UNCLASSIFIED (U)

6 FAH-5 H-220 

KEY ICASS PLAYERS

(CT:ICASS-103;   10-02-2020)
(Office of Origin:  CGFS/ICASS)

6 FAH-5 H-221  ICASS PLAYERS IN WASHINGTON

6 FAH-5 H-221.1  ICASS Executive Board

6 FAH-5 H-221.1-1  Membership

(CT:ICASS-78;   07-16-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS) Executive Board (IEB) is comprised of senior representatives of various cabinet-level and independent agencies (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-012.1).

b. Criteria for membership on the IEB:

(1)  Subscribe to a level of services equal to at least one percent of the prior year’s final worldwide ICASS invoiced amount;

(2)  Participate in the ICASS Working Group (IWG) on a regular basis, attending a majority of the scheduled meetings; and

(3)  Apply for membership by submitting a written request to the IEB Chair.

c.  To maintain IEB membership in good standing, agencies must:

(1)  Continue to have a presence abroad; and

(2)  Continue to participate regularly in IWG meetings and activities, attending the majority of meetings held in the previous 12 months; and

(3)  Continue to participate regularly in IEB meetings and activities, attending the majority of meetings held in the previous 12 months.

d. Several small agencies that were active members of former FAAS Council were “grandfathered” on to the IEB at the inception of ICASS and they, as well as other members, may retain their membership as long as they maintain their membership in good standing as outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-221.1-1 paragraph c.

e. There are no limits on the overall size of the IEB and its current configuration has an appropriate mix of large and small agencies.  Any new members must meet the criteria outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-221.1-1 paragraph b.  No waivers to these criteria will be granted.

f.  Representatives from customer agencies that do not meet the criteria for membership on the IEB, as well as representatives from all other participating agencies, may attend the quarterly meetings as observers and may submit issues for discussion to the IEB Chair, as appropriate.

6 FAH-5 H-221.1-2  Leadership

(CT:ICASS-59;   03-08-2017)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The IEB is chaired by the Director of the Department of State’s Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation.  The ICASS Service Center (ISC) serves as the secretariat for the IEB.  The board typically meets four times a year and a written record of these meetings is prepared by the ISC and maintained on the ICASS website.

6 FAH-5 H-221.1-3  Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The IEB is the highest-level ICASS policy-making body.  Its role is to set the strategic vision for ICASS, exercise proactive leadership in addressing worldwide administrative service improvements and cost reductions, review and establish policy for ICASS, and serve as the final venue for the review and determination of ICASS disputes (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.1-2 and 6 FAH-5 H-462).

6 FAH-5 H-221.2  ICASS Working Group

6 FAH-5 H-221.2-1  Membership

(C CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The interagency ICASS Working Group (IWG) is comprised of representatives of all offices and agencies that participate in ICASS.

b. Criteria for membership on the IWG:

(1)  Have an ICASS agency billing code that represents an autonomous agency/entity (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.4-1).  For example, some agencies require multiple billing codes for accounting purposes and each code does not represent an autonomous entity.

(2)  Participate on the IWG on a regular basis, attending a majority of the scheduled meetings.

c.  To maintain IWG membership in good standing, agency participants must:

(1)  Continue to have a presence abroad; and

(2)  Continue to participate regularly in IWG meetings and activities, attending the majority of scheduled meetings held in the previous 12 months.

NOTE:  In addition to its voting customer representatives, the Department of State, as the primary service provider, participates in IWG meetings as a non-voting member with representatives from various Department bureaus and offices.

6 FAH-5 H-221.2-2  Leadership

(CT:ICASS-103;   10-02-2020)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The ICASS Working Group (IWG) is headed by a chairperson (who may be a contractor or government employee) selected from among candidates put forward by the member agencies.  Candidates are reviewed by an ad hoc recruitment subcommittee of the IWG, and confirmed by consensus or, in the absence of a consensus, by a two-thirds majority of those voting (as defined in 6 FAH-5 H-016.1), by the full IWG.  Although the chairperson is administratively located in the ICASS Service Center (ISC), the chairperson reports to the IWG.  The chairperson convenes and presides over the monthly IWG meetings and sets the IWG agenda in consultation with IWG members.  The chairperson represents the interests of the IWG, acts on individual IWG member requests for information and policy clarification, and serves as the overall IWG liaison with the ISC. The IWG chairperson is appointed to two-year terms. The IWG must reaffirm by consensus or, in the absence of a consensus, by a two-thirds majority of those voting, the continued service of the IWG Chair for subsequent two year terms.  In the absence of the IWG Chair, the IWG meetings will be temporarily chaired by a member of the IWG on a rotating basis.

6 FAH-5 H-221.2-3  Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The IWG is responsible for keeping abreast of ICASS issues and identifying problems and concerns that may have been forwarded from or require further review by one of the IWG standing committees.  The IWG keeps the ICASS Executive Board (IEB) informed on ICASS issues, resolves issues raised by posts or agencies, makes policy as delegated by the IEB, and presents policy issues for IEB decision/ratification.  The ICASS Service Center (ISC) (see 6 FAH-5 H-221.3) serves as the secretariat for the IWG.

