Fall 1998 Newsletter
FROM THE PRESIDENT
I trust you all had a Happy Thanksgiving and you are looking forward to the rest of the upcoming Holiday season. It is a busy time of year but we hope that you can join us to kick off the season at the ASMC Holiday Social at the Fort McNair Officers' Club on the 10th of December starting at 5 PM. I promise lots of good munchies. Additional details are provided in this newsletter and on our Washington Chapter Web Site.
And speaking of our Web Site. We think it is a great place to get information on upcoming events. Preformatted e-mail links are available, which allow you to RSVP or easily provide feedback. We are posting our luncheon speaker's presentation materials, as well as monthly Newsgrams, quarterly Newsletter, and a host of other Washington Chapter information. You can assist us in our move toward becoming more paperless, as well as save on expenses.
Tell us what you would like to see, as well as provide your current e-mail address to your Vice President or to the Chapter’s e-mail address. Your Service Vice President’s e-mail address is posted on the back page of this Newsletter. It only takes a few mouse clicks, please try our web site.
THE ASMC PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
By LtCol. David Robinson, USMC
Professional Certification seems to be the latest buzz these days in many professional circles and the financial management community is not immune. In this article I will introduce you to a program that is likely to have a direct impact on a great many in the DoD financial management workforce. In addition, it is already having an impact on the strategic direction taken by the American Society of Military Comptrollers. I am talking about the launch of ASMC's new professional certification program in general and more specifically about the Defense Financial Management Certification Examination. I hope this overview will spark your interest to learn more.
The first question that comes to mind when most people think about professional certification is "why do we need this?" My response to that is two-fold…the first reason is perception. Those who have been around for a while realize that perception is about 60% of truth. Right now it is the perception of many members of Congress and a good portion of the American public that the DoD does a poor job at managing the billions of dollars it gets each year to provide for the defense of our nation. True or not, this perception is strengthened by media reports of fiscal mismanagement and wasted funds.
To make matters worse, the GAO recently completed several reports on the training and education of DoD financial managers. They cited a lack of relevant experience, qualifications, and certifications as major concerns. The number of DoD personnel (Army, Navy/Marine Corp, Air Force, DFAS) with professional certifications is particularly low when compared to the private sector. Most other professionals use certifications as one way to set themselves apart from their peers. If you think about it for a minute, how many of you would want anything less than a board certified surgeon to perform a difficult operation or anything less than a Certified Public Accountant to manage the millions of dollars you have in your personal bank accounts? Why then should the Congress, the GAO, or the American public expect to have anything less than certified financial mangers entrusted with over 17% of the federal budget.
The second reason we need a certification program is because we as professionals recognize the need and want a way to improve our qualifications. The financial management leadership of the Department supports a certification program as both a way to improve our competence in the diverse areas of defense financial matters and as a self-initiated response to the GAO reports. Similarly, you, the membership of ASMC, recognize this need as well. In fact, many of you already hold some sort of certification such as the Certified Public Accountant, the Certified Internal Auditor, or the Certified Government Financial Manager, so the concept of certification is not entirely new to you. In addition, in the last two surveys conducted by ASMC, there was significant member support for an ASMC professional certification program. With the survey results in hand, and since the charter purpose for our society’s existence is the training and education of its members, this seems like a golden opportunity for us to shine at what we do best.
In a memo to Mr. Lynn, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), ASMC made several recommendations regarding certification. After emphasizing the importance of certifications in general, ASMC recommended specific endorsement of the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) as the certification of choice. This was, for the most part, because the CGFM exam concentrates on government financial management as opposed to other certifications, which concentrate on private sector financial management. In short, it is closer to what most of us do on a daily basis than some of the more specialized certifications.
Next, we recommended that ASMC, in partnership with the DoD and the Association of Government Accountants, who developed the CGFM, develop a separate Defense specific sub-specialty exam and the training programs to go along with that exam. Let me describe for you now ASMC’s vision for the Defense Financial Management Certification (DFMC) exam.
When contemplating the launch of this effort, the first thing that the leadership of both the DoD and the ASMC emphasized was that any Defense certification should be test based as opposed to being based on experience or education alone. That is where the DFMC exam comes in. Using the AGA's CGFM exam as the model, we are developing an exam that looks and feels very much like the CGFM with a concentration in those areas unique to defense. The DFMC exam will be available in two ways. First, for those who have already completed or are in the process of completing the requirements to become a CGFM, the DFMC exam will be available as an optional sub-specialty examination in order to demonstrate additional competencies in the defense areas. Those successful would be awarded a CGFM-D certificate. Second, the DFMC exam will also be available for others who, for a variety of reasons, may not want to take the entire CGFM examination. For example, there may be some who only want to demonstrate their abilities in the defense area or who do not have enough knowledge or experience in local and state government financial matters.
