Operation Staff Meeting _OSM_

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					       Operation Staff Meeting
             July 2003

            Presented by the
               DCP ARC

DHHS                             of Health
•   Reminders and Updates
     – Receiving
     – A Change of Schedule
•   Procurement
     – DEMO: Obtaining ECSIII Bidding for Hardware Purchases
     – Poll: Would a Credit Card Seminar or Workshop for CH‟s & CAO‟s Be Useful?
     – Unauthorized Purchases List
•   Travel
     – NBS News
     – Trip Reports
     – Revised Foreign Travel Policy
     – Revised Local Travel Policy
•   Personnel
     – TSP Catch-Up
•   Open Discussion
Reminders & Updates
    Another Receiving Update
• Try to keep up the good work:
  – After everyone was doing so well, receiving is
    starting to become delayed again;
     • Open ROC and PSO‟s are piling up.
     • Please continue to make an effort to close these out in a
       timely manner.
  – Remember, receiving is due 7 days after the
  – As we near Sept 30th, it becomes extremely
    important that we close out all open files.
      A Change of Schedule
• Our Operation Staff Meetings (OSM) have
  been on the 2nd Tuesday of Every Month from
• This schedule creates a conflict for a staff
  member who‟s research group has a meeting
  on that exact date & time:
  – We’d like to change our schedule to the 2nd
    Thursday of every month from 2:30pm-3:30pm
  – Email me ASAP if this will create a “steady”
    problem for you.
            DEMO: Using ECS III
• ECS III Contracts: This is easiest way to obtain
  quotes for your hardware purchases over $2,500
  – What Is It?
     • The Electronic Commodities Store Contract (ECS) offers computer
       hardware, software and other equipment to NIH.
  – What are the benefits?
     • Dozens of contractors will compete for your business by submitting
       online bids- this saves you a lot of time! No more repetitive phone
       calls and faxes to different vendors.
     • You may select the specific brand names/models you want.
     • Place one online request for quote with your own deadline;
     • After receiving the bids, you choose the lowest price, print the RFQ
       page and submit this with your purchase request to the ARC.
     • Procurements are made via BPA (ROC) or on Visa (made by Eric).
            DEMO: Using ECS III
• You‟ll need to go to the ECS III Home Page:
   – Or, go to:
      • CAMP, Admin, Business Areas, Procurement, Electronic
        Computer Store, ECS III
• First, you‟ll need to submit an instant registration:
   – From the Home Page, click on
   – You‟ll go to:
   – Click