6 FAH-5 H-221.2-4  IWG Committees

(CT:ICASS-103;   10-02-2020)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The three standing IWG committees focus on policy, budget, and awards.  Ad hoc committees may be established to study specific issues and make recommendations to the IWG or IEB.  Committees are comprised of agency IWG representatives, at least one member from the ISC, and may include service provider and ex-officio IWG members.   The Budget and Awards committees have one co-chair elected by the members, and another co-chair from the ISC who is responsible for scheduling and organizing meetings.  The Policy Committee is co-chaired by the IWG Chair and the ISC’s Policy and Coordination Team Lead.

b. Standing Committees:

i)  The Policy Committee focuses on the development of new policies and revisions to existing policies related to ICASS operations for approval by the full IWG and/or IEB.  Once agreement is reached on a new policy, a recommendation for final approval is submitted to the IWG. The Policy Committee is also tasked with ensuring early inter-agency participation and feedback during the development of new Support Elements proposed by the Service Provider.

ii)  The Budget Committee is empowered by the IWG to make final funding decisions on the ICASS budget (such as approving the ICASS targets) and to act on its behalf.  Decisions by the Budget Committee are definitive and are not reviewed by the IWG.

iii) The Awards Committee oversees the ICASS awards program and ensures the criteria reflect the established goals and priorities.  The committee reviews all nominations and makes the final decisions on awardees and the amount of the award.  Final nominations and awards are reported to the IWG and IEB.

c. Ad hoc Committees:

i) The Technology Committee meets on an ad hoc basis to review and provide input on proposed services that incorporate new software and/or technology into the ICASS platform.

ii) The Training Committee meets on an ad hoc basis to evaluate ICASS training methods and explore ways to expand knowledge and training in all facets of the ICASS platform. 

6 FAH-5 H-221.3  ICASS SERVICE CENTER

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The ICASS Service Center (ISC) coordinates worldwide ICASS operations in its role as secretariat to both the ICASS Executive Board (IEB) and the ICASS Working Group (IWG).  It is a permanent, interagency-funded office.  For organizational purposes, it is located in the Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS) in the Department of State.

b. The ISC incorporates safeguards in the coordination of ICASS responsibilities to ensure transparency, multi-agency participation, fair allotment of funds to posts, and integrity of funds control.  These principles are fundamental to ICASS.  The intent is to ensure that local empowerment is not compromised.  The ISC has no direct policy-making responsibilities; these remain with the IEB and IWG.

c.  Responsibilities of ISC staff include the following:

(1)  General management:

(a)  Provide financial services and customer assistance in post ICASS operations;

(b)  Host and support periodic meetings of the IEB, IWG and standing committees;

(c)  Communicate authoritative ICASS policy and guidance to customer agencies and service providers;

(d)  Produce macro-level budget/financial analyses;

(e)  Serve as the "business owner" of the ICASS software system;

(f)   Act as ICASS ombudsman for Washington and the field;

(g)  Assist customers in the connection to and use of the ICASS global database and budget software;

(h)  Assist in planning for and presenting at budget workshops;

(i)   Publish a periodic ICASS newsletter;

(j)   Establish performance measures for the ISC; and

(k)  Respond to Congressional inquiries through appropriate channels.

(2)  Financial Management:

(a)  Receive and review budget submissions and resolve outstanding issues;

(b)  Coordinate budget hearings and forward planning efforts;

(c)  Monitor billing and collection functions, and approve allotment recommendations to posts;

(d)  Manage the dispute resolution process;

(e)  Analyze and report on data contained in the ICASS global database; and

(f)   Monitor ICASS working capital fund accounts and resolve problems.

(3)  Policy Coordination and Training:

(a)  Prepare reporting/informational cables to the field;

(b)  Develop and maintain the ICASS handbook, websites, and electronic discussion groups;

(c)  Prepare and maintain meeting minutes for IEB and IWG meetings;

(d)  Develop, coordinate and deliver ICASS training to customers, service providers, local Councils, IWG members, and their headquarters agency personnel;

(e)  Based upon interactions with posts, identify best practices and/or areas for improvement and communicate them to the field;

(f)   Manage and report on the annual ICASS Customer Satisfaction Survey;

(g)  Develop and maintain a knowledge base (i.e., policies, official minutes, meeting schedules, and member lists, etc.) for IEB and IWG functions; and

(h)  Manage the ICASS awards program.

6 FAH-5 H-222  ICASS PLAYERS AT POST

6 FAH-5 H-222.1  Chief of Mission (COM)

6 FAH-5 H-222.1-1  COM Management Authority

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

Chief of Mission (COM) support of ICASS operations at post is critical to the success of ICASS performance and objectives.  COMs have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that ICASS objectives are met.  COM communication and consensus building (as defined in 6 FAH-5 H-016.1) are key to successful management of ICASS, either directly or through the deputy chief of mission as the ambassador’s ex-officio representative on the ICASS Council.  As Councils take consensus action to reallocate resources to meet customer priorities, shape the administrative workforce and reduce costs, the COM retains ultimate oversight authority and responsibility.  As in other operations, the COM should give Councils latitude to innovate and make resource decisions.  ICASS Council decisions should not be overruled unless there are clearly compelling reasons which are well understood by the community.

6 FAH-5 H-222.1-2  Disputes

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

In the event of a dispute that cannot be resolved by the post Council, the COM will make the determination.  If any party to the dispute disagrees with the COM’s decision, the matter may be appealed through the ICASS Service Center to the ICASS Executive Board in Washington (see 6 FAH-5 H-462).

6 FAH-5 H-222.1-3  NSDD-38  Issues

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The COM is responsible for administering the NSDD-38 process for all agencies at post (see 6 FAH-5 H-351.2).  The NSDD-38 process is the mechanism by which a COM exercises his or her authority to determine the size, composition, and mandate of the U.S. Government executive branch agencies at his or her mission.  The approval of position gains or losses should be closely coordinated with the post management section to ensure that adequate resources for ICASS administrative support costs are planned and obtained.  Post should use ICASS data and other available tools to assess the impact of position gains and losses on ICASS funding and ICASS positions at post.

