6 FAH-5 H-500
housing pool management
6 FAH-5 H-510
Furniture and Appliance Pools
(Office of Origin: CGFS/ICASS)
6 FAH-5 H-511 General
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. Pooled furniture programs can achieve economies of scale and greatly reduce the time and effort required to oversee and manage the furniture/furnishings aspect of post housing programs. All posts with a consolidated furniture and appliance pool must establish a post policy that is approved by all participating agencies (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-511). This chapter provides interagency-approved guidance, policy, and procedures for this purpose. A primary goal of the post policy is to ensure that residential furniture, furnishings, appliances, and equipment (FFA&E) are equitably provided to all subscribing agencies in accordance with the policies outlined in this sub-chapter.
b. A sample post furniture and appliance pool (FAP) policy is shown in 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-511 of this chapter. Sample worksheets related to furniture pool buy-ins and annual assessment calculations are available on the ICASS website. These sample documents should be used as templates for location-specific versions that reflect the unique situation at post.
6 FAH-5 H-512 Post Housing Pools
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. The Department of State, as single real property manager (SRPM), manages and operates overseas housing programs to ensure the acquisition and retention of the most cost effective portfolio of residential properties that meet established safety and security requirements. Housing assignments are made by the post Interagency Housing Board (IAHB) based on position grade, family size, availability of housing units and personal preferences (see 15 FAM 212.2-2(C), Interagency Housing Board Responsibilities, 15 FAM 234, and 15 FAM 237).
b. At furnished posts, the service provider is responsible for managing the housing program cost effectively. To achieve that goal, beginning in FY15 the service provider will offer customer agencies only furnished government-leased/owned housing. As agency employees rotate in/out of post starting in FY15, the agency will need to decide if it will participate in the furnished housing pool program. If an agency chooses not to participate, the newly-arriving employee will acquire housing under the living quarters allowance (LQA) or overseas housing allowance (OHA) programs, if it is a viable option at that post. Post's policy must identify the limited support services (see 6 FAH-5 H-341.7-8) it can provide to assist these employees in locating housing (see paragraph c):
(1) Agencies that do not participate in the post furnished housing pool program will not be supported by the services covered by the post furniture and appliance pool program (see 6 FAH-5 H-341.8); these employees will need to locate housing through the LQA/OHA programs. While occupying LQA housing and waiting for household effects (HHE) to arrive, the employee may rent furniture locally (see Department of State Standardized Regulations Section 131.2) or time the start date of the LQA/OHA lease to allow for use of the Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance (TQSA), if available, funded by the employee’s agency. Employees on OHA must consult their agency’s regulations for what is covered by that program; and
(2) A post may elect to provide a separate appliances-only pool for those residential units that are not in the FAP program (e.g., for those acquired under LQA or OHA) if it can be done cost effectively. In such cases, post may need to separate the costs for the FAP and the AP; see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 paragraph c(1) for guidance on budgeting for an AP.
c. At some posts where safety and security issues significantly impact housing availability (i.e., high crime and/or high threat posts) and LQA/OHA is not an option, all agencies must participate in a consolidated furnished housing program to ensure maximum flexibility in housing assignments and minimize related support requirements.
d. Each post FAP policy must indicate if LQA/OHA is a viable option for agencies that opt to not have Housing Pool Management. If LQA/OHA is a viable option, the post policy must indicate what support services (if any) will be available under 6148-Leasing Services (Standard posts) or 6145-General Services (Lite posts) (see 6 FAH-5 H-341.7-8). If LQA/OHA is not a viable option, the policy must provide a brief explanation why it is not (e.g., high make-ready costs, security issues, etc.).
NOTE: Due to the unique mission and authorities of the Peace Corps (PC), it manages its own leasing requirements for residential and non-residential properties overseas (in coordination with the regional security officer (RSO) and Post Occupational, Safety and Health Officer (POSHO)). As PC is not included in the post housing pool, these furniture and appliance pool guidelines are not applicable to PC properties.
6 FAH-5 H-512.1 Benefits of a Consolidated Furniture and Appliance Pool
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. Benefits: A consolidated FFA&E pool includes the purchase, replacement, refurbishment, maintenance, inventory control, warehousing, pick-up/delivery and eventual disposal of non-expendable residential furniture, furnishings, appliances and equipment. This service offers a number of financial and administrative advantages to participating agencies, such as:
(1) Allows employees and their families to move immediately into their assigned housing, reducing or eliminating the need for costly TQSA;
(2) Ensures fair and equal treatment of employees of all agencies;
(3) Permits standardization of furniture and related items that meet U.S. safety and quality standards, making it easier and less costly to maintain and manage the inventory, achieving economies of scale;
(4) Reduces the cost to procure and replace furniture and appliances through the establishment of reasonable and affordable replacement cycles;
(5) Minimizes wear and tear by moving furniture less often, thereby extending its replacement cycle;
(6) Allows for maintaining less excess inventory, minimizing warehouse and staffing requirements;
(7) Simplifies property management and accountability;
(8) Permits the retention of all proceeds of sale which are reapplied to the furniture program (some agencies are unable to realize this benefit);
(9) Increases the transparency of post expenditures for furniture and appliances and allows for a more rational use of carryover funds for the program; and
(10) Uses the flexibility of the no-year Working Capital Fund to provide greater consolidation of agency support costs.
b. By keeping one inventory of furniture that is available for all members of the pool, including new arrivals as well as routine transfers, there is no lengthy period waiting for shipments to arrive. Furniture and appliances are procured on a planned cycle directly linked to post requirements.
6 FAH-5 H-512.2 Participation
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. All furnished posts must have a consolidated residential FFA&E pool; State, USAID and ICASS employees are required to participate. Other agency participation is strongly encouraged but is voluntary as outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-512 paragraph b (for more details see 6 FAH-5 H-512.5 Membership):
(1) In principle, when an agency opts to participate in a post furnished housing pool program, the decision covers all eligible positions of that agency. However, at posts where an agency may have employees located in the capital city as well as in distant locations, participation in the furnished housing pool program may not be appropriate for all positions. In such cases, post management should work with the agency to reach a mutual agreement; and
(2) This does not apply to an agency with a dedicated residential property which may be excluded from the pool; see 6 FAH-5 H-512.5 paragraph e.
b. Short-term positions: Agencies that establish short-term positions (e.g., one to seven years) must decide how they wish to handle participation in the furniture pool prior to the arrival of the employee. Because it is not possible to furnish a residence without fully funding a buy-in to the pool, the agency must decide if the funds for this buy-in will be included in the start-up costs for the position (and considered a cost of doing business), or if the employee will be authorized a full shipment of personal effects (HHE) and use LQA/OHA to acquire housing (if LQA/OHA is a viable option at post). In the latter case, the agency must consider the length of time it takes for HHE to arrive at post and how the employee will be accommodated in the interim. For the purposes of furniture and appliance pool participation, agencies with temporary positions may not be subsidized by other resident agencies through loans of FAP items. For a new position, all costs associated with acquiring a new property for this temporary position will be borne by the sponsoring agency:
(1) If available at post and approved by the POSHO and RSO, consideration should be given to leasing furnished “corporate” housing for short-term positions in order to avoid the cost of a furniture pool buy-in;
(2) Agencies that establish short-term positions and opt to subscribe to 6144-FAP Services will not be charged for annual assessment costs during the period of their presence because they will not benefit from the replacement of these items. However, they must subscribe to the main 6144 cost center and pay their share of the ongoing service costs for FAP maintenance and support. To offset this exception, the FFA&E purchased for this temporary position will remain the property of the ICASS FAP; the provision outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-512.6 paragraph d(2) will not apply;
(3) Recognizing that up to 50 percent of the residual value of the agency-funded FFA&E will accrue to the ICASS FAP, that value will offset any required replacements during the initial seven-year period (i.e., appliance failure);
(4) Tenant responsibilities vis-à-vis damage assessments remain unchanged; and
(5) In cases where the temporary position exceeds seven years at post and/or becomes a permanent position, the agency will be required to fund all prior year annual assessment costs in order to retain its subscription to the FAP and remain in the furnished housing pool. This provision became effective in fiscal year 2014 and there will be no “refunds” or other adjustments for prior year collections that may have been assessed.
NOTE 1: The NSDD-38 request must appropriately identify the position as short-term or of limited duration to be considered for this exception.
NOTE 2: The Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) creates short-term positions to manage and oversee major construction projects. The costs related to these positions are funded with project funds that typically come from the Capital Security Cost Sharing (CSCS) or Maintenance Cost Sharing (MCS) programs which are funded by all agencies. Sometimes OBO ships existing furniture for these positions; other times they must join the FAP. In those situations, post may negotiate, where appropriate, a buy-in cost that more closely reflects the actual requirements for the position based on the size of the property leased, as long as existing FAP subscribers are not subsidizing this position. This approach will ensure maximum utilization of OBO project funds for actual project requirements. As with other short-term positions, consideration should also be given to leasing furnished “corporate” housing if it is available and appropriate.
c. Allocating costs: Costs are equitably shared through the use of cost center 6144–Furniture and Appliance Pool Services and sub-cost center 6144-X144-FAP Annual Assessment which allow for costs to be spread to only those agencies participating in the pool (See 6 FAH-5 H-341.8). Detailed guidance on FAP budgeting is in 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 and on the ICASS website.
6 FAH-5 H-512.3 Operational Guidelines
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. Irrespective of the original funding source for pooled FFA&E, all items come under the operational control of the General Services Office (GSO) for use in the pool (see 14 FAM 411.2-1, Property Management Officer) and become the property of ICASS in accordance with the procedures outlined in 14 FAM 415.1-2. When these items are sold, all proceeds of sale are returned to the furniture and appliance pool to offset future furniture procurements.
NOTE: To ensure accuracy and transparency, all residential inventory assets must be identified in ILMS with the agency code “FAP.” This includes all assets transferred from other agencies as well as all items purchased with fenced FAP funding.
b. Housing assignments are made as outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-512 paragraph a; they are “blind” to the age/condition of furniture in a particular residence. Consequently, it is possible that a new employee occupying a new position, where the agency has funded start-up costs that included funding for a new set of furniture, may be assigned to a residential property that has “used” furniture. The goal of this policy is to ensure that all employees of subscribing agencies receive a standard set of furniture that meets the post’s established quality and condition parameters.
6 FAH-5 H-512.3-1 Basic Principles
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. All employees are treated equally regardless of agency affiliation.
b. The GSO/accountable property officer provides FAP items to all pooled housing units according to the standard schedule of items (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 513.2-2(1) and 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 513.2-2(2)) and agreed to by the post IAHB and Budget Committee (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-2 paragraph a). FAP items may not be issued to offices or other non-residential properties.
c. All FFA&E is owned and managed through ICASS; minimal surplus stock is maintained in the ICASS-managed warehouse. There are no separate residential furniture inventories maintained for the State Department or any other agency (see NOTE). Non-standard items required for agency specific operational needs will not be maintained or supported by the service provider and all costs associated with such requirements will be borne by the owning agency. This limitation does not apply to dedicated housing (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.5 paragraph d) that is not included in the furniture pool program.