The most important aspect of this examination is that it will provide some reasonable level of assurance that we are proficient at the business of defense financial management. Stated differently, successful completion of the DFMC exam gives the DoD leadership a greater level of confidence that we understand the rules and regulations of our business and how to apply them. As with the CGFM exam, the DFMC examination will be computer based and given at testing centers such as Sylvan Learning Centers nation-wide. For those overseas, we are currently exploring the option of Internet-based testing.
The exam will definitely be challenging…and you would expect it to be. But don’t let that dissuade you from taking it. Our objective is to create an exam that is representative of the defense financial management body of knowledge and that is passable for those who diligently prepare in advance.
There are plenty of other questions that you may be asking at this time about this program and the DFMC exam. The Certification and Career Development Committee is wrestling with each of the issues related to the DFMC and in the coming months you will definitely hear more about it. The bottom line on this whole thing is this…you, the membership of ASMC, want to be able to demonstrate your professional competence just like those in other professional occupations. The leadership of the DoD wants to improve the overall level of proficiency with which we manage the department’s funds. ASMC’s professional certification program accomplishes both of these goals.
President Jefferson once said:
Certification is good for our Society, good for our profession, good for us as individuals, and will enable us to better heed our third President's timeless advice to the nation's leaders.
About the Author: LtCol Robinson works for PA&E, OSD. He is the Washington Chapter Marine Corps Vice President. LtCol Robinson is the Chair, ASMC Certification and Career Development Committee
ON THE MOVE
Congratulations to Ms. Linda Stefani on her recent promotion at HQ, AMC. Linda formerly worked in the Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C).
Ms. Michelle Ross, formerly NAVSEA, accepted a position at FMB.
Ms. Zena Thomas and Ms. Ivy Hawkins are both on three-month experience rotations within NAVSEA. Zena, who normally works in NAVSEA 01P, Policy, is on rotation through SEA 013, OPN, WPN, and RDTE. Ivy, who normally works in SEA 012, SCN, is on rotation through SEA 01P.
Mr. Jamie Polzin, Director of SEA 012, SCN, is on a temporary detail in support of a DON review of competitive sourcing initiatives to develop an overall DON plan for OSD and Congress.
Welcome Ms. Bessie Harris to the Base Operations Support Branch. Bessie is an Army Budget Office intern. Her last assignment was in the ASA(FM&C) Proponency Office.
Mr. Jim DeAngelis, was promoted into a resource management position at NDU, Ft McNair. Jim’s last assignment was within Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C).
Mr. Joseph Jengehino was promoted into a position at Ft Month NJ. Joe’s last assignment was within the Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C).
Congratulations to LtCol David M Robinson on his recent promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. David is the Marine Corps Vice President for the Washington Chapter. He works within OSD, PA&E.
CPT(P) Brad Dreyer and CPT(P) Kevin Manley were recently picked up for promotion to Major. Congratulations to these two fine ASA (FM&C) officers.
Ms. Susan Browne has been promoted to Division Chief, Military Personnel, Army Appropriation, Army Budget Office. Susan’s last assignment was as the DCS, RM for OPTEC Headquarters.
Congratulations to BG Hugh B. Tant III on his recent promotion to Brigadier General. BG Tant is the Director Operations and Support, Army Budget Office.
MAJ Robert Palmer, Air Force Cost Analysis Agency, as a new member of the Washington Chapter and as the new Washington Chapter Assistant Secretary for the Air Force. Bob replaces Ms. Kathleen Jones who took a new position in BMDO.
Mr. Herbert Lee Dixson, Jr., Director, Fiscal Division, Programs and Resources Department, HQMC, received the Distinguished Executive Award, at the Secretary of the Navy 1998 SES Awards Ceremony.
Mr. Lawrence P. Kreitzer, HQMC, and Mr. Philip E. Zanfagna, Jr., HQMC, received the Meritorious Executive Award, at the Secretary of the Navy 1998 SES Awards Ceremony.
Mr. William W. Tracey, Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C), received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
Mr. Weldon (Tom) T. Fergason, Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C), received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
Mr. Thomas L. Fairbank, Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C), received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
Ms. Linda K. Stefani, Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C), received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
Ms. Diane K. Wade, Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C), received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
MAJ Rory T. Froehlich, Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C), received the Army Achievement Medal.