6 FAH-5 H-222.2  Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM)

(CT:ICASS-71;   03-08-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. Representing the COM, the DCM is a non-voting member of the ICASS Council and attends all ICASS meetings.  The DCM works to ensure that ICASS performance, budgets, and priorities are compatible with the mission performance plan objectives of the U.S. Government.  The presence of the DCM on the Council represents post management’s commitment to ICASS and its role as a change agent in streamlining administrative operations and reducing costs.  The DCM must keep the ambassador informed on ICASS matters and ensure that the Annual Performance Assessment of services is prepared and submitted to the COM by June 1 (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.3-4).

b. Recognizing the possible limitations imposed by minimal staffing and unique conditions that prevail at some of our smallest posts, the DCM may participate, on an exception basis, as the State representative on the Council, contingent upon the approval of the Washington IWG.  Requests for an exception are to be submitted to the ICASS Service Center (ISC) and include a justification describing the “unique circumstances” supporting the request.

6 FAH-5 H-222.3  Post ICASS Council

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The post ICASS Council is key to making ICASS work at post.  The Council exercises oversight and leadership in its installation of the ICASS infrastructure and the administration of the ICASS system.  As with all mission operations, the activities of the ICASS Council fall under the authority of the COM (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.1).

6 FAH-5 H-222.3-1  Membership

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. Composed of certain cabinet level and/or independent agencies’ senior representatives at post, the ICASS Council membership mirrors that of the IEB (see 6 FAH-5 H-221.1).  The intent is to have the highest level of representation from each participating agency.

b. Representation on the Council as a voting member is determined by meeting the following criteria:

(1)  Be the representative of a cabinet level and/or independent organizational entity at post;

(a)  The cabinet level and/or independent agency must be represented on the IEB (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-012.1);

(b)  The eligible cabinet level and/or independent agency is entitled to only one seat on the Council.  At posts where several officers represent entities within the same cabinet-level department or independent agency, those officers will select one Council representative for their department or agency; and

(c)  A non-resident agency with ongoing support requirements (see 6 FAH-5 H-393.1) is entitled to representation on the ICASS Council if the agency is represented on the IEB.  A non-resident agency with only occasional requirements for post ICASS services (see 6 FAH-5 H-393.2) would not have a seat on the ICASS Council.

(2)  Be a signatory to the standard ICASS memorandum of understanding (MOU); and

(3)  Participate on the ICASS Council on a regular basis, attending a majority of the meetings held in the previous 12 months.

c.  Agencies at constituent posts are entitled to ICASS Council membership if they are not represented at the embassy and meet the criteria outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-222.3-1 paragraph b.  ICASS Councils should ensure that means are developed to consider the interests of constituent posts (e.g., consulates or multi-missions) in the formulation of Council decisions.  This may require adding one non-voting member from constituent posts to raise issues and report back on Council proceedings.  For more details on dealing with constituent posts, see 6 FAH-5 H-314.7.

d. All heads of U.S. Government ICASS service-provider operations, including Alternative Service Providers (ASPs), participate on the ICASS Council as non-voting members.  These individuals should attend all Council meetings.

e. Heads of U.S. Government ASP operations cannot sit as a voting member for discussion of the services they provide.  In such cases, another representative of the ASP agency may be designated to vote on the service issue.

f.  Locally employed (LE) staff may attend and participate in Council meetings on an ad hoc basis at the discretion of the ICASS Council Chair.

g. Agencies that do not have direct representation on the Council may attend Council meetings as observers and may submit issues for discussion to the Council Chair, as appropriate.

h. Refer any questions concerning Council representation to the ICASS Service Center (ISC).

6 FAH-5 H-222.3-2  Leadership

(CT:ICASS-71;   03-08-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The ICASS Council is led by a chairperson elected annually from among participating agencies.  To cover a temporary gap, the Council may appoint or elect an acting chair from its membership.  The chair is responsible for facilitating the meetings, for ensuring that strategic objectives are set for the Council, and for ensuring that a service vision is developed.

b. The chair's duties include agenda setting, convening of regular Council meetings (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-222.3, Schedule of Meetings), and ensuring that minutes of proceedings are maintained.  The chair should strive for a team approach with the Council and the service provider in addressing issues and ensure the views of agencies or offices with no presence on the Council are represented.  The chair follows-up on recommendations, decisions and appeals (see 6 FAH-5 H-016.1, Decision-Making in ICASS), and may task the service provider with specific projects or analysis.

c.  The chair has responsibility for ensuring the completion of the Annual Performance Assessment of ICASS services, in collaboration with the service provider, and for submitting a written report through the DCM to the COM by June 1 (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.3-4).

6 FAH-5 H-222.3-3  Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:ICASS-78;   07-16-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The ICASS Council:

(1)  Provides proactive leadership with particular focus on the broad issues of resources and performance;

(2)  Acts as an 'agent of change' by reshaping the workforce, streamlining systems, reducing costs, improving services, and, in general, seeking innovative and better ways of conducting business;

(3)  Selects the service provider.  Where it is beneficial to contract out for services, ICASS councils should designate customer agency representatives to participate on the technical review panel;

(4)  Determines services to be provided;

(5)  Ratifies the budget as recommended by the post Budget Committee;

(6)  Reviews and approves all new ICASS positions and revalidates new position requirements on an annual basis.