NOTE: This does not include residential inventories maintained for designated residences (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.5 paragraph c).
d. To maintain post standards for all tenants, a basic set of furniture must remain in each housing unit. Depending on post policy, upon arrival, residents may be authorized a one-time removal of certain furniture items (as identified by each post) and/or moving/rearranging items in the home. Basic furniture items may not be removed and stored at US Government expense. Posts should make every effort to accommodate varying family sizes and configurations when furnishing a residential property. Incoming employees should be advised in advance what furniture items may be brought to post and limitations on what can be removed. They should also be advised that personal items may not be stored in the embassy warehouse.
NOTE: A basic tenet of the FAP program is to ensure equity for all participants. Once the post IAHB has determined what standard and supplemental items will be provided to all subscribers, individual agencies may not purchase additional non-programmatic items for its employees.
e. The service provider should take all practical measures to ensure that agencies that subscribe to furniture and appliance pools do not subsidize non-subscribing agencies. To the maximum extent possible, non-subscribing agencies are direct charged the costs related to the moving, storage and redelivery of their non-pooled items. Non-pooled residential furniture and furnishings should be stored commercially at the expense of the owning agency.
NOTE: Posts that have adequate storage space in the embassy warehouse may store other agency residential furniture and use the warehouse cost pool (see 6 FAH-5 H-314.2 paragraph c (2)) to charge the agency for dedicated storage space. If additional warehouse space is needed for official requirements, non-pooled residential property should be identified for alternative commercial storage charged to the owning agency.
f. In fairness to the subscribing agencies that pay to support the furniture pool program, non-subscribing agencies may not “borrow” items from the furniture and appliance pool inventory or provide a fund cite to purchase items from the post stock. Exceptions are allowed in limited circumstances as outlined below:
(1) Support for chief of mission residence (CMR), Deputy Chief of mission residence (DCR), or Principal Officer Residence (POR): OBO/OPS/RDF is responsible for funding all requirements for furniture, furnishing, appliances and equipment (FFA&E) for the designated residences of the COM, most DCMs, and principal officers (see 15 FAM 722 and 15 FAM 732.1). All requirements for FFA&E for designated residences must be promptly submitted to OBO/RDF for review and approval before action is taken at post. Because funding is limited, it may not be possible to fund all requests. Posts may not use other fund sources (e.g., ICASS, FAP or State Program) to fund FFA&E for these properties as it would be a violation of appropriations law, except as authorized under Official Residence Expenses (ORE) (see 3 FAM 3255.5 );
(a) Emergency requirements: In exigent circumstances affecting a designated residence (e.g., fire, flood, irreparable damage, etc.), post must immediately notify OBO/OPS/RDF in writing of the issue, provide detailed information, and seek guidance. In the interim, post may provide nominal support (i.e., loan of FAP furniture items) for short periods of time (i.e., not more than six months) while OBO/OPS/RDF determines a course of action. Posts should use the Loanable Property module in ILMS to track the items being loaned, ensuring the dates are accurately recorded. Loans of six months or less will not require any reimbursement from OBO/OPS/RDF;
(b) Loans in excess of six months: If OBO/OPS/RDF opts to replace the damaged items in the residence using its sources and suppliers, it may take 12 to 18 months before these replacements will arrive at post. In such cases, post may continue to loan the items from the FAP, charging OBO/OPS/RDF the equivalent portion of post’s annual assessment for the items on loan for the entire period of the loan, until the replacement items arrive. Loans in these situations may not exceed 18 months. Post must inform OBO/OPS/RDF of the total cost of this charge and receive their approval in writing; OBO/OPS/RDF will then provide a fund cite that post must process as a DN collection for the FAP;
NOTE: In no case may post establish a loan with payments due without the express written agreement of OBO/OPS/RDF.
(c) Purchase from FAP: In some circumstances, OBO/OPS/RDF may determine the most cost effective solution is to purchase the required items from the FAP (if available). In such cases, OBO/OPS/RDF will provide a fund cite to cover the full cost plus shipping for these items; this fund cite will be processed as a DN collection for the FAP. GSO will change the owning agency in ILMS from FAP to OBO/RDF once post has received the funding from OBO/OPS/RDF. When these items are no longer needed, they may be disposed of and the proceeds of sale returned to OBO/OPS/RDF;
(d) Appliances/equipment: If a household appliance is no longer functioning and requires replacement, post should immediately notify OBO/OPS/RDF in writing and provide detailed information on the requirement. If the requirement can be met through a local purchase and timing is not an issue, this is the preferred solution. If that is not feasible and post has the required item available in stock (FAP), if OBO approves the proposal to replace the unit with a FAP stock item, OBO will provide a fund cite and it will be processed as a DN collection. GSO must change the owning agency in ILMS from FAP to OBO/RDF and when these items are no longer needed, they may be disposed of and the proceeds of sale are returned to OBO/OPS/RDF;
(e) Personal preferences: Posts may not use ICASS, FAP or State Program funds to address personal requests. Posts should request OBO/OPS/RDF’s detailed guidance on preparing designated residences for new occupants to ensure personal issues are addressed and communicated well in advance so the prospective tenant (COM, DCM, or PO) can ship personal items as needed; and
(f) Other requirements: Most designated residences include staff quarters and work/break rooms; OBO/OPS/RDF does not fund any requirements for these areas. Post is responsible for furnishing these areas and must coordinate with the regional bureau before any expenditure of funds; the regional bureau will review such requests and authorize appropriate program funding. Post may not use ICASS funds, including FAP funds or items.
(2) Support for dedicated residences: If a replacement appliance (for a non-functioning item) is urgently required for a dedicated residence that is not in the FAP (e.g., RESAID, RESFCS, RESFAS, RESDAO) but the agency’s other positions are subscribed to the FAP, post may provide the replacement appliance from stock and process the fund cite as a FAP DN collection. This use of the DN process is only for the urgent replacement of household appliances when purchase on the local market is not feasible. This exception should not be interpreted as establishing the FAP as the usual source of furniture and appliances for agencies with dedicated residences that are not included the FAP; such agencies must plan in advance for the routine replacement of furniture and appliances for these properties; and
(3) Furniture and furnishings: If exigent circumstances (as outlined in paragraph f(1)) arise impacting the dedicated residences noted above and the agency otherwise participates in the FAP, post may apply similar guidance as outlined in paragraph (1) above.
NOTE: OBO/OPS/RDF is not involved in decisions regarding FFA&E requirements for dedicated residences. Each agency is responsible for funding the requirements for their respective dedicated residence if it is not included in the FAP (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.5, paragraph f).
6 FAH-5 H-512.3-2 Buy-Ins and Buy-in Assessments
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. What is included: Each post furniture and appliance pool policy must include a list of the items to be provided, taking into consideration the local environment and post conditions (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 513.2-2(1) and (2)). The final list of items should represent the typical set of FFA&E required to furnish an "average" size (not the largest) residence in the post housing pool. This will serve as the basis for determining post's new position buy-in cost. Not every house will have every item, and some houses may have more than others. To address these differences, some items may need to be "weighted" in the buy-in calculation to avoid over-charging agencies. Posts must use the ILMS FAP Asset Replacement report to determine appropriate weighting factors. Post should consider establishing a furniture pool working group, a subset of the post IAHB, which would establish and periodically review the list of items provided to all participating agencies.
NOTE: The post IAHB does not have independent funding authority and may not establish requirements without collaborating with the post ICASS Budget Committee to determine post’s affordability and what can be provided in the FAP program. The initial list, and any subsequent updates, must be costed out (see paragraphs below) and approved or amended by the Budget Committee. If a post IAHB wants to add an item that is not included on the standard or supplemental lists shown in this chapter, a request must be submitted to the FAP Governance Council as outlined in 6 FAH-5 H 513.2-2.
b. New position buy-in cost: Each post policy must include the calculations for post's new position buy-in cost (see the template on the FAP page of the ICASS website). This calculation includes the basic item costs plus shipping and handling charges (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4, paragraph c (2)) to the post warehouse. The buy-in cost determines the amount that each agency will be charged for a new position joining the FAP, irrespective of the incoming officer's family size. The buy-in cost is also the standard against which post reviews in-kind transfers of property to the pool and associated buy-in assessments (paragraph c). The FAP buy-in cost should be included in the list of start-up costs for all NSDD-38 (National Security Decision Directive) requests for new American positions. All new position buy-in costs must be collected using the DN process (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 paragraph e).
NOTE 1: FAP buy-in and annual assessment matrix: The ISC maintains the list of approved new position buy-in costs on the FAP page of the ICASS website. This is the amount that posts must use when charging an agency for a FAP buy-in.
NOTE 2: Changes to the buy-in cost: Any changes to the approved new position buy-in cost must be approved by the regional bureau and the ISC. For detailed guidance, see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 paragraph f.
c. Buy-in assessments plus in-kind transfer of property: New subscribers (existing positions at post) to the FAP may use their current agency-owned furniture to offset some or all of their required buy-in to the pool (see 14 FAM 415.1-2, Property Transferred By Other U.S. Agencies). Each post must establish criteria for assessing the age and condition of an agency's property to determine the amount of the buy-in assessment. All buy-in assessments must be collected using the DN process (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 paragraph e).
(1) Calculating a buy-in assessment: A buy-in assessment amount is less than a full FAP buy-in amount because it is offset by the in-kind transfer of the agency's residential property to the FAP. For example, using the 12-year replacement cycle, an agency with one-year old furniture would be given significantly more “credit” than an agency with eight-year-old furniture. Depending on the condition of the items, the owning agency may be asked to refurbish some items (on a direct charge basis) before the furniture will be brought into the program. Once the GSO has determined the age and condition of an agency's property, its remaining value is calculated and subtracted from the total buy-in costs to arrive at the agency's buy-in assessment; and
NOTE 1: If an agency has residential property that is not from the standard contract, that is not a basis for excluding it. If the property is in good condition, can be left in place as a complete set, and it meets post’s FAP policy requirements, it can be accepted into the pool and its value can offset a portion of the agency’s buy-in amount. It is the GSO’s decision that determines its acceptability for the FAP.
NOTE 2: An agency with a dedicated residence which post has determined will be weighted at 1.2 (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.5 paragraph e), the buy-in cost must also be weighted at the same level.
