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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

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Working Capital Fund Symposium – October 2017

October 26, 2017

On Thursday, October 26, the National Academy of Public Administration and Grant Thornton hosted a Working Capital Fund Symposium on WCF implementations in the Department of Labor (DOL).

​The quarterly WCF Symposium aims to develop discussions to adopt a more streamlined WCF approach. Through this collaborative effort, government executives and managers can discuss WCF issues, share lessons learned, and gather best practices. Agency leaders share their insights to implement and sustain Working Capital Funds.

Janice Blake-Green​, Director of the Division of Client Financial Management Services at DOL, provided a comprehensive assessment of her department’s WCF implementation. DOL covers 10 million employers and 125 million workers. Founded in 1913, it is responsible for laws as the Fair Labor Standards Act​, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act​, and the Family and Medical Leave Act​, to name a few.

DOL’s Working Capital Fund was established in 1957. It is available without fiscal year limitation for the operation of a comprehensive program of centralized services in both the national and regional offices. The cost of such services is reimbursed in advance by DOL customer agencies. ​As a result of combined purchasing power, overall costs of services are minimized. The Deputy Secretary of DOL serves as Chair of the WCF Advisory Board. It offers enterprise-wide perspective and advice. The WCF Board may recommend strategic services, goals, and objectives, priorities, investments, funding, and shared service functions​, and the use of WCF reserves. The WCF Committee consists of customers and service providers. It reviews overall policies, procedures, systems, and regulations from an agency perspective to ensure effectiveness and compliance in administering the WCF and developing recommendations for changes. WCF Workgroups are created and managed by the WCF Advisory Board to address specific Departmental initiatives or time-sensitive issues, including performance accountability, cost allocation, and reimbursement ​price stabilization.

The major service category of DOL’s WCF constitutes IT services, support, and infrastructure with $180 million. Far behind, financial management and field services require $50 million and $42 million, respectively. The total WCF budget accounts for $400 million in the fiscal year 2018—a 58 percent increase in five years. Performance measures include financial and administrative services (e.g., good customer service), telecommunications (e.g., modern and secure IT infrastructure), and human resources (e.g., vacancies filled promptly). The overall objectives are consistency, efficiency, and transparency.

In the end, Thomas Herndon, member of the WCF Division in the Office of the Assistant CFO for Budget, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reported on updates in the Working Capital Fund Interagency Working Group​ OMB Max Collaboration Site​. Finally, Jennifer Ayers, the Director of the Office of the Secretary of Financial Management in the Department of Commerce (DOC), evaluated WCF readiness existing assessments.

Following the presentations, Q&A breakout sessions allowed participants to discuss lessons learned.

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