(7)  Monitors service performance as it relates to the uniform service standards and makes recommendations to the Service Provider on appropriate adjustments to meet customer requirements.  The Council is not involved in day-to-day operations of the service provider, but concentrates on overall performance against agreed standards.  Management counselors, executive officers, etc., perform their traditional roles as heads of service provider operations;

(8)  Collaborates with the service provider on an annual written assessment of ICASS services at post, including the quality and responsiveness of the services based on management information from the annual ICASS customer satisfaction survey, MyServices dashboard, prior-year cost savings initiatives and local sources of input/feedback (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.3-4 Annual Performance Assessment);

(9)  Reviews and ratifies decisions made by the post ICASS Budget Committee (BC) and resolves disputes between participating agencies and service providers, or refers disputes to the COM for resolution (see 6 FAH-5 H-460, Disputes).  The chief of mission, post Council, or any participating agency (through its headquarters office) may appeal issues not resolvable at post to the IEB; and

b. The ICASS Council does not have the authority to establish priorities and adjust service in the security area.  The RSO manages the post security program in accordance with standards, policies and procedures that the Overseas Security Policy Board (OSPB) establishes (see 12 FAM 022) in Washington, D.C.  OSPB security standards provide the minimum guard requirements in relation to threat levels, and post's ICASS Council cannot change security standards at post (see 6 FAH-5 H-224.4).  Members of the ICASS Council should review regional security office (RSO) ICASS services on an annual basis.  Designated customer representatives should also participate in the technical evaluation process for selecting a local guard contractor.

c.  ICASS Councils meet periodically to focus on broad management issues (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-222.3, Schedule of Meetings).  Minutes of meetings are prepared, cleared with all participants, and maintained as a permanent record for at least three years after the fiscal year in question.  Documentation of all Council decisions and customer agency or service provider commitments (e.g., approval of new positions, approval of wage increases, and purchase of new equipment/vehicles, etc.) is essential, especially if there are subsequent disagreements.

6 FAH-5 H-222.3-4  Annual Performance Assessment

(CT:ICASS-78;   07-16-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. As part of the accountability and feedback process, the council chairperson, (in collaboration with the council members) and the senior management officer or ASP service provider (in collaboration with service provider staff) will prepare an “Annual Performance Assessment.”  The final report should be based on a mutual understanding of roles and responsibilities and mission priorities.

b. The quality of the service provision and customer satisfaction is the responsibility of both parties.  The assessment should focus on improving the quality and reducing, where possible, the cost of administrative support operations.  Additionally, the assessment should highlight what is and is not working well at post, establish an action plan for improvement based on the results of the customer satisfaction survey, MyServices, and other sources.  Each year, the assessment is updated to evaluate the success of actions taken.

c.  The assessment report is prepared by the ICASS Council Chair and the senior management officer and sent through the DCM to the COM by June 1.

d. Annual Performance Assessments must address:

(1)  The results of the ICASS Customer Satisfaction Survey and identify steps the post will take to address low scores and/or problem areas.  Describe what post is doing well, areas for improvement, and how post plans to communicate these results to the ICASS community.  Post should establish a means to track improvements (e.g., results on future customer satisfaction surveys, ad hoc surveys, etc.).

(2)  MyServices dashboard scores that exceed or fail to meet the Uniform Service Standards.  Describe what post is doing well, what steps will be taken to address problem areas, and how post plans to communicate these results to the ICASS community.

(3)  Council and Budget Committee engagement and adherence to the ICASS calendar for required meetings and outcomes.

(4)  Cost savings initiatives from the previous year.  Assess the results of these initiatives (e.g., were they implemented and did they result in cost savings).

e. Certification:  It is the ICASS Council Chair's responsibility to certify that the annual performance assessment was completed by June 1 (send e-mail to: icassservicecenter@state.gov; Subject Line: (Post Name) - Certification of Annual Performance Assessment).  If there are post specific issues and/or concerns that should be brought to the attention of the Washington IWG, posts are encouraged to include these in the e-mail.  (A sample annual performance assessment is found in 6 FAH 5 Exhibit 222.3-4 and additional examples are available on the ICASS website.)

6 FAH-5 H-222.4  Post ICASS Budget Committee

6 FAH-5 H-222.4-1  Membership

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The Budget Committee (BC) is composed of one representative from each participating autonomous organization at post or their designee (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.4-1 paragraph c).  LE staff are allowed to be members and fully participate.

b. Representation on the committee as a voting member is determined by meeting the following criteria:

(1)  Represent an autonomous organizational entity at post with a separate ICASS agency billing code (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.4-1 paragraph c);

(2)  Be a signatory to the standard ICASS memorandum of understanding (MOU); and

(3)  Participate on the BC on a regular basis, attending a majority of the meetings held each year.

c.  There are several factors that determine what constitutes an autonomous organization in ICASS that would translate into a seat on the BC.  A separate ICASS agency billing code is not automatically an entitlement to a seat on the BC.  Post must consider the reporting chain of command and funding responsibilities.  For example:

(1)  The Department of Agriculture (USDA) may have Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) and Agriculture and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) offices at a post.  The FAS Attaché does not report to the APHIS Director, or vice-versa.  Each receives a separate invoice and reports directly back to their Headquarters (HQ) unit in Washington, D.C. These two USDA units are autonomous and will each have a representative on the BC.

(2)  US Agency for International Development (USAID), for appropriation tracking purposes, establishes several program billing codes to ensure accurate tracking of program costs. USAID receives an invoice for each code, however, this does not entitle them to have a representative on the BC for each code.  The reporting chain for those programs is within the post through the USAID Mission Director.  In this case, USAID has one representative on the BC.

(3)  The Department of State has a number of entities that receive a separate invoice and that are responsible for signing their respective workload counts and annual invoices (e.g., Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), Consular Affairs (CA), Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), Diplomatic Security (DS), and Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN)).  Those entities that receive a separate invoice are eligible to sit on the post BC; all other 19XX-State entities are covered by the State representative on the BC.