(2) Capitalizing the FAP: The goal is to ensure that the property brought into the pool is in good, usable condition and an appropriate dollar amount is collected to offset accumulated depreciation. Because these items will ultimately be replaced by the FAP, it is essential that the amount collected reflects post's best estimate of the remaining useful life of these items.
d. Alternate payment schedules: Some agencies may need to consider alternatives to funding their participation in the FAP in order to accommodate funding constraints as well as employee rotation cycles. When an agency decides to join the FAP, their employees/positions are subscribed to this service once a payment schedule has been established. Circumstances described in the Options below may not always align with experience at post. Consult with the regional bureau and the ICASS Service Center when agencies wish to join the FAP prior to employee rotation (example in Option 1), or lack adequate funds for immediate buy-in (example in Option2). Phased payment options may include:
(1) Option 1: An agency decides it will subscribe to the FAP for its two existing positions at post but they do not rotate for three years and they want to fund the buy-in now. Because the agency cannot fund a future requirement with current year funding, the agency must subscribe to FAP services in the year they provide the buy-in funding, adjusting the buy-in amount as follows. In this example, both agency employees have furniture that will not be brought into the FAP and the agency must pay full buy-ins for each position. The actual replacement of furniture will not take place for three years, but in the interim they will receive 6144-FAP services (e.g., e.g., welcome kits, appliance maintenance [if applicable], etc.); post may modify the agency’s workload count in the main 6144 cost center, as appropriate. In the following year the agency must also be added to the 6144-X144 sub-cost center and be invoiced for the annual assessment. When determining the amount of the buy-in cost to be paid in year one, post would deduct the amount of the annual assessments projected to be paid until these employees rotate. In this case, the buy-in occurs in year one (no annual assessment is charged), an annual assessment is charged in years two and three, so two years of annual assessments would be deducted from the buy-in amount due for each employee. When the employees rotate, post will have collected the full funding needed for each position; and
(2) Option 2: Another approach is to phase in an agency’s participation if post has adequate capital to cover its requirements and ensures that other subscribing agencies are not disadvantaged. For example, an agency with a large presence currently has agency-funded furniture that has some residual value and needs to fund the difference in cash. The agency does not have the funding required for the full amount of the buy-in for all positions to offset the remaining value of the furniture and wants to pay their required amount over the next several years. In such cases, post must determine the agency’s full buy-in requirement (taking into account the value of the current furniture) and establish a series of payments to fund the buy-in amount; these funds will be collected through the DN process each year until the full amount is paid. Use of this approach will depend on post circumstances and must be agreed to by the service provider and the customer agency.
e. FAP buy-ins at alternate post during evacuation: When a post is evacuated and personnel are relocated to a neighboring post for an extended period of time, they may need to subscribe to ICASS services at the “hosting” post. In such cases, the agency(ies) will likely receive two ICASS invoices: one to continue support for the ICASS platform at the evacuated post and one from the hosting post. In addition, if furnished leased housing is required and adequate furnished “corporate” housing is not available, post may need to lease and furnish additional properties for these employees. Post should minimize the costs involved and negotiate with the displaced agencies an appropriate “buy-in” amount to cover the minimum amount of furniture and appliances required for this interim arrangement, ensuring that resident agencies are not disadvantaged. This may entail purchasing furniture off the local economy using a fund cite provided by the displaced agency(ies), or providing furniture from existing stock and processing a DN collection for the negotiated buy-in amount. In such circumstances, post should consult and coordinate with the regional bureau and ICASS Service Center.
6 FAH-5 H-512.3-3 Annual Assessment and Replacement Planning
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. Calculating the annual assessment: Using the ILMS FAP Asset Replacement Report, post must run the item list from the Annual Assessment tab. After reviewing and updating the data, as needed, post must copy this information into the annual assessment template (see template on the ICASS website). Post must enter its salvage value (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-5), number of FAP subscribers, post-specific lifecycles (see paragraph b), and its shipping/handling factor (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4, paragraph c(2)) to generate the annual assessment amount. Once approved by the regional bureau and ICASS Service Center, this is the amount charged for each position in the FAP and is included in each agency's ICASS invoice.
NOTE: An agency is not charged an annual assessment in the same year the buy-in amount is paid. The annual assessment is charged (by including the agency in the workload counts for 6144-0144-FAP Annual Assessment) even if the buy-in amount was provided in the fourth quarter of the prior year.
b. Replacement cycles for furniture and appliances: For budget and planning purposes, all posts must use the established 12-year replacement cycle for all wood and upholstered furniture and determine appropriate replacement schedules for other items (e.g., furnishings and appliances), depending on the local environment and post circumstances (see 14 FAH-1 H-213 paragraph d).
NOTE 1: Posts seeking an exception to the 12-year replacement cycle must submit a justification and detailed calculations to the regional bureau and the ICASS Service Center (at ICASSServiceCenter@state.gov) and obtain approval before implementing any replacement cycle less than twelve years. Posts should also ensure that the items they procure are appropriate for local conditions.
NOTE 2: Changes to the annual assessment: See 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 paragraph f for guidance on how to request a change the annual assessment amount.
c. Replacement cycles for mattresses: Mattresses and box springs are replaced every four years (or every two assignment cycles, whichever is longer) unless circumstances dictate a longer replacement cycle. Post should consider the occupancy/use of bedrooms in calculating replacement requirements (e.g., bedrooms that are occasionally used would not require frequent replacement). Recognizing that some agencies have atypical assignment cycles (e.g., assignments greater than four to six years), the GSO should exercise good judgment in applying the replacement criteria.
d. Annual assessment: The final projected annual assessment entered in the post policy must be approved by all agencies participating in the FAP. The post's total annual assessment amount (total number of subscribers to the FAP times the approved annual assessment) is budgeted in the mandatory 6144-X144-FAP Annual Assessment sub-cost center (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 for detailed guidance on budget instructions). This funding is fenced and may only be used for the purchase and shipment of FAP items. Because these funds reflect the annual accumulated depreciation of FAP items, in some years post may expend only a portion of this amount; the remainder becomes part of post’s fenced FAP carryover and is set aside to meet future requirements.
e. Spending plan: Each post must establish its spending plan early in the fiscal year and determine what will need to be replaced in the next summer rotation cycle, taking into consideration stock on hand and any shipments in process. This will ensure that post's requirements are accurately reflected in the Initial Budget. When developing the annual FAP spending plan, post should build in flexibility for ordering by rooms or pieces of furniture rather than ordering complete house sets of furniture. This will minimize the accumulation of excessive surplus stock. The goal should be to order for actual requirements and seek to maintain minimal warehouse stock levels, taking into consideration the logistics of post's supply chain. The GSO spending plan is a key factor in developing the initial ICASS budget.
f. Extending lifecycles: Posts should make every effort to identify cost effective means to extend the life of the basic furniture sets, reflecting local conditions. The items listed below are funded from the management and support costs budgeted in the main 6144-FAP Services cost center, not with fenced FAP funding. Some examples include:
(1) Refinishing the flat surfaces of wooden furniture can be a reasonable way of extending the life of those items; some posts purchase protective glass covers for these surfaces;
(2) Upholstered furniture can often be economically recovered several times before actually being replaced (posts can procure suitable fabric that meets US safety standards off the GSA schedule or from the furniture contract); and
(3) Purchase slip covers for upholstered furniture (these are available under the furniture contract).
NOTE: When items reach the end of their projected lifecycle, they should be reappraised to determine if their condition warrants replacement or an extension (see 14 FAH-1 H-216.1). For example, if a dining room set is 12 years old but it is in good condition, it should not be replaced just based on the lifecycle and should be kept for at least one more tour of duty. In such cases, GSO should update the lifecycle information in ILMS to show a later replacement date.
g. Flexible inventory: In determining FAP requirements, GSO should conduct an analysis of the post’s housing inventory and demographics, assessing the mix of houses/apartments in the pool program, the total number of bedrooms in the pool, and various family sizes. This analysis should include an assessment of potential requirements for additional living room or den/office furniture, the desirability of certain “supplemental” pieces (e.g., bookcases, student desks, bunk beds, or sofa beds, etc.). While these specific items may not be on the list of what is provided to the "average residence," they are items GSO may try to have on hand in limited quantities to meet customer preferences. The purchase of such items must be managed from within post's established FAP target/budget.
6 FAH-5 H-512.3-4 Tenant Responsibilities
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. The post IAHB is responsible for ensuring the preparation of a post housing guidebook that includes a section relating to tenant responsibilities (see 15 FAM 212.2-2(C) paragraph b(8)). Post must ensure that the guidelines established for tenants are equally applied to all employees.
b. In accordance with established guidance (see 14 FAM 416.3, Residential Furniture and Equipment), oversight and control of the furniture pool program is managed through the check-in/out process. Upon moving into assigned quarters, the employee and a representative from the GSO/property management office must review the detailed inventory of FAP items in the residential unit. This check-in inventory must be certified and signed by the employee and the property management office within thirty days of moving into the residential unit.
c. Upon departure from post, the employee is liable for any damage to furniture or appliances considered beyond normal wear and tear (see 15 FAM 247, Surrender of Residential Quarters and 14 FAM 416.5, Reporting Damaged, Missing or Destroyed Property). Damage from pets is not considered to be normal wear and tear and will be billed to the employee (see 15 FAM 245, Pets). Liability is based on the full depreciated value of damaged or missing items as outlined in 14 FAM 416.5-3, Employee Liability.
NOTE 1: Post must establish effective procedures to ensure that all agencies adhere to the established check-out process and that all employees meet their financial obligations for any assessed damages prior to departure.
NOTE 2: Appeals of decisions made by the Property Management Officer follow the procedures outlined in 14 FAM 416.5-5, Employee Appeals).
6 FAH-5 H-512.3-5 Disposal of FAP Property
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
Pool-owned items are disposed of at the end of their useful life in accordance with 14 FAM 417, Disposal of Personal Property. All proceeds of sale are returned to the FAP program and become part of post's fenced FAP funding. Post's projected proceeds of sale are estimated and factored into the annual assessment calculation, reducing the final annual assessment total (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-3 and 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-5). Ensuring the full amount of FAP proceeds are correctly reported and credited to the fenced FAP funding will help ensure post can meet its long-term requirements. When submitting FAP-related proceeds of sale, post must report them using function code "6144" and revenue source "AAAC."
NOTE: When processing collections for damaged property from vendors (e.g., moving company) or tenants, post should record the receipt as a cashier collection crediting the ICASS FAP Proceeds of Sale fiscal data (allotment “9906,” revenue source “AAAC,” function code “6144”).
6 FAH-5 H-512.4 FAP Budgeting and Funding
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. FAP funding: Funding for post furniture and appliance pools includes costs for the management and support of the FAP as well as the costs for the purchase and shipping of the FAP items. All FAP funds are included in the post regional bureau target; the funds related to the purchase and shipping of FAP items (e.g., post's FAP target) are fenced and have separate budget requirements. To ensure transparency in the management of this program and provide effective tracking of these fenced funds, all furnished posts must utilize the 6144-FAP Services cost center and follow the established budget guidance. Refer to the ICASS website for detailed guidance on budgeting for the FAP.