Ms. Judith A. Guenther, Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C), received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
Mr. Gary C. Engle, Army Budget Office, ASA(FM&C), received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
SPECIAL THANK YOU
The Washington Chapter wants to impart a special thank you to Ms. Sandra Jefferson and Ms. Denise Wamback. Sandra was the Washington Chapter Newsletter Editor and Denise was an Assistant Editor. Sandra and Denise both worked a number of years in support of the Washington Chapter Quarterly Newsletter.
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS
December – Toys for Tots. Bring your toys to the Holiday Social.
March – Habitat for Humanity. This will be a
joint project with other local ASMC Chapters.
The Holiday season is fast approaching and will soon be upon us. We hope that you will mark your calendar for the Washington Chapter ASMC Holiday Social. It will be held December 10th at the Fort McNair Officers Club from 1700-2100. There will be a spectacular holiday buffet for a mere $5.00. A cash bar, serving non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, will be available. Come and share the holiday season with your fellow ASMC members. RSVP to your Assistant Service Secretary. Hope to see you there!
Any new member who joins at the Holiday Social will receive a free ASMC 50th Anniversary mug (while supplies last).
BUILDING THE VISION: ASMC MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN
By Ms. Ramona Y. Jones
Be a Vision Builder by recruiting new members to help ASMC reach its goal of 20,000 members by 2000. Vision Builders who recruit five or more new ASMC members are eligible to win a Caribbean Cruise for two, $1,000, or $500. The Vision Builder’s name will go into the barrel once for the first five recruits and again for each subsequent recruit. The campaign will run for two years. The first year commenced 1 July 1998 and will end 31 March 1999. The second year will start 1 April 1999 and end 31 March 2000. The first year’s rewards will be drawn at PDI 1999 in San Diego, California.
Please make and provide copies of the membership application in this Newsletter. Tell perspective members about the benefits of joining ASMC. A key to ensuring that credit is given to the proper Vision Builder is to include your membership number with your name in the "recommended by" section of the membership application. Your membership number can be found on your Armed Forces Comptroller magazine mailing label, or on your membership card. Do not forget to write "Washington" in the Chapter section.
About the Author: Ms. Ramona Jones works in the Navy’s FM&C organization. Ramona is the Membership Committee Chairperson.
FINANCIAL ANALYST CONCEPT
By Ms. JoAnn Van Beusichem and Mr. Bill Guillaume
Comptroller careerists of the future must be multi-functional and multi-dimensional capable of analyzing and handling various situations. A primary initiative in the Redesign of Army Financial Management is the development of the multi-disciplined financial analyst concept. The objective will be to design a career model architecture consisting of multi-disciplined financial analysts who are accredited in a broad range of core competencies associated with budgeting, accounting, costing, management and program analysis, auditing and leadership. The program will be the prototype for implementing master training plans for the financial analyst and other specialized functional areas (GS-510/511/1515) from intern through senior executive.
The key areas of focus will be on education and training, experience, professional development and accreditation. Education and training will reflect the achievement of the core competencies divided into basic, intermediate and advanced levels. Experience will span from field level to Departmental Headquarters. Professional development will include exchange programs, developmental assignments and fellowships. Accreditation will determine that an individual meets minimum mandatory requirements established for a specific career level in a career field. Other results of this project will be to revamp the Army Comptroller Intern Program and to revise the Comptroller Army Career Training, Education, and Development System.
The Army Comptroller Proponency Office serves as the focal point for coordination and oversight for the financial analyst project. The project team is staffed with two personnel on temporary reassignment. Contracts and/or support agreements will be used to provide additional resources and to obtain needed subject matter expertise, as required. Best practices in the public and private sector will be explored also. For further information or suggestions on this project you may contact: Ms. JoAnn Van Beusichem DSN 227-1985, (703) 697-1985, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Bill Guillaume DSN 227-1983, (703) 697-1983, e-mail email@example.com. Departmental and MACOM input will be solicited via the CP-11 Executive Council members designated points of contact to ensure that this program is on track and meets the needs of the Army. Periodic updates on the progress of the financial analyst concept will be posted to the Army Comptroller Proponency Home Page (http://www.asafm.army.mil), the quarterly Resource Management publication, and the quarterly ASMC Newsletter.
About the Authors: Ms. Van Beusichem and Mr. Guillaume are both on a developmental assignment to the Comptroller Proponency Office, ASA(FM&C). JoAnn’s permanent assignment is a Budget Officer for the Intelligence and Security Command at Ft Belvoir, VA. Bill’s permanent assignment is as a Management Analyst with the Training and Doctrine Command at Ft. Monroe, VA
Washington Chapter ASMC
This page last updated:
July 13, 2014