2017

Friday, August 19th, 2016

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The General Services Administration (GSA) announced this month that federal employees will receive slightly higher daily Per Diem reimbursement rates for official travel in FY2017.

Per Diem rates are the maximum amounts a federal employee can receive as reimbursement for allowable expenses while on official duty travel. GSA sets per diem rates for locations in CONUS. 

Per Diem rates in Standard areas in the Continental nited States (CONUS) for lodging will be $91 in FY2017, up from $89 in FY2017.  The Standard area rate covers most of the continental CONUS 2,600 counties. 

Per Diem rates for lodging at some 350 Non-Standard areas (NSAs) will vary depending on local conditions.  

Daily rates for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) in Standard areas will be unchanged at $51 in FY2017.  The MI&E rates for Standard areas are based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for “Food Away from Home.”

The M&IE rate for NSAs (divided into six tiers) will continue to range from $54 to $74.  Travelers receive 75 percent of the appropriate MIE rate on the first and the last days of travel.  M&IE rates for NSAs are based on surveys of local restaurants.

Federal Travel Regulations still allow federal travelers to be reimbursed for actual expenses if per diem rates do not meet necessary expenses.

According to the GSA Per Diem Bulletin FTR 17-01 there are no new NSAs in FY2017.  However, GSA announced that three NSA locations will become Standard areas:  Lexington Park/Leonardtown/Lusby, MD; New Bern, NC; and Minot, ND.

The new Per Diem rates go into effect on Oct. 1, 2016.

OMB and OPM issue guidance on executive performance awards for FY2017

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

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Federal agencies have received guidance on providing performance awards to members of the Senior Executive Services (SES) and to Senior Level (SL) and Senior Professional and Scientific (ST) employees in FY2017.

This guidance was required in Executive Order 13714, “Strengthening the Senior Executive Service (SES), issued by President Obama Dec. 15, 2015.

A memo containing this guidance was issued to agency heads by Beth Colbert, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  The memo  implements limits for total agency spending on individual performance awards as directed by the Executive Order. 

For individual rating-based performance awards agencies may spend up to 7.5 percent of the aggregate salaries of their career executives for SES and SL/St employees. 

For individual contribution awards (e.g. special act, suggestion, and invention awards), agencies may spend up to 7.5 percent of the aggregate salaries of their career executives for SES and SL/St employees. 

Before 2010 there was no agency spending limit on awards to SL/ST employees and the spending limit for SES employee awards was 10 percent for each agency. 

A freeze on discretionary awards, bonuses, and similar payments to political employees, set in 2010, will remain in effect.

The OMB/OPM guidance advises agencies to the maintain integrity of its awards programs by allocating awards “in a manner that provides meaningfully greater awards to top performers.”  Specifically, the guidance encourages agencies “to use these awards to recognize those senior leaders who take on the most challenging assignments, use exemplary innovative and collaborative methods, take on challenging rotational assignments, and/or have the greatest impact on agency priorities and mission imperatives.” 

The guidance also encourages agencies to award time-off and individual contribution awards to recognize accomplishments throughout the year.  These awards can be granted even if an employee “is not rated at the highest rating levels.”

Happenings from HQ August 2016

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

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The ASMC 2016 Survey of Defense Financial Professionals is now available on-line! It only takes about 5 minutes to complete. Your participation will provide important information on the collective opinions of defense financial managers, about status and trends in the defense FM environment. We value your opinion very much, and encourage ASMC member and non-member FMers to take the time to ensure your views are included in the survey results. Also, ASMC HQ will award $300, $200, and $100 respectively to the ASMC Chapters that have the highest, second highest, and third highest survey response rates among their members. To access the survey enter the following url in your browser: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2940120/2016-ASMC-Online-Questionnaire

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The Summer Edition of our Armed Forces Comptroller, “New Heights of Financial Management – A PDI 2016 Retrospective,” is Out! This issue is brought to life with articles focusing on Financial Management and ASMC’s 2016 PDI. Thanks much to those of you who help us save costs by electing to receive only the digital edition of our journal, accessible at http://bit.ly/ASMCpublications. Those of you receiving the print edition should have it in your mailbox shortly. Our contractor advised us the 10-question digital assessment for this edition will be available on our LMS NLT the end of this week. As a reminder, after reading the journal, ASMC members may sign in and take the assessment to receive two CPEs/CETs.
Consider submitting an article for an upcoming issue; find out themes of upcoming issues by visiting the AFC Journal Home Page http://bit.ly/ASMCjournal.

We thank Cotton & Company, Kearney & Company, Management Concepts, PenFed Credit Union, and Sehlke Consulting for advertising in this issue.

Enjoy our summer edition and, after you’ve read it, take it to the office to share with a friend!

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Update your member profile at http://bit.ly/ASMCmemberprofile to provide us your current contact info, especially if you have recently relocated, so you continue to receive the Armed Forces Comptroller. Also, you can update your chapter designation when you move to a new location and associate with the chapter there – no longer necessary to send a note to HQ asking us to change your chapter designation. Lastly, updating to your personal email address in your profile avoids lapses in ASMC HQ commo with you in the event you change jobs and your work email address changes.

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CDFM Module 1, 2, and 3 Refresher Courses are conveniently conducted year-round. All CDFM Refresher Courses offered are aligned with the DoD FM Certification Program (DFMCP), so in addition to CETs, you can receive “direct credit” toward meeting DFMCP requirements. Sessions are continuously updated at http://bit.ly/CDFMMod123Refresh. For those eligible to take advantage of the 5-day, government-funded Enhanced Defense Financial Management Training Course (EDFMTC), the schedule for FY2017 is posted on our website and you may use the EDFMTC Automated Registration tool to register for this course at http://bit.ly/ASMCedfmtc. Additionally, ASMC-licensed vendors offer open enrollment EDFMTC, Acquisition Business Management, and Fiscal Law courses, and can also deliver these courses at your chapter or organization. Learn more about open enrollment training offerings at http://bit.ly/ASMCclassroomtraining or write certification@asmconline.org for vendor contact information.

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ASMC National PDI 2017 will be conducted May 31 – June 2, 2017 in San Diego! We expect to have registration available NLT mid-March 2017.

PDI 2016, based upon feedback we received, was a terrific success! Special thanks to everyone who worked so well together to make it happen! Tremendous teamwork!

As a reminder, Virtual PDI 2016 is online at http://bit.ly/ASMCvpdi2016

PDI 2016 slides are also available online at http://bit.ly/ASMC_PDI2016slides

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Any questions – contact Brian Gresham, our Associate Director for Communications and Public Affairs at gresham@asmconline.org.

 

ASMC 2016 Survey – Online Questionnaire for Defense Financial Professionals

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

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The 2016 ASMC Survey of defense financial managers is now available on-line! The survey only takes about 5 minutes to complete and the results provide important information concerning the collective opinions of defense financial managers regarding their views of status and trends in the defense financial management environment. We value your opinion very much and encourage you to take the time to ensure your views are included in the survey results. ASMC member and non-member FMers are encouraged to participate in the survey. ASMC will award $300 to the ASMC Chapter that has the highest response rate for this survey, $200 for the second highest response rate, and $100 for third highest response rate. To access the survey click HERE.

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