NOTE: Fenced FAP funding (i.e., FAP target funds, FAP proceeds of sale, FAP carryover, FAP recoveries, and DN collections) may only be used for the purchase and shipping of FAP items.
b. Budgeting management and support costs: These costs include: salary and benefits for USDH and LE Staff employees who provide this service (and allocate their time to cost center 6144), as well as any contracts (e.g., moving company, warehousemen, FAP repair or reupholstery), repair supplies, warehouse/utility costs, welcome kits, and vehicles, etc., related to this service (see 6 FAH-5 H-341.8, FAP Services). All these costs are funded from within the regional bureau target and are budgeted in the main 6144-FAP Services cost center; these funds are not fenced. None of these items may be funded using fenced FAP funds.
NOTE: All costs for the local moving of furniture (e.g., from the warehouse to a residence and the reverse) by either in-house staff or contract labor are budgeted in the main cost center and included as part of the service costs for 6144. These costs are not funded with fenced FAP funds.
c. Budgeting fenced FAP funds: Fenced funds come from post's annual FAP target (representing the post's annual assessment requirement) and FAP non-target funds. The FAP target, a sub-set of the regional bureau target, is based on the FAP workload count times post's approved annual assessment. To facilitate the tracking of fenced funds, posts must create a sub-cost center 6144-X144-FAP Annual Assessment that is used solely for budgeting the annual assessment amount. The entire FAP target amount is budgeted in this sub-cost center using ONLY sub-object codes 2224-Transportation of Household FFA&E and 3123-Household Furnishings. This is the amount that will be billed to the subscribing agencies each year according to the established workload counts.
(1) New service provider positions: If a new USDH ICASS service provider position is established, the FAP buy-in cost is included in the FAP target. This buy-in amount is budgeted in the USDH cost pool for the new position (against SOCs 2224 and 3123), not in the 6144-X144 sub-cost center. (This ensures that the buy-in cost is spread through the time allocation process and funded by all ICASS customers.) The position is counted in the 6144 main cost center in the first year (according to the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-333.2). The following year, this position will also be included in the workload count for the sub-cost center and the FAP target will include the annual assessment for this position.
(2) Transportation and handling costs: The transportation portion of the FAP annual assessment covers a range of costs including: U.S. Despatch Agency fees, shipping costs to post, A/LM’s working capital fund fee, customs charges, transport from the port to the embassy warehouse, etc. They do not include transportation to/from the embassy warehouse and residential properties, which is funded from the regional bureau target and budgeted in the main 6144 cost center. Some posts prefer to obligate these FAP transportation and handling costs using more specific sub-object codes, which is permissible, but which will complicate post’s tracking of the fenced FAP funds, which must be reported in the budget using only SOCs 2224 and 3123. If a post opts to obligate against more detailed SOCs, it must report any expenditures made against those SOCs in the prior year actuals (PYA) against SOC 2224 in the budget and provide an explanation in the comments. This will ensure appropriate tracking of post’s fenced FAP funds.
(3) Separate appliance pools (AP): Those posts that offer both a furniture and appliance pool as well as a separate appliance pool must ensure that management and support costs (i.e., time allocations, contracts, warehouse costs, etc.) are appropriately budgeted and shared. Posts should seek to establish an equitable and simple approach for sharing the management and support costs for these two different programs. The recommended approach is to budget all management and support costs to the main 6144 cost center and grant a .3 modification (or other appropriate level) to subscribers of just the appliance pool. If this does not result in an equitable sharing of costs, you must create a sub-cost center (6144-X00X-AP Management) for just the management and support costs for the appliance pool subscribers; the workload count should not/not include the subscribers to the full FAP program.
(4) Sub-cost center for AP annual assessment: In either case, post must also create a separate sub-cost center, 6144-X244-AP Annual Assessment, to properly count and share the separate annual assessment costs; again, the workload count should include those agencies that only subscribe to the AP and not the FAP. Alternatively, if a .3 modification to the 6144-X144-FAP Annual Assessment sub-cost center results in post's established annual assessment for the appliance pool, a second sub-cost center for this purpose is not required.
(5) Invoicing vs. spending: Under the new FAP policy, posts targets include funds for the established annual assessment and this amount is billed out to the agencies each year, irrespective of the post spending plan. So, while the “Financial plan” column in the post budget will always include the post’s annual assessment amount, this may not relate to post’s actual spending plan for the year. All funds not obligated during the year will become part of post’s fenced FAP carryover in the following year to offset the accumulated depreciation of FAP assets. Posts should anticipate having FAP carryover each year to meet the out-year requirements of the FAP.
NOTE: No annual assessment costs (SOCs 2224 and 3123) may be budgeted in the main 6144 cost center or any other cost center (unless it relates to a cost pool allocation for a new USDH service provider position).
d. Non-target funds: Fenced non-target FAP funds are reported separately in the ICASS software to facilitate tracking and transparency. These include carryover, recoveries, proceeds of sale, and DN collections for buy-ins and buy-in assessments. These non-target funds may be applied to meet post's established FAP requirements in SOCs 2224 and 3123; funds that are not used in a fiscal year are carried over to the following year. Post must ensure that it judiciously uses these FAP funds so that it can meet out-year requirements within its established budget.
(1) FAP non-target funds are a sub-set of regional bureau non-target funds. Therefore, in the Budget Summary Worksheet, all FAP amounts will be reported both in the "Summary of Regional Bureau Non-Target Funds" and then separately in the "Breakout of Non-Target FAP Funds."
(2) In principle, posts may NOT apply non-FAP carryover to fund routine FAP requirements. If a post's FAP requirements exceed the existing fenced FAP funding, it likely is due to under-capitalization at the outset of the FAP. If post has excess regional bureau carryover, it may use those funds to meet these FAP requirements on a one-time basis, with ICASS Council and regional bureau approval. Once applied to the FAP requirements, these funds become part of the fenced FAP funds.
(3) Post will accrue FAP funding to offset the accumulated depreciation of its FAP assets. In some years, spending may be relatively low; in others, it may exceed post's annual “revenue” because of the number of staff turnovers and the age of the inventory in those residences. Maintaining a multi-year spending plan will ensure that post has adequate funds over the long-term to meet all requirements.
e. DN collections for new position buy-ins and buy-in assessments: Agencies that establish a new position must fund the established new position buy-in cost (as reported on the ISC central spreadsheet). Existing agencies that are joining as their employees rotate must work with the GSO to determine the age and condition of their property and determine an appropriate buy-in assessment (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-2). In both cases, the collections are done through the DN process.
(1) The DN process allows a post to collect an agency's one-year funding, send it to Charleston for processing, and it is returned to post in the ICASS working capital fund and it becomes part of post's fenced FAP funding. DN collections are reported in the "Summary of Non-Target Funds" (in both the Regional Bureau and Breakout of FAP Funds Non-Target Summaries).
(2) Posts must use the DN collection process for all new position buy-in or buy-in assessments.
f. Changing post’s buy-in/annual assessment calculations: Once established, post’s approved calculations should remain in place for three to five years to allow post adequate time to refine its actual requirements and assess the need for any changes. During this period, post should explore ways to reduce costs associated with the FAP program and achieve savings. However, there are many factors that could require changes to FAP calculations.
(1) New requirements: If a post has new requirements that were not included in the original calculations for the buy-in and annual assessment, post must submit a request to the regional bureau and the ICASS Service Center (ICASSServiceCenter@state.gov) providing a justification/explanation for the increase and a new set of calculations using the template(s) provided on the ICASS website. The justification could be based on a new requirement to provide special air filters for all residential units, or the addition of items that were mistakenly omitted from the original calculations. Any proposed changes must be approved by the post Budget Committee/ICASS Council before submission to Washington.
(2) Reductions to calculations: Post may determine that its original calculations were over-estimated and must be reduced. In some cases this may be a temporary reduction because of specific circumstances at a post (e.g., a significant and unexpected downsizing at post resulted in high levels of excess property), in other cases it may be a permanent reduction as experience with FAP management evolves. In either case, post must submit a request to the regional bureau and the ICASS Service Center (ICASSServiceCenter@state.gov) providing a justification/explanation for the decrease and a new set of calculations using the template(s) provided on the ICASS website. The explanation should indicate if this is a permanent or temporary adjustment.
(3) Factors to consider: Before any changes are made, post should ensure it has developed a multi-year plan (at least five out-years) and reviewed the information in the FAP Data Model (available on the ICASS website) and in the ILMS FAP reports. Washington managers will also be reviewing this information when considering changes to post’s calculations.
(4) Management of the Matrix: The ISC maintains a central spreadsheet of each posts’ approved calculations and it is used in the budget formulation process as well as by other agencies that are planning growth/expansion. It is essential that posts adhere to this process in its budgeting and planning for the FAP.
g. Discretionary funding: Furniture and appliance replacement costs are considered a discretionary item for budgetary purposes and such purchases are always at risk of cuts in tight budget years. Posts must ensure it carefully manages these funds and continually seeks cost savings to lower costs. If funding for the FAP is reduced in a given year (i.e., the FAP target is cut), post will need to identify ways to meet its requirements with less funding. Posts must carefully track carryover, recoveries and proceeds of sale related to this program to ensure participating agencies achieve the maximum benefit from the funds invested in the FAP. Post may not use fenced furniture pool funding for FAP management and support costs or to meet other non-FAP requirements.
h. Relationship of 6143-Warehouse Operations and 6144-FAP Services: The services covered in the 6144 cost center are outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-341.8, FAP services and include the warehousing, storage, pick-up/delivery, removal, disposal, inventory control, and the repair/reupholstery (where available) of FAP items. Similar services provided under cost center 6143-Warehouse Operations Services relate primarily to non-residential property requirements and agencies subscribe separately to that cost center. Posts must ensure that time allocations for staff who work in both of these service areas are appropriately allocating their time to these cost centers.
6 FAH-5 H-512.5 Membership
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. New positions: Eligibility to participate in the furniture pool is determined by housing pool eligibility as defined in 15 FAM 211, 15 FAM 233, and 15 FAM 242. At furnished posts, when a new eligible position results in a net staffing increase for an agency (see NOTE 1), the agency must decide if the position will be included in the post furnished housing program or use LQA or OHA to obtain residential quarters (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.1, paragraph c.2). If the agency selects furnished U.S. Government housing, it must provide a fund cite to cover the cost of a complete set of basic furniture and appliances (or appropriate “in-kind” buy-in that meets post requirements) in order to bring the position into the pool. This “buy-in” amount includes the cost of a complete basic set of furniture, furnishings and appliances, including associated shipping and handling costs; no annual assessment is paid in the year the buy-in is collected. This position will be added to the 6144-Household Furniture and Appliance Pool Services cost center in the next available budget in order to share in the ongoing costs for managing and maintaining the program (see 6 FAH-5 H-395).