(4)  The Department of Defense (DoD) has a wide range of overseas activities, most of which are independent of each other and each receives a separate ICASS invoice.  With few exceptions (e.g., military scholars, entities not under COM authority), each of these entities is eligible to sit on the post BC.  This determination should not be confused with the requirement to identify a “Senior Defense Official” (SDO) who serves as the single point of contact on all DoD matters.  The SDO has no budgetary or program oversight for most of the other DoD entities at post.

d. All participating agencies have an equal say regardless of their staffing levels or monetary contributions.  A non-resident agency with ongoing support requirements (see 6 FAH-5 H-393.1) is entitled to representation on the BC.  A non-resident agency with only occasional requirements for post ICASS services (see 6 FAH-5 H-393.2) would not have a seat on the ICASS BC.

e. Agencies at constituent posts are entitled to BC membership if they are not represented at the embassy.  The BC should ensure that means are developed to consider the interests of constituent posts (e.g., consulates and multi-missions).  This may require adding a non-voting member from constituent posts to raise issues and report back on BC proceedings (see 6 FAH-5 H-314.7, Location Budgeting for Constituent Posts).

f.  The post Financial Management Officer (FMO) participates on the BC as a non-voting member and provides the chair and the management officer with information necessary for efficient and effective ICASS operations of the mission.

g. At some small posts, membership in the ICASS Council and the BC may be identical.

h. Refer any questions concerning BC representation to the ICASS Service Center (ISC).

6 FAH-5 H-222.4-2  Leadership

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The ICASS BC is led by a chairperson elected annually from among participating agencies.  The chair’s duties include agenda setting, convening of required meetings (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-222.3), and ensuring that minutes of proceedings are maintained.  The Chair follows-up on recommendations, decisions and appeals regarding workload counts and invoices.  The BC Chair may task the service provider with specific projects or analyses.

b. Recognizing the possible limitations imposed by minimal staffing and unique conditions that prevail at some posts, the chair of the post BC may, on an exception basis, be filled by an ICASS service provider (e.g., State FMO).  This exception must be justified and submitted to the Washington ICASS Working Group Policy Committee for approval.

6 FAH-5 H-222.4-3  Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The ICASS Budget Committee:

(1)  Oversees the post ICASS budget process and conducts a detailed review of the budget, giving consideration to service provider management and internal controls;

(2)  Evaluates cost and staffing alternatives (e.g., outsourcing, regionalization, etc.) as necessary.

(3)  Recommends ratification of the budget to the Council;

(4)  Reviews and approves workload count modification requests;

(5)  Establishes and documents the post policy on modifications to workload counts consistent with the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-332.1 and 6 FAH-5 H-340.  Reviews individual agency requests for modifications that do not fall within the established policy;

(6)  Approves the budgeting methodology (i.e., Lite versus Standard, consistent with the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-320) and the use of sub-cost centers;

(7)  Addresses individual agency special requests that have a budgetary impact;

(8)  Reviews and approves the ICASS staff time allocations; and

(9)  Refers unresolved issues to the post ICASS Council (see 6 FAH-5 H-460, Disputes).

NOTE:  Each agency is responsible for reviewing and approving its workload counts and invoices.

b. The BC meets periodically to focus on budget and service issues (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-222.3).  Minutes of meetings are prepared, cleared with all participants, and maintained as a permanent record for at least three years after the fiscal year in question.  Documentation of all BC decisions and recommendations (e.g., new positions, wage increases, purchase of new equipment/vehicles, commitments to change or correct workload counts, etc.) is essential, especially if there are subsequent disagreements.

6 FAH-5 H-222.5  Post ICASS Working Groups

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. The ICASS Council or Budget Committee may request the establishment of a post working group to address particular issues that require in-depth research.

b. While some BCs or Councils may wish to form standing working groups, it is recommended that working groups be formed as the need arises, and that they receive a specific charge or tasking from the BC or Council -- a deliverable in the form of a report with options and/or recommendations -- and a deadline to report back to the Council.

c.  Members of working groups should include representatives from service provider sections and customer agencies, and include LE Staff so that their expertise and institutional knowledge may be brought to bear on the issue at hand.

6 FAH-5 H-222. 6  The Service Provider

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

Service providers are U.S. Government agencies selected by the post ICASS Council to provide administrative support services.  The U.S. Government service provider may contract with a vendor to provide some services.

6 FAH-5 H-222.6-1  Roles and Responsibilities

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. Participate on the Council:  Heads of ICASS service provider operations (for example, State management officer, RSO, or USAID EXO) participate on the ICASS Council as non-voting members.  In this role they manage service delivery and streamline systems, reduce costs, improve services, and, in general, seek innovative and better ways of conducting business.

NOTE:  Heads of U.S. Government ASP operations may be designated as the voting Council representative for their agency but cannot sit as the voting member for discussion of those services they provide (see 6 FAH-5 H-222.3-1 paragraph d).  In such cases, another representative of the ASP may be designated to vote on the service issue.

b. Participate on the Budget Committee:  The Financial Management Officer participates on the ICASS BC as a non-voting member and attends all post BC meetings.  The FMO’s primary responsibility is to provide the customer agencies and service providers with information necessary for efficient and effective ICASS operations of the mission.  The service provider also advises customer agencies on procedures for bringing any unresolved disputes to the BC for further action (see 6 FAH-5 H-462).

c.  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):  Prepare the MOU, including the subscription of services agreement, in coordination with the ICASS Council and Budget Committee (see 6 FAH-5 H-210, Basic ICASS Documents).

d. Performance standards:  Establish a process for reviewing post performance against the uniform service standards (USS).

e. Budget formulation:   Develop budget and staffing requirements and present to the BC for review and approval. Keep the BC informed of significant changes to the budget plan during the budget execution process.

f.  Workload counts:  Gather workload counts and provide these to customer agencies annually for their review and approval.

g. Major acquisitions:  Advise and coordinate with the BC on personnel or acquisition decisions having a major impact on ICASS costs.

h. ICASS report analysis:  Conduct and provide brief analyses of ICASS cost distribution reports.

6 FAH-5 H-222.6-2  Non-State Service Provider

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The authority of the local ICASS Council to select service providers based on quality and cost of service is key to local empowerment.  The element of competition is critical in this customer-driven system to reduce costs and improve service.  ICASS Councils are encouraged to take a hard look at existing services and consider the selection of other agencies that may be in a cost-effective position to provide quality service, and should consider outsourcing.

