Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen should never have to worry about running out of fuel and being stranded, due in part of the Defense Logistics Agency Energy Stewardship office.
“If a warfighter needs fuel, he can rest assure… that fuel is going to be there because we have validated processes in place,” said Devon Williams, DLA Energy Managers’ Internal Control Program administrator and lead logistics analyst in the DLA Energy Stewardship office.
“Our processes are constantly being evaluated so we can ensure on time delivery, and that the fuel is going to be available when and where it’s needed,” Williams continued.
The Stewardship office helps assure warfighters that the inventory they need is actually there by serving as the lead to provide oversight and maintenance of DLA and DLA Energy’s financial officer’s certification of auditability. Assurance also comes from maintaining the currency of associated Office of the Secretary of Defense management assertions, as well as all associated business processes.
The office was formed in 2006 when Defense Department officials decided all agencies needed to be able to pass an audit.
“DLA Energy [leadership] was smart enough to develop an office just for that,” said Claudia Waters, DLA Energy Stewardship office director. “The reason we are outside of the supply chain is because if we’re going to assess any of the controls or the processes that people conduct, we can’t be a part of the supply chain.”
The office has two main missions which are directly linked to stewardship. The first mission is implementing, managing and administering the MIC Program throughout DLA Energy. The MIC Program provides a structure to establish, assess, evaluate and report on DLA Energy’s system of internal controls in all operations areas.
“[Internal controls] are policies and procedures that help the organization obtain its goals in order to accomplish the mission,” said Toni Williams, a DLA Energy Stewardship office logistics analyst. “The controls are supposed to be documented.”
There are four basic types of internal controls:
Preventive controls discourage or pre-empt errors or irregularities from occurring in, for example, computer applications checking transactions.
Detective controls detect and correct undesirable events that have occurred, such as managers preapproving purchases to prevent inappropriate expenses.
Directive controls are designed to establish desired outcomes, some examples of which are policy, laws and regulations.
Corrective controls are aimed at restoring the system to its expected state. An example would be having back-up configuration files that can be reloaded to restore the prior state.
Internal controls are set in place and need to be adhered to in order to keep detrimental things from happening, Toni said.
Internal controls help prevent fraud, waste or mismanagement; accidents; unauthorized access to information systems; mission failure; negative publicity and losses from pilferage.
Williams is in regular contact with DLA Energy managers, making sure they are passing on the importance of the MIC Program to their employees.
“The MIC program benefits the organization because it keeps us in compliance with several regulations,” Williams said. “The program benefits DLA because it gives us oversight and ensures all managers are constantly evaluating their processes.”
The Stewardship office’s second mission is ensuring the defense fuel support points and service control points are audit ready in accordance with the Federal Managers’ Financial Intergrity Act of 1982 and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123.
The Audit Readiness Site Visit team goes to DFSPs and service control points and looks at their source documentation, ensuring transactions are processed correctly, timely, and DLA Energy owned inventory is accounted for in accordance with policy, and they’re auditable.
The team assesses key controls within the inventory accountability process area, Waters said.
“We’re testing that they’re using their internal controls, and that every sale and receipt has a source document that is completed correctly and matches all the way through the system,” said Doug Collins, from the DLA Energy Stewardship office.
The first thing the team does when they get on-site is receive a tour and an overview of the facility. They look at the meters, pipes and vehicles to make sure the process of issuing fuel to the warfighter is correct.
“For the DFSPs in general, we can rely on what they’re doing, but we have to make sure everyone is consistent and doing things in the right way,” Waters said. “An auditor is going to go out there and look at this stuff, so we just want to make sure everyone knows their role and responsibility in this process.”
The Stewardship office also participates on the Audit Committee and Stewardship Committee, and sits in on the Business Cycle Team meetings.
“We show representation by giving them guidance, or we take the information they provide and review it for accuracy and completeness,” Toni said.