NOTE: Agencies with new positions must provide their buy-in funding well in advance of the arrival of the new position to ensure sufficient time to purchase and receive needed items. If funds are not received, the employee would occupy temporary housing or a hotel at the expense of the sponsoring agency.
b. Increases/decreases within an agency/department: Recognizing the frequent shifts in staffing levels for some agencies, for the purposes of furniture pool participation, a net increase for an agency will be considered at the Department level for that organization at post. For example, if a new position for the Department of the Air Force (for any ICASS Air Force agency code) is established and a position for the Department of the Army (or any other DOD element) were abolished at the same post in the same fiscal year, there is no net increase in DOD staffing. If the Army position were fully vested in the FAP (i.e., the agency had paid the requisite buy-in and ongoing annual assessments), the new Air Force position could assume the DOD-Army subscription to the FAP, with an appropriate shift in the workload count. Such offsets must occur within a twelve-month period to facilitate tracking and workload counting. The downsizing agency (Army, in this case) must concur with this decision to ensure they have no plans to return to post.
c. Existing positions: For existing positions, posts must establish criteria for an agency to “buy in” to the program with its existing furniture (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-2 paragraph c). If the items are found to be in acceptable condition, the value of the items will be pro-rated based on the standard replacement cycle and the current age of the furniture. If some or all of the items do not meet the post standards and are not suitable for inclusion in the pool, the agency must provide a fund cite for the purchase of replacement items. The goal is to ensure the FAP is properly capitalized to meet the needs of all subscribers. Any items that can be used by the pool will be assessed using the pro-rated methodology noted above or other equitable approach developed at post. This funding is collected (via the DN process) in the year that the agency joins the furniture and appliance pool; the agency will not be assessed any additional amounts for FFA&E in that fiscal year. The agency should be included in the main 6144-FAP services cost center in the next available budget; no annual assessment is paid in the year the buy-in is collected. In the following year, the agency will be included in the workload counts for the main 6144-FAP Services cost center and the 6144-X144-FAP annual assessment sub-cost center.
d. Documenting membership: The workload counts for FAP services are based on the number of positions subscribed to the pool. It is recommended that post develop a system to track position subscriptions and the history of each agency’s participation, including the value of property transferred to the FAP and the amount of their buy-in and/or buy-in assessment. A sample template for this purpose is at 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-512.5; a usable version can be found on the “Tools and Templates” link on the ICASS website.
e. Exceptions: Certain residences have separate funding sources for the procurement of furniture and appliances and are not covered in the furniture pool program. Their requirements and furniture are to be kept separate from the FAP program and ICASS-funded property may not be issued to these residences. These exceptions include the designated residences for the:
(1) Chief of Mission Residence (CMR);
(2) Deputy Chief of Mission Residence (DCR);
(a) Furniture requirements for DCRs are funded either by OBO or the regional bureaus as outlined in 15 FAM 722 paragraph c; these costs are not funded in ICASS. In the rare post where the DCM and management officer positions are combined, the costs for FFA&E may be shared using the “non-ICASS dual position” feature of the ICASS software and the ICASS share is budgeted in the cost pool for the management officer. Posts should consult with the regional bureau for guidance; and
(b) At those posts where the DCR is not furnished by OBO (i.e., there are less than 35 USDH positions in the mission; see 15 FAM 731.2), costs for the DCR FFA&E are funded by the regional bureau. If the post and bureau agree, the dedicated DCR may be included in the FAP and the workload count is weighted at 1.2 (see paragraph f for rationale). Post will use the same sources and items as provided to other FAP subscribers.
(3) Principal Officer Residence (POR);
(4) U.S. Representative to an international organization (with COM rank); and
(5) Marine Security Guard Residence (MSGR):
(a) The furniture and furnishings for the MSGR may be procured via the same contract as the post furniture program, ordering by rooms instead of complete sets of furniture, as appropriate. Funding for furniture and furnishings for the MSGR must be requested from DS/IP/SPC/MSG (see 15 FAM 726, MSGQ); and
(b) At all furnished posts, the furniture and furnishing requirements for the separate residences of the detachment commander, assistant detachment commander and region command staff are included in the post furniture pool program and the workload counts charged to agency code 1931.0-State-DS-MSG Support. Under existing agreements, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security pays all ICASS costs for 1931.0-State-DS-MSG Support. For the FFA&E costs included in the 6144 cost center, appropriate reimbursement amounts are collected from the Marine Corps at the headquarters level and returned to DS. Buy-in costs for new detachment or region command staff positions, as well as ongoing FFA&E costs for detachment commanders at unfurnished posts, are funded by DS/IP/SPC/MSG.
f. Dedicated Housing: At some posts, the senior representatives of the foreign affairs agencies may occupy dedicated housing (see 15 FAM 262, Dedicated Housing and 15 FAM 235.3). In such cases, the costs for all FFA&E and related charges (including transportation, storage and inventory) are the responsibility of the owning agency. However, in some locations it may be more cost effective for the agency to include its dedicated residence in the FAP; such decisions are made by the occupying agency. If an agency wishes to include its dedicated residence in the FAP, a weighted workload count of “1.2” will be assessed. This weighting will apply to the calculation of both the buy-in and annual assessment. This recognizes the fact that dedicated residences typically have more appliances (e.g., freezer, refrigerator, stove) and furniture (e.g., living room sets, larger dining room, more bedrooms) than regular pooled housing and the weighted count will spread proportionately more costs to these agencies. The items provided to a dedicated residence come from the same stock and sources as that provided to the housing pool properties (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-1, paragraph f). If a dedicated residence is included in the FAP, all FFA&E will be considered ICASS property and be maintained in the ICASS inventory system. (See 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-1 paragraph f for possible accommodations made for the emergency replacement of appliances in a non-pooled dedicated residence.)
NOTE 1: At some posts, the dedicated housing may be the same average size as the rest of the housing pool and these properties do not have additional furniture or appliances. In such cases, post may use its discretion and not weight the workload count for the agency’s dedicated residence.
NOTE 2: USAID Trust-Fund property is not included in post housing pools and maybe excluded from this policy.
g. Group housing: In certain unique circumstances, housing may be leased for use by a single agency to service multiple TDY or permanent personnel of that agency (a “group” house) and the agency wants to include it in the FAP even though it technically is not part of the housing pool. Assuming the house is of the same average size as other properties in the pool, the agency may subscribe to the FAP by paying a single buy-in for this property. If the house is larger than average and requires more furniture than a standard property, post may weigh the count for this property at “1.2” (or higher) and note this exception in the comments section of the Workload Distribution worksheet in the ICASS software. Such arrangements must be discussed with and agreed to by the occupying agency.
h. Other agency housing: Some agencies have authority to own or lease residential property overseas. These properties may be included in the FAP if the owning/leasing agency agrees to fund the appropriate buy-in and annual assessment costs. In some instances, these properties may be made available to all agencies for housing assignments. If the properties are assigned to other agency personnel, the 6144 (and related) workload counts for these properties would be assigned to the occupying agency.
i. TDY quarters: If post has furnished Government-owned or leased residential units dedicated for use by TDY employees, every effort should be made to utilize only surplus “used” furniture pool items for these units. If furniture is procured for these units, it must be charged to 1901.0-ICASS and spread to all agencies, with the concurrence of the post Budget Committee.
j. Participation by certain DOD personnel and entities not under COM authority: Before providing housing assistance to employees in these categories, posts should review the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-394.3 paragraph c (Limitations on Services) and 15 FAM 261.3, Housing for Certain Department of Defense (DOD) Personnel. If employees in this category are provided USG-leased housing, they are subject to the same requirements outlined in this chapter.
6 FAH-5 H-512.6 Workload Counts
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. The distribution factor for 6144-FAP Services is the total number of subscribers to the FAP (based on positions for which a buy-in or buy-in assessment has been completed). The count is taken on May 1 of each year and may be adjusted for growth (additions to the furniture pool) or withdrawal from the program per the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-333.3, Changing Workload Counts. Positions that are temporarily vacant on May 1 are counted in accordance with the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-333.2, Calculating Workload Counts, paragraph b(3).
NOTE: Modifications: The 6144-FAP Services cost center is modifiable and each post should establish guidelines for the circumstances that would justify a modification. Some posts with a separate appliance pool have found that a modification provides an appropriate sharing of both the management and support costs (budgeted in the main cost center) and the annual assessment costs (budgeted in the 6144-X144 sub-cost center) and simplifies budgeting and workload counts. There may be other situations that could justify a modification; the service provider and post Budget Committee should establish appropriate parameters for such situations and document them in the post modification policy.
b. Vacant positions: When a customer agency informs the service provider that a position will be vacant for the upcoming fiscal year but is not being abolished, no workload count will be included for the upcoming fiscal year in either the main 6144 cost center or sub-cost center and the agency will incur no charges for the post FAP. Any costs associated with removing/storing furniture will be charged to 1901.0- ICASS.
(1) If a position remains vacant for a second year but is not being abolished, the customer agency has two options:
(a) In order to retain its funded status in the FAP (i.e., it has, to date, paid its buy-in/buy-in assessment and related annual assessments), the agency will accept a workload count in 6144-X144-FAP Annual Assessment until it decides to abolish the position; or,
(b) The agency may opt out of the FAP, no workload will be counted in cost center 6144 or the sub-cost center for the agency in that fiscal year and when/if the position is filled in a future year, the agency must fund a buy-in as for any new position. Requiring the agency to maintain its financial support for the FAP ensures equity for all other participating agencies. When a workload count is included in the FAP sub-cost center for this purpose, post should enter a comment in the Workload Distribution Worksheet.
c. Downsizing: If an agency downsizes its presence at a post for any reason, it forfeits its contributions made to the pool and no “credit” or other out-year offset is provided. Post may dispose of any resulting surplus items and the proceeds of sale must be applied to the post furniture and appliance pool program (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-5). Changes to the agency’s workload counts resulting from the downsizing are made in accordance with the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-333.3, Changing Workload Counts; six months advance notice is not required as long as the agency is not totally withdrawing from this service.
d. Withdrawal from service: If an agency plans to completely withdraw from this service for any reason, it must give the service provider six months advance notice as required in 6 FAH-5 H-016.5, Termination Notice (i.e., by April 1 or October 1) and the related workload counts will be adjusted accordingly; the agency forfeits its contributions made to the pool:
(1) Agencies voluntarily withdrawing from the furniture pool will be required to exit the Government-leased housing program upon the transfer/rotation of the employee and use the LQA/OHA program, if it is a viable option, to meet their staff housing requirements; and
(2) As a former subscriber to the post FAP, the agency may take ownership of the FFA&E in its occupied unit(s), but it assumes all responsibility for inventorying, moving and storing the items; these items will be transferred from ICASS to the agency. If the agency opts to not take ownership of the FFA&E, the items will be returned to the ICASS inventory for appropriate disposition. Ongoing leasing support for this agency would be in accordance with the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-512 paragraph b. This provision does not apply to agencies with short-term positions (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.2 paragraph b (1)).
e. Tandem employees: Each member of a tandem couple is included as a full count of "1" in cost center 6144-FAP Services. There is no adjustment to the workload count in either the main 6144 or 6144-X144 sub-cost center to reflect a tandem couple. Post will retain the "extra" set of furniture and appliances in order to refurnish a property when the tandem couple departs post. (See 6 FAH-5 H-522 paragraph c.2 for details on commissioning costs related to tandem couples.)