6 FAH-5 H-222.6-3  Competition Among U.S. Government Service Providers

(CT:ICASS-59;   03-08-2017)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. This section is most relevant to those posts where there is a reasonable expectation that multiple U.S. Government agencies will compete to be service providers.  For those posts where it is unlikely that competition will arise among potential U.S. Government service providers, there is no need to draft additional procedures.  Should circumstances change and more than one U.S. Government agency has the potential capability and interest in providing administrative support services, post can then start preparing post-specific procedures.

b. Those posts that have multiple U.S. Government agencies that could provide administrative support services should establish procedures for evaluating service-provider proposals as soon as an agency signals its intention to compete with the current service provider.  The objective of these procedures should be to ensure an equitable and transparent competition between competing service providers.  Evaluation criteria for determining a successful bidder should be established at the onset of the competition.  This subchapter provides guidelines for establishing procedures and a recommended format for submitting proposals.  The ICASS Council may also refer to 48 CFR 15.100 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), as a reference for source-selection processes and techniques.  If the ICASS Council is entertaining bids from commercial firms, it must do so in accordance with both the FAR and the proposed service-provider agency’s own acquisition regulation.  The Council must ensure that whoever is managing that process possesses a Federal contracting warrant equal to, or greater than, the potential award, or arranges for assistance from a contracting officer with a warrant equal to the award.

c.  The ICASS program is under COM authority and the COM has a clear interest in decisions made about the provision of ICASS services.  The DCM is the COM’s representative to the ICASS system.  At the onset of a formal service competition, the Council and DCM should confer on how best to involve the DCM in the evaluation process.  This could include a role on an evaluation board, if the Council decides to create one for the review of competing proposals.

d. To avoid conflicts of interest, senior service-provider officials for the competing service-provider agencies should be excluded from committees established to score proposals or make recommendations to the ICASS Council.  However, other officials from the competing agencies may participate in the evaluation process.  These officials may consult with their respective senior service providers, as needed, prior to meetings of the committee.

e. Since one of the five principles of the ICASS system is transparency (see 6 FAH-5 H-013.3), information about the resources and practices the current service provider uses to provide a particular service are available to all customer agencies through the ICASS budget and service standards.  An agency submitting a proposal to be a prospective service provider should provide to the ICASS Council the same information on costs, standards, internal controls, ability to meet the national security requirements of all customers, and capacity to deliver service.  All aspects of a competing U.S. Government service provider’s proposal must be in accordance with the provisions of 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-222.6-3, Competition among US Government Service Providers.

6 FAH-5 H-222.6-4  Alternate Service Provider (ASP) Procedures

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

Other agencies offering to provide ICASS services will cost out their proposals for ICASS Council review in any manner acceptable to the Council.  If approved as the service provider, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) would be negotiated with the Council. Charges would then be assessed for all ICASS agencies receiving the service.  Alternate service provider agencies may issue more explicit guidance for field offices contemplating performance as an ICASS service provider.

6 FAH-5 H-222.6-5  Dual-Service Providers

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

In some circumstances, the ICASS Council may determine that the use of dual-service providers for the same service is the most effective means of obtaining the services required, considering span of control, geographical factors, and agency excess capacity.  In such a case, the same service will be provided by both agencies to ensure equitable service provision to all customers.  Where an agency wishes to offer services on a limited basis, it will advise the Council accordingly.  However, the agency may not pre-select agencies to which it wishes to provide services, but will instead offer the services to the Council, indicating limitations to its capacity.  The ICASS Council will then determine to whom the services will be provided.

6 FAH-5 H-223  KEY ICASS PLAYERS AT A REGIONAL LEVEL

6 FAH-5 H-223.1  Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS)

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS) provides a full range of financial services (i.e., accounting, disbursing, cashiering, and payroll) in accordance with established standards.  CGFS provides financial information to posts for review by the financial management office and other interested parties.

6 FAH-5 H-223.2  Regional Medical Officers (RMOs)

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. Medical services are provided at post by regional medical officers (physicians), health practitioners and/or physician assistants, regional psychiatrists, and regional medical technologists.  Most medical positions abroad have regional responsibilities providing services to the home post and other posts in the region on a visiting basis.

b. The cost of maintaining medical personnel at the sponsoring post is built into the assigned post’s ICASS budget.  Costs of maintaining medical unit facilities (including supplies and equipment) and any locally hired health unit personnel are also included in the post ICASS budget and are managed like other administrative support services.  Funding for regional travel costs for all regional medical positions is provided by the Office of Medical Services (MED) directly to the post medical unit.

c.  The scope of the medical program abroad is defined in 16 FAM.

6 FAH-5 H-223.3  Regional Security Officers (RSOs)

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. Regional security officers (RSOs) are responsible for establishing and managing post's security program and report to the chief of mission.  RSOs are ICASS service providers, but because of their broad program responsibilities, their positions and associated costs are funded by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), not ICASS.  The RSO serves as a non-voting member of the ICASS Council and Budget Committee and ensures that DS issues and concerns are properly addressed, while maintaining open lines of communication with all customer agencies.  The RSO collaborates with the financial management officer (FMO) and DS to develop post's ICASS security budget.

b. The RSO manages the post security program in accordance with standards, policies and procedures the Overseas Security Policy Board (OSPB) approves (see 6 FAH-5 H-224.4).  These standards provide threat-level and minimum guard requirements.  Should changes to the local guard program and security staffing appear necessary, the RSO coordinates the requirements with DS.

c.  When adjustments (increases/decreases) to funding or positions are required, RSOs should brief the post Emergency Action Committee (EAC) to explain the impact of these changes and seek EAC concurrence with the proposed action plan.  The RSO must then submit the request to DS for final approval.  If DS agrees to the proposed changes, the RSO must coordinate with the FMO and brief the post ICASS BC and Council on the budgetary impact.  Due to the overriding security concerns that drive such changes to the security budget, this is a informational briefing and the BC and Council are not asked to approve these changes.