(1) If half of a tandem couple occupies a newly-established position, the agency with the new position must provide a fund cite for the full buy-in cost, irrespective of the current tandem status of the position. Post must collect the new position buy-in cost using the DN process and the funds will be allotted to post and become part of the fenced FAP funding. In the year the position is first established and the buy-in collection is made, the agency will only be counted in the main 6144 cost center. In the second year, the position will be included in both the main and the sub-cost center. The other half of the tandem couple will continue to be counted as usual in both the main 6144 cost center and the sub-cost center.
(2) This tandem methodology for the FAP does not affect the policy for billing lease, utility, and other costs which are shared equally by the parent agencies of the tandem couple (see 6 FAH-5 H-353). Workload counts in related cost centers (i.e., 6148-Leasing, 5821-Residential LGP, 5923-Mobile Patrol, 7810/7850-Building Operations-Residential) would continue to be split 50/50 between the parent agencies.
6 FAH-5 H-512.7 Residential Commissioning and Make-Ready
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
For funding details regarding residential commissioning and make-ready costs, see 6 FAH-5 H-520, Residential Commissioning and Make-Ready.
6 FAH-5 H-513 Washington Governance structure
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. At post, the Furniture and Appliance Pool (FAP) program is collaboratively managed by the post IAHB, Budget Committee and ICASS Council as outlined in this chapter. In Washington, a similar collaborative structure has been established to oversee this program to ensure a cohesive, standardized approach to FAP management. There are numerous stakeholders in this structure to ensure that all issues are properly vetted and addressed. This structure is the FAP Governance Council (GC) with representation as outlined in this sub-chapter.
b. As with any policy, changes will be required as the FAP program matures and these changes must be reviewed and approved by the GC to ensure that the policy remains standardized, even as changes may be required due to unique post circumstances. The goal is to ensure that the worldwide FAP program follows established guidance while ensuring needed flexibility due to local conditions. The FAP GC will meet biannually to review specific policy issues and FAP management metrics.
6 FAH-5 H-513.1 FAP GC Members
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. Regional bureaus: The regional bureaus are the most directly involved with post management and the issues that would impact the FAP. The regional bureau is responsible for setting the FAP budget and initially reviewing any requests for changing post's established FAP policy. Each regional bureau will have a representative on the FAP GC.
b. Office of Logistics Management, Bureau of Administration (A/LM): A/LM plays an essential supporting role and is represented on the FAP GC. A/LM is the key interlocutor with post GSOs on the Integrated Logistics Management System (ILMS) and all related issues dealing with the FAP program (e.g., the centralized furniture contract and related issues, logistics management, inventory and property management, etc.).
c. Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO): OBO is the single real property manager (SRPM) and participates on the FAP GC to address issues related to housing management that may impact the FAP (e.g., make-ready, commissioning costs, etc.).
d. ICASS Service Center (ISC): The ISC acts as the overseer of the FAP policy and ensures that issues and decisions are in keeping with the existing agreements with the interagency community. The ISC maintains metrics and data on FAP budgeting and management and reports periodically to the ICASS Working Group (IWG) and ICASS Executive Board (IEB) on FAP issues.
e. Office of Allowances (A/OPR/ALS): Because some of the provisions of the FAP touch upon allowances and benefits provided to employees assigned overseas, A/OPR/ALS participates on the FAP GC to ensure that decisions made are not in conflict with existing regulations or guidance.
f. Interagency Community: The FAP policy was approved by the interagency ICASS Executive Board, which maintains a strong interest in the ongoing management of this program. To ensure appropriate interagency representation in discussions regarding FAP policy or management, a minimum of three members of the IWG will represent the interests of the interagency community and ensure communication on issues of mutual interest. Agency participation should reflect their overseas presence and ensure that both large and small agencies are represented to ensure the equities of all concerned.
6 FAH-5 H-513.2 Scope
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
The FAP GC is responsible for reviewing a wide range of issues. The goal is to reach consensus on all issues; if consensus is not possible, standard ICASS voting rules will apply (see 6 FAH-5 H-016). This section outlines the types of issues to be addressed by the FAP GC but is not all inclusive.
6 FAH-5 H-513.2-1 Buy-in and Annual Assessment Costs
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
Each furnished post has established a FAP policy and calculated its new position buy-in and annual assessment costs, which were reviewed and approved by the ISC. These calculations are based on averages and projections at each post and supported by ILMS data; changes/revisions to the calculations should be reviewed every four to five years. Moving forward, all requests for changes to post calculations must be submitted using the standard calculation templates, which are available on the ICASS website. If a post IAHB and the SRPM have determined that changes to its list of items are required, requests for changes to these calculations must be submitted for review and approval outside the typical four to five year schedule. The revised calculations and justification (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 paragraph f for guidance) will be reviewed by the regional bureau and ISC. If the proposed change is greater than twenty percent of the existing calculations, the request will be forwarded to the Governance Council with a recommended course of action from the regional bureau and ISC. To ensure prompt review of such requests, recommendations will be handled electronically and not be held for periodic GC meetings.
6 FAH-5 H-513.2-2 Standard and Supplemental FAP Items
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. The lists of standard and supplemental furniture, furnishings, appliances and equipment items which may be provided in post-managed FAP programs are determined by the FAP Governance Council and are shown in 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 513.2-2(1) and (2). 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 513.2-2(2) also provides guidance on additional factors to be considered when providing supplemental items.
b. At the post level, the Interagency Housing Board (IAHB) and the single real property manager (SRPM), with the approval of the ICASS Budget Committee and Council, determine which standard and supplemental items will be included in the post FAP policy. Each post should take into consideration the local environment and availability of post funding/affordability. The final approved list, including cost and shipping information, must be attached to the post FAP policy and be accessible on the post website.
(1) Standard list: The Department of State residential furniture contract is the primary source of residential furniture and furnishings (unless post has a waiver allowing for local procurement of these items). Each post must have an approved furniture and appliance pool policy (see 6 FAH-5 H-510) which includes the list of standard and supplemental items post has determined will be provided to the “average” residence. 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 513.2-2(1) is the list of standard residential items that may be provided to U.S. Government-furnished residences; this list is not to be considered an entitlement or a requirement.
(2) Supplemental list: The U.S. Government may provide supplemental FFA&E in accordance with the caveats noted in 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 513.2-2(2) and the process outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-513.2-2 paragraph b. Post’s FAP policy must specify the kind and number of supplemental items to be provided as part of the furnishings for the “average” residence.
NOTE: Posts that wish to include an item that does not appear on either of these lists, or wishes an exception to the policy, must submit an email to the regional bureau and ICASSServiceCenter@state.gov and provide an explanation of and justification for what post wants to add to its FAP program (submitting any revised calculations as necessary; see 6 FAH-5 H-512.4 paragraph f). If the regional bureau concurs with the request, it will be vetted electronically with the FAP GC for a final decision.
c. Items not provided by USG-funded FAP programs: The FAP program provides the basic and certain supplemental items of FFA&E for all properties. The FAP program is not intended to provide every item or fixture for a residential property; there are many items that are the personal responsibility of the employee and would be acquired at the personal expense of the employee. Items not provided by the FAP program include (also see 6 FAH-5 H-514 paragraphs d and e):
(1) Fans, portable (window, floor and table);
(2) Garden and yard equipment (hose, sprinkler, trimmer, snow shovel, etc.);
(3) Light bulbs (replacements): The make-ready process will ensure that each light fixture has a functioning bulb; occupants are responsible for replacing bulbs during their occupancy and ensuring that there are functioning bulbs in the fixtures at check-out;
(4) Mirror, full length;
(5) Safe for personal documents or property;
(6) Vacuum cleaners;
(7) Satellite dish/decoder (see 15 FAM 723);
(8) Barbeque grills; and
(9) Additional plumbing and electrical installations to meet personal preferences (e.g., saunas, hot tubs, bidets [where none exist], etc.)
NOTE: The items listed above, as well as any other non-programmatic items, may not be provided by subscribing agencies for their employees through their program allotments or other funding sources (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-1 paragraph d). Agencies may, at their discretion, fund items deemed necessary to meet programmatic requirements. In such cases the owning agency would be responsible for inventory tracking and movement of such items. Any questions should be directed to ICASSServiceCenter@state.gov for review by the FAP Governance Council.
d. Safety equipment: Residential smoke alarms (see 15 FAM 842), fire extinguishers (see 15 FAM 843), and carbon monoxide alarms (see 15 FAM 252.5) are provided, as appropriate, by OBO for all residential units, regardless of the agency of the occupant.
e. Transformers: The USG will provide each residence with a maximum of three appropriately sized transformers suitable for local requirements. Transformers will meet the requirements determined by OBO/OPS/FIRE and the POSHO. To the maximum extent possible, posts will purchase appliances that utilize the local voltage, minimizing the requirement for transformers; transformers required for USG-provided equipment will be in addition to the three provided for personal use. In preparing post FAP calculations, a lifecycle of 12 to 15 years should be used for all transformers. Employees wanting additional transformers must purchase them at personal expense (covered by the Miscellaneous Expense portion of the Foreign Transfer Allowance outlined in DSSR 241.2(2)) and they must meet the specifications and requirements set by the POSHO (see OBO’s Fire Protection Guide, Section F-1). Transformers should be inspected periodically for safety concerns (e.g., frayed cords or other damage).
f. Generators and power stabilization equipment: Due to the highly technical nature of such equipment, posts must coordinate their requirements with the Department of State’s Bureau for Overseas Building Operations, OBO/CFSM/FAC/PS (see 15 FAM 635) before procuring such items.
6 FAH-5 H-513.2-3 Viability of Private Leases
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. All residential properties acquired through private leases under the living quarters allowance (LQA) or overseas housing allowance (OHA) programs must be reviewed and approved by the RSO and POSHO to ensure they meet the required standards (see 15 FAM 252.5 and 15 FAM 252.6). Each post has determined the viability of private leasing through LQA or OHA and documented its findings in its post FAP policy (see 6 FAH-5 H-512 paragraph b). This determination is reflected on the FAP buy-in and annual assessment matrix maintained on the ICASS website. Recognizing that circumstances may change over time, posts may need to review this determination and make changes.
b. The option of LQA/OHA may not be possible at posts where the local real estate market is very limited, there are high costs related to commissioning requirements, there are significant security issues or safety requirements (see 15 FAM 252.5) that limit where employees may reside, or the host government imposes restrictions on where diplomatic staff may reside. To address this issue, posts must evaluate local post conditions to determine whether LQA/OHA is a viable option at post. This determination must be a collaborative review by post management, including the post Interagency Housing Board (IAHB), RSO, POSHO, and GSO. This is a required clause for every post policy. If LQA/OHA is not an option, the post policy must include a brief explanation (e.g., security issues, limited availability of housing, high cost of commissioning a new property, etc.) and the IAHB and ICASS Council must concur with the assessment.
c. Changes to LQA/OHA determination: If a post needs to change its current determination regarding LQA/OHA because of evolving circumstances at post, the same process must be followed. Once post has prepared the justification for the change and received the concurrence of the ICASS Council at post, the finding must be submitted to the regional bureau and the ICASS Service Center to update the central records. While Washington is not in a position to question post determinations on this issue, if there are additional questions from the FAP Governance Council on the change, they will be directed to post.
6 FAH-5 H-514 Welcome Kit Program
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
a. Most posts provide basic welcome kits, which allow employees and families to move directly into their assigned quarters while they await the arrival of their household effects (HHE) shipments. These kits may also be provided on departure to allow employees to remain in their assigned housing after their HHE has been packed and shipped.
b. The welcome kit typically includes items needed immediately upon arrival (e.g., basic kitchen set-up, linens, iron/ironing board, etc.) and should be the minimum needed until the HHE shipment arrives. Employees should ensure that family essentials are included in their air freight and HHE shipments in order to minimize welcome kit requirements.
c. How a post provides welcome kits will depend on the local environment. Posts should give careful consideration to the various options and ensure that it selects the most cost-effective approach. Some of the possible options include:
(1) Leased from a local company or the employee association: Welcome kit items are leased from a local company that specializes in this type of service. Post could have a contract for this service that provides a list of available items. Each agency/new employee could select from a pre-approved inventory list their desired items in advance of arrival to ensure the items are in the residence when required. When the HHE arrive, the kit would be picked up by the contractor. In this case, welcome kits would be direct charged to the using agency;
(2) Embassy maintains a “kit room”: At posts where labor costs are low, it may be more economically feasible to maintain a stock of basic welcome kit items that are pulled together for each arriving/departing family. The GSO section would ensure that the kits are delivered with all required items, in clean and usable condition. The arrival kit would be returned to GSO in clean and usable condition. The departure kit would be delivered by GSO, and upon the tenant’s departure it would be picked up by GSO, reassembled and restocked for the next family. In this case, costs for the welcome kit supplies would be included in post’s regional bureau target and budgeted in the main 6144-FAP services cost center; these items are not purchased with fenced FAP funds;
(3) Embassy purchases “limited use” welcome kits: At posts where labor costs are high, the more economical solution may be to procure pre-assembled low-cost welcome kits via ELSO (see paragraph g) and assign them to a family for use as the arrival and departure kit. The quantity and quality of the items in these kits should be kept to a minimum to keep the cost as low as possible as it is not intended that the kit will be reassigned to another family. Upon departure, GSO collects the kit and disposes of them in accordance with existing regulations. In this case, costs for the welcome kits would be included in post’s regional bureau target and budgeted in the main 6144-FAP services cost center; welcome kits are not purchased with fenced FAP funds;
d. Regardless of the approach used, post may also include items such as television sets, DVD players, vacuum cleaners, cribs, etc., in the welcome kit as “loanable” items, but these items may not remain in the home for the duration of an assignment and must be collected by GSO for use by other arriving/departing employees.
NOTE 1: TV/DVD Players: TVs and DVD players may not be provided under the FAP program or as part of a welcome kit that remains in the residence except as outlined in paragraph h below. If an agency employee requires such equipment for performance of job-related functions (see 15 FAM 723 paragraph b), the program funds of that agency must fund the equipment and the agency must maintain custody and inventory control.
NOTE 2: Local decoders or other equipment required to access television transmissions are not provided by the U.S. Government and are considered a personal expense.
e. Personal items (e.g., mops, brooms, buckets, toilet brushes, etc.) are not included in a welcome kit and are procured at the personal expense of the occupant. All employees should plan to purchase such items off the local market and/or include them in their HHE and/or air freight shipments.
f. Recognizing the different local conditions worldwide, a post may need to include additional items in the welcome kit to meet its unique requirements. Post should keep in mind the need to provide the minimally appropriate household items required while meeting the needs of incoming/departing employees and families.
g. A/LM maintains a contract for “limited use” welcome kits that include a wide range of household items and small appliances. Posts may use this source for their welcome kits, or purchase their requirements locally, facilitating the restocking of kits as needed.
h. Posts with an established one-year tour of duty have unique requirements for furnished housing. Due to limitations on shipments to these locations, the post FAP program provides fully equipped residential units that may include, in addition to the standard and supplemental FFA&E, items that are typically in a welcome kit: a fully-equipped kitchen (including some small appliances), bed linens/blankets, television and DVD player, and other furnishings required to support employees assigned to these locations. For such posts, to simplify the provision and maintenance of these items, they will be funded with fenced FAP monies until such time as post returns to normal operations (see 6 FAH-5 H-512.3-1, paragraph h(2)).
i. Disposal of welcome kits: All welcome kits must be collected at the end of their useful life and disposed of in accordance with 14 FAM 417.
6 FAH-5 H-515 Through H-519 Unassigned
6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-511
Sample Post FAP Policy
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
SUBJECT: Mission Furniture and Appliance Pool Policy
This document sets forth the policy and guidelines for Mission XXXXX’s residential furniture and appliance pool program in accordance with 6 FAH-5 H-510. Agencies must subscribe to cost center 6144- Furniture and Appliance Pool Services in order to receive the benefits of the furniture and appliance pool program (hereinafter referred to as FAP). This policy has been approved by the post ICASS Council.
The primary goal of the FAP is to ensure the equitable and cost effective provision of adequate furniture, furnishings, appliances and equipment (FFA&E) to all subscribing agencies. Under this policy, all agencies are treated the same and no agency receives preferential treatment. The FAP is intended to achieve economies of scale by maximizing agency participation in the FAP to limit stays in temporary quarters, extend the life cycles of FFA&E, and streamline warehouse and support requirements. Post will make every effort to ensure that all property in all residential units meets the minimum condition standards agreed to by the post Interagency Housing Board (IAHB) furniture pool committee.
This policy applies to all subscribers to the mission FAP. Beginning in FY2015, all newly-arriving employees who are eligible for government-provided housing must either join the post furnished housing program or locate privately-leased housing on the local market (LQA/OHA). This policy identifies the services available to subscribers and non-subscribers to the FAP.
Excluded from the FAP are the residences of the Chief of Mission, Deputy Chief of Mission, Principal Officer, and the Marine Security Guard Quarters and certain dedicated residences. These properties have separate funding sources that cover their FFA&E requirements.
4. Determining Standard FFA&E
Based on the post housing profile, the post IAHB furniture pool committee, working with the ICASS Budget Committee, has established the list of basic FFA&E items to be provided to each residential unit (see attached). The actual items provided to each residence will depend on the size of the property and the family configuration of the assigned occupant. This list will be reviewed periodically to determine if any adjustments are required either because of affordability issues or changes in requirements.
This same list of basic items is used to determine post’s buy-in requirement for new eligible positions. While not every housing unit can be furnished with all these items, post’s calculation is based on the average housing size in the post housing pool.
These basic items must remain in the unit, however, upon arrival post will allow a one-time removal of certain supplemental items (as identified on the attached list) and provide assistance in rearranging the remaining furniture. The addition of your personal furnishings to the basic items provided will make your assigned unit your home.
NOTE: All agencies should advise incoming employees in advance that GSO will not/not remove basic furniture items in order to accommodate personal furniture items shipped to post.
5. Privately-Leased Quarters (must be revised by post)
The mission does not provide furniture or furnishings to employees occupying privately-leased quarters (LQA/OHA).
Post does not have loaner furniture or welcome kits available for employees in LQA/OHA housing and agencies should ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for temporary quarters or other alternatives until the employee’s HHE arrives. If needed, post will assist in procuring basic appliances (i.e., to be completed by post) for LQA/OHA residences and all related costs for the purchase and shipping, as well as the delivery and installation, are direct charged to the sponsoring agency.
For employees on LQA/OHA, the GSO section will provide a list of reputable real estate agents/property managers who can assist in locating suitable housing. We will also provide a copy of the standard lease format, translate it (if needed), and assist in establishing connections with local utilities.
6. Replacement Schedule
In accordance with established policy, for budget and planning purposes the replacement cycle for all furniture items is 12 years; appliances and some furnishings have a shorter lifecycle. Each year GSO will assess the condition and age of FFA&E during the check-out process to determine which items need to be replaced or refurbished. Irrespective of the age of an item, if it is in good condition and can be cost effectively refurbished (if needed), it will not be replaced and those savings will accrue to the FAP program. Our goal is to maximize the lifecycle of all furniture pool items to keep our costs affordable while maintaining high standards for our program.
In accordance with the policy, mattresses are not on a 12-year replacement cycle and they will be replaced every four years (or every two assignment cycles, whichever is longer) unless circumstances dictate a longer or shorter replacement cycle. Occupancy and use of bedrooms will be a major factor in this determination.
7. Tenant Responsibilities
Participating agencies are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the basic guidelines of the furniture pool policy outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-510 and ensuring their employees are aware of tenant responsibilities. During the check-in/check-out process, the tenant will participate in a review of the inventory and the condition of the items. For the check-in process, the tenant will be given thirty days to sign and return the inventory which includes acknowledgement of financial responsibility for damage or loss as determined by the Property Management Officer (see 14 FAM 416.3). For the check-out process, the tenant will be required to settle any damage assessments prior to departure from post. The post IAHB has agreed that all employees with pets will be required to personally fund the professional cleaning of all upholstered furniture, in addition to any assessed damage charges.
8. Welcome Kits
Post has available a limited number of basic welcome kits with sheets, towels, pots, pans, tableware and miscellaneous kitchen items to allow employees to immediately occupy their assigned housing prior to the arrival of their air freight and/or household shipment. To minimize temporary housing costs, every effort is made to move incoming employees directly into their assigned housing upon arrival at post. Employees are strongly encouraged to use their air freight allowance to include those items needed immediately upon arrival at post. Welcome kits must be returned to GSO in clean and usable condition.
9. Furniture and Appliance Pool Buy-ins
All agencies are encouraged to participate in the post FAP. In accordance with the methodology outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-510, when first joining the pool, post will accept “in-kind” contributions, supplemented with assessed monetary charges as needed, based on the age and condition of agency furniture. Post uses the Department of State’s furniture contract in order to maintain a standard inventory of items that are easily incorporated in the FAP. Appliances and other supplemental items are procured from various sources to accommodate local voltage, ensure good quality and reasonable prices.