6 FAH-5 H-223.4  Other Regional Service Providers

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

Regional service providers exist at a number of large posts around the world to provide support to smaller posts or expertise in technical services.  Regional providers generally enroll in ICASS services at their host post.

6 FAH-5 H-224  COUNCIL AND BUDGET COMMITTEE RELATIONSHIPS WITH PROVIDERS

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)

6 FAH-5 H-224.1  Team Approach

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The ICASS Council and BC are members of the post management team; it is useful to address separately how they interact with the service provider.  Primarily, the ICASS Council is empowered to pursue better ways of doing business at post. Specific authorities of the Council are outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-222.3-3; specific authorities of the BC are outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-222.4-3.  Service providers will often be the largest customer for ICASS services and thus the largest beneficiary of reduced costs and improved service.  The Council, BC and service providers together share the responsibility and accountability for achieving the most cost-efficient, streamlined and quality administrative services at post.

6 FAH-5 H-224.2  Council Empowerment

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. Customer agencies, as stakeholders with a voice in the management of shared administrative services, are empowered collectively to seek innovative ways to reduce costs and improve services.  To these ends, the ICASS Council may streamline administrative processes or reshape the administrative workforce.  Decisions might include downsizing, de-layering, and flattening of the staff organization; use of qualified local hire specialists in lieu of higher-cost U.S.-based staff; and alternative agency or contract-service providers.  The ICASS Councils may also consider use of the services of U.S. embassies and agencies in other countries where costs are lower.

b. These decisions should be formed in close consultation with the service providers, and in light of management or cost studies developed by or at the request of the ICASS Council.  Rather than focus on the cost of all services at one time, ICASS Councils may wish to consider cost and staffing reviews which examine an individual cost center.  To facilitate this process, the service provider will be expected to provide the ICASS Council with financial breakdowns, staffing patterns, and operational studies, as requested.

c.  Since the decisions are forged in consensus or reflect the sense of a large majority of the customer community, they should be implemented expeditiously except where there are clearly compelling reasons, well understood by the post community.

6 FAH-5 H-224.3  Avoid Micromanagement

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. ICASS Councils are empowered as change agents, and in collaboration with the service providers, are expected to push administrative quality, competitiveness, and cost efficiencies to the maximum extent feasible for the benefit of all customers in the mission.

b. However, Councils should avoid micromanagement of service-provider activities.  The ICASS Council is not intended to serve as supervisor of the administrative service provider in the day-to-day details of operations.  The Council chairperson and ultimately the chief of mission have a particular responsibility to ensure that ICASS Council authorities, empowerment and accountability do not divert the Council from its principal focus, i.e., broad management issues.

c.  Performance standards are critical to the avoidance of micromanagement by the Council.  Although there should be continuous scrutiny of cost alternatives, standards are key to establishing clear communication and collaboration between the ICASS Council and the service provider as an effective management team.

d. Also, in exercising ICASS Council authorities to reshape the workforce, it is important to note that the service provider alone retains authority to establish salary and other hiring qualifications of authorized positions.  ICASS Councils do not make individual assignments either of career or local-hire staff.  Internal controls and regulations of the service provider and customer agencies apply in the administration of cost centers.

6 FAH-5 H-224.4  Council Oversight of Local Guard Program

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

Unlike all other ICASS cost centers, the ICASS Council does not have the authority to establish priorities and adjust service in the security area.  The RSO manages post's security program in accordance with standards, policies, and procedures the Overseas Security policy Board (OSPB) established in Washington, D.C.  The OSPB security standards provide the minimum guard requirements in relation to threat levels , and the ICASS Council cannot change security standards at post.  However, the Council may discuss customer concerns regarding the performance of the local guard force with the RSO.  The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) must approve any changes in local guard program staffing.  A representative of the ICASS Council may participate on a technical evaluation panel (TEP) which leads to the selection of a new local guard contractor.  The TEP may convene at post or in Washington, D.C.

6 FAH-5 H-224.5  Working with Post Housing Board

(CT:ICASS-30;   12-21-2012)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The ICASS Council does not supersede existing administrative authorities as exercised by the post interagency housing board (IAHB) under 15 FAM 200.

6 FAH-5 H-225 THROUGH h-229  UNASSIGNED


 

6 FAH-5 EXHIBIT H-222.3  
SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS

(CT:ICASS-71;   03-08-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

ANNUAL POST ICASS COUNCIL AND BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING SCHEDULE

Below is the list of required meetings for post ICASS Councils (IC) and Budget Committees (BC).  This calendar should be used as a planning guide for key ICASS meetings during the year.  Post may need to schedule additional meetings based on post-specific requirements.  Comments or questions should be sent to the ISC at ICASSSERVICECENTER@State.gov.

When

      Purpose of Meeting

Who Attends

June

1.   May 1st workload counts and time allocations distributed and validated.  Updated MOU’s/subscription of service matrix distributed.

Budget Committee

September

2.   Council and Budget Committee orientation.

ICASS Council and

Budget Committee

October-

November

3.   “Initial Budget” presented, discussed and approved.

Budget Committee

November

4.   Shareholders Meeting.  “Initial Budget” ratified.

ICASS Council

January-

March

5.   Modification policy and sub-cost center review.

Budget Committee

March-May

6.   Annual Performance Assessment:  Joint review of services; submission of report to COM.

ICASS Council

April

7.   “Final Budget” presented, discussed, and approved.

Budget Committee

April-May

8.   “Final Budget” ratified.  Status of ICASS budget and setting of next year requirements.

ICASS Council


 

6 FAH-5 EXHIBIT H-222.3-4  
SAMPLE ANNUAL PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

(CT:ICASS-71;   03-08-2018)


U.S. Department of State seal

 

UNCLASSIFIED                                                  May 25, 20XX

 

INFORMATION Memorandum

 

 

TO:                   Ambassador Janet Smith

THROUGH:         DCM John Jones

FROM:               MO Steve Lipet and ICASS Chair Sally Parker

SUBJECT:           Annual Performance Assessment of ICASS Services

 

BACKGROUND

Per ICASS Policy, the Management team and ICASS Council met to discuss ICASS services, identify priorities, and formulate a way ahead to meet customer requirements and increase satisfaction levels.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS/ACTIONS

In reviewing the Post ICASS Survey scores for 2011, the ICASS Council and Management Section were mostly pleased with the survey scores.  Our Overall ICASS Services score of 3.87 shows a slight increase from last year’s score of 3.71.  The goal of the MO/ICASS team is to achieve a minimum of 4.0 out of 5.0 in every cost center which would indicate that ICASS service/expectations are being met.  Post had one score less than 3.0, 8 scores less than 4.0, and 18 scores 4.0 or above.  Based on individual scores and comments, we agreed the areas we need to focus our attention on are Cashiering and Vouchering Services.  Of particular note were the high scores and positive comments for the Motor Pool, Procurement, and U.S. Government-Owned/Long-Term Lease Building Operations.

Cashiering:  The overall Cashier Services score was 2.85; however, the predominant complaint in the comments noted that the hours the cashier was available were inadequate.  It was noted that the primary cashier was on extended sick leave for three months which had an effect on window hours.  MO agreed it would probably be better to have a secondary cashier as well as another backup trained to provide the service and agreed to schedule training to accommodate this.  It was also noted that MO decreased cashier hours by 20 percent from the previous year because of the availability of ATMs within the city and the Department of State's policy initiative to wherever possible have a cashless embassy.  Nevertheless, the reduced hours and perceived inconvenience of using ATMs affected overall satisfaction of the service.  MO and ICASS council members agreed they need to explain the cost benefit of reducing the window hours and review the new operating procedures next year, as people adjust to the new hours and use of ATMs. One possibility for cost that the MO agreed to research is installing an ATM in the embassy.  The MO will coordinate with our bank to determine if we would meet their minimum requirements and agreed to have a proposal distributed to ICASS Council members before the next ICASS meeting.

Vouchering Services:  The overall Vouchering Service score was 3.17.  The predominant complaint cited is the slow response time to assistance in processing vouchers and answering requests for assistance.  The MO agreed to review vouchering processing by the FMO.  The FMO noted that the backlog of unprocessed vouchers has not been decreasing as fast as he’d like due to an unanticipated vacancy by their most senior voucher examiner.  The group agreed that it might be prudent to explore the possibility of outsourcing the backlog to a Post Support Unit [PSU] thus reducing the pressure and frustration within the FMO office.  The ICASS Chair proffered that when considering use of a PSU management could also explore the feasibility of abolishing the vacant voucher examiner position.

OTHER COMMENTS

The MO made the observation that while post appears to be meeting most ICASS service standards, there is still a gap between the Uniform Service Standard (USS) and the “expectation” of the customer.  The MO and ICASS Council agreed it would be beneficial to begin a campaign to educate post personnel on just how well the ICASS platform is doing in meeting the USS.  The MO agreed to canvass eServices for metrics that can be posted within each cost center.  In addition, the MO will talk with the DCM about discussing the results of the ICASS survey at the next Embassy Town Hall and highlight some of these new initiatives.  Finally, the ICASS Chair agreed to coordinate with the MO in identifying “star performers” and develop a recognition plan for the next Embassy Awards Ceremony.


 

6 FAH-5 EXHIBIT H-222.6-3  
COMPETITION AMONG U.S. GOVERNMENT SERVICE PROVIDERS

(CT:ICASS-87;   10-02-2018)

o      Prospective service provider (PSP) submits Expression of Interest to ICASS Council.

o      Council Chair and competing parties meet to review targeted cost center(s) and impact on the business process(es).

o      PSP submits Letter of Intent to Council which includes:

·         service(s) it proposes to provide;

·         legal/regulatory authority to provide the service(s);

·         legal/regulatory authority to collect and retain reimbursement from other agencies; and

·         a statement of capacity and intent to offer service(s) to all agencies at post.

o      Council decides on type of competition. (Ref. 2(a))

o      Council establishes Technical Review Board (TRB), if technical proposal is required.

o      Council obtains chief of mission (COM) approval for proposals creating dual service providers.

o      Current service provider (CSP) prepares written response to Letter of Intent which includes:

·         its willingness to compete and continue services to agencies other than itself, if ICASS Council elects to stay with CSP;

·         steps to terminate the service(s) if the Council selects another provider;

·         identification of proposed service(s) which—in whole or part—require Department of State action or authority; and

·         an impact statement on inefficiencies created by change in service provider.

o      Technical Proposal(s), if required, are submitted for TRB review and include:

·         memorandum of understanding (MOU) using post’s existing ICASS MOU as model;

·         draft service standards;

·         resource memorandum; and

·         transition plan.

o      TRB evaluates Technical Proposal(s) for:

·         all required elements;

·         PSP capacity to provide services at a minimum according to current post standards;

·         PSP limitation of time, function, or capacity that might be of concern to ICASS Council;

·         whether PSP will provide only partial services and, if so, who will provide other services;

·         whether hearings are required with competing providers; and

·         approving and ranking.

o      Council requests Cost Proposal(s).

o      Council evaluates and selects service provider based on Technical and Cost Proposals and obtains COM approval.

o      If new service provider, ICASS Council will commence discussion of hand-over procedures with current and future service providers.

UNCLASSIFIED (U)