When a new position is established and the agency opts to join the furnished housing program, the start-up costs identified in the NSDD-38 cable must be collected prior to the arrival of the new employee. Payment of the start-up costs does not guarantee that agency’s employee will be assigned new furniture; rather, the employee will be assigned to an appropriately-sized residential unit as determined by the post IAHB, furnished as noted in section 4 above. The current new position buy-in cost is $XX,XXX.
10. Annual Assessments and Funding
Furniture pool funds are fenced within the ICASS budget. All FAP collections (e.g., buy-ins for new positions or buy-in assessments for new subscribers) and any FAP target and non-target funds included in the budget may only be spent on FAP items. These funds are fenced to maintain the integrity of the FAP and ensure requirements can be met throughout the year; any unused amounts are carried over into the following year and may only be applied to ongoing FAP requirements.
The GSO and FMO will review FAP funding requirements annually. Based on the 12-year replacement schedule and the actual condition of the existing inventory, post will establish its spending plan to maintain the FAP. This amount will be offset by recoveries and proceeds of sale and will take into consideration buy-in collections and available carryover funds. The GSO and FMO will present their recommendations to the ICASS Budget Committee for approval and inclusion in the post budget. Because this annual assessment essentially prorates the depreciation of FFA&E items, there will always be carryover amounts earmarked for this program. Over time, if these amounts exceed our requirements, we will make the necessary adjustments to reduce the annual assessment and pass the savings on to the participating agencies. The current annual assessment amount is $X,XXX.
11. Workload Counts
Workload counts (number of subscribers to the FAP for each agency) will be calculated on May 1 of each year, following the guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-341.8, as well as H-512.5 and H-512.6. Positions that are temporarily vacant are included in the workload counts for the upcoming fiscal year. Changes to workload counts (e.g., downsizing, withdrawal, long-term vacancies) will follow the established guidance.
12. Moving of Furniture
The ICASS budget includes all costs associated with routine moving of pooled furniture. All costs associated with moving an agency's non-pooled residential furniture will be direct charged to the owning agency. The goal is to limit unnecessary moving costs charged to the FAP and reduce wear and tear on the furniture, thereby extending its useful life.
13. FAP Inventory
All items purchased for the FAP are considered ICASS property and will be inventoried and managed by GSO in accordance with Department of State property regulations. When agencies join the FAP with “in-kind” buy-ins, appropriate property transfer documents will be completed to bring those items into the ICASS inventory system and allow the agency to remove them from its records. To ensure accuracy and transparency, all assets will be identified in ILMS with the agency code “FAP.” When these items have reached the end of their useful life, they will be disposed of and any proceeds of sale will be applied back to the furniture pool program.
Attachments: 1. List of standard furniture and
furnishings showing new position buy-in cost
2. Annual Assessment calculation showing lifecycle for each item
6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-512.5
Sample FAP Subscription Template
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
6 FAH-5 EXHIBIT H-513.2-2(1)
Standard Furniture, Furnishings, Appliances, and Equipment (FFA&E) For U.S. Government-Furnished Residences
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
STANDARD FFA&E FOR U.S. GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED RESIDENCES
The Department of State residential furniture contract is the primary source of residential furniture and furnishings. Each post must have an approved Furniture and Appliance Pool (FAP) policy (see 6 FAH-5 H-510) which includes the list of standard and supplemental items post has determined will be provided to the “average” residence. The following is a list of standard residential items that may be provided to U.S. Government-furnished residences; this list is not to be considered an entitlement or a requirement.
Living Room: Sofa, Loveseat, Lounge Chair, Occasional Chair (2), End Table, Corner Table, Cocktail Table, Accessory Table, Bookcase (2), Hall Chest, Table Lamp (2), Floor Lamp, Mirror, TV Credenza.
Dining Room: Dining Table, Protective Table Pad, Dining Chair w/arms (2), Dining chair w/o arms (4 to 8); Sideboard/Buffet; China Cabinet w/base.
Family Room/Den: Sofa, Lounge Chair, Ottoman, Cocktail Table, End Table (2), Computer Desk w/hutch, Printer Cabinet, Desk Chair, Bookcase, Desk Lamp, Table Lamp (2).
Master Bedroom: Queen Headboard/Frame/Mattress/Box spring, Night Stand (2), Dresser, Mirror, Chest of Drawers, Lounge Chair, Table Lamp (2).
Guest/Additional Bedrooms: Twin Headboard/Frame/Mattress/Box spring (2) or a Queen Headboard/Frame/Mattress/Box spring, Night Stand (2 if a Queen bed), Dresser, Mirror, Chest of Drawers, Occasional Chair, Table Lamp (2), Computer Desk/Hutch, Desk Chair, Desk Lamp.
Patio Furniture: Table, Chairs, Umbrella, Lounge Chairs, Side Table, as appropriate*
Appliances: Washer/Dryer (or shared laundry facility), cooking range/oven, refrigerator, microwave). (This includes replacement of built-in appliances in GO/CL properties, as required.) (See the Supplemental List for information regarding dishwashers and other appliances.)
Kitchen table and chairs*
Rugs, carpets/carpet pads*
Table and floor lamps, as needed
Transformers/Adapters: Transformers and adaptor plugs required for US Government-furnished equipment are provided. In addition, a maximum of three appropriately-sized transformers will be provided for personal use. Additional transformers and all adaptor plugs for personal devices are the responsibility of the employee (see 6 FAH-5 H-513.2-2 paragraph d).
Wardrobes (as necessary, when no closets are provided)*
Window treatments: Curtains, blinds, shades, etc., if not provided by the landlord. When provided by the U.S. Government, window treatments should be purchased ready-made whenever possible. (See the Supplemental List for information on blackout curtains.)
To accommodate customer needs and to provide inventory flexibility, post may consider stocking a limited number of specialized or additional items like bunk beds, sofa beds, curio cabinet, student desk/chair, bookcases, etc., which are available under the contract. These items are not included as part of the “standard” furniture or included in the calculation of the new position buy-in cost. Such purchases must be managed from within post’s existing FAP budget and should be outlined in post’s FAP policy.
NOTE* No requirement to purchase from the contract vendor(s). These items are carried on the residential furniture contract as a convenience for post but may be procured either from the contract or locally, as deemed appropriate.
6 FAH-5 EXHIBIT H-513.2-2(2)
Supplemental Furniture, Furnishings, Appliances, and Equipment (FFA&E) For U.S. Government-Furnished Residences
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)
The U.S. Government may provide supplemental FFA&E in accordance with the caveats noted in this exhibit and the procedures outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-513.2-2 paragraph b in order to be funded with fenced FAP monies. Post’s Furniture and Appliance Pool (FAP) policy must specify the kind and number of supplemental items to be provided as part of the furnishings for the “average” residence.
Air conditioners/coolers: (see 15 FAM 634): If such equipment is not provided by the landlord, it may be provided by the US Government, depending on local conditions. Appropriately-sized units shall be provided for each occupied bedroom; additional units will be provided according to need as determined by post policy in coordination with guidance from the facilities manager and general services officer. Every effort should be made to ensure such equipment can be cost effectively removed and reinstalled, as needed. Before installing air conditioners, consideration should be given to the installation of ceiling fans as a more cost-effective option; ceiling fans may be included in the FAP.
Air filters/cleaners: In locations with an air pollution level of 1, 2 or 3 (per data maintained on the M/MED/DASHO website), post should consider providing air filtration units. Appropriate solutions must be coordinated with OBO/OPS/SHEM. Daily/routine maintenance of such equipment is an occupant responsibility. (NOTE: Specialized replacement filters for this equipment may be provided via the FAP.)
Blackout curtains: Blackout curtains may be provided in bedrooms at posts with prolonged daylight hours. At all other posts, standard room-darkening shades or blinds are appropriate in bedrooms. Post management should determine what is appropriate given post circumstances.
Dishwasher: Dishwashers may be provided, where appropriate, provided that no major re-plumbing or retrofits are required. Before adding dishwashers to the FAP, post must also consider the ongoing service/repair requirements and post’s capacity to provide such services.
Fireplace equipment: (as needed).
Food freezers: Provided only at posts where food shopping and local markets are limited and additional frozen food storage is essential. Consideration should be given to the following conditions: adequacy of local electricity supply; isolated post location; lack of commissary services; restricted seasonal availability of meat, seafood, etc., on the local market; and the need to import large quantities of food to supplement locally available items.
NOTE: Freezers may be provided to all dedicated residences that are included in the FAP and their workload count weighted as 1.2.
Heating appliances, portable: If the heating system in a residential property is insufficient or inadequate, as determined by the Facilities Manager, such equipment can be provided. All equipment must meet the specifications outlined in OBO’s Fire Protection Guidelines, F-3 Portable Electric Appliances.
Humidifiers/dehumidifiers: Provided if required by local climate conditions. Daily/routine maintenance of such equipment is an occupant responsibility; instructions/guidance must be provided by GSO.
Lawn mower: Recognizing the difficulties of shipping such equipment, a lawn mower is provided as needed. All other garden tools and equipment are a personal expense.
Mosquito bed nets: At all posts rated category four or five for malaria or other mosquito-borne diseases, insecticide treated bed nets will be provided for all bedrooms. Bed nets will be replaced every three to four years. Bed nets should not be re-treated with insecticide.
Swimming Pool Equipment: Pool covers, safety equipment, skimmers, cleaning tools, etc. may be included where needed. Pool chemicals and ongoing maintenance is a tenant responsibility.
Voltage regulators/power stabilizers and related equipment: Provision of such equipment must be coordinated with and approved by OBO/CFSM/FAC/PS to ensure selection of appropriate equipment for post requirements (See 15 FAM 635).
Water Heaters: At posts where it is necessary to add or replace water heaters.
Water tank/water pump: At posts where water shortages or other issues require this type of equipment.
Water treatment equipment: There are two types of water treatment systems that may be required at overseas posts. First is water purification equipment, also known as a “point of use” system (e.g., filters, distillers, etc.). This type of system is provided only at posts where the tap water is not potable as determined by OBO/OPS/SHEM and the RMO as outlined in 15 FAM 957.5. The second type is water treatment equipment for “point of entry” systems required at posts where all water for the property must be treated before it is used. Posts must coordinate with OBO/CFSM/FAC/PS for guidance. For point of entry systems it may be more appropriate to include such upgrades in the commissioning process for a new property.
Unless an item is shown on the standard or supplemental list, it is considered a personal expense. If a post believes that a particular item that is not on these lists should be provided at USG expense, a request outlining the reason the item should be provided, along with the cost implications, must be submitted to the FAP Governance Council for review (see 6 FAH-5 H-513.2-2 paragraph b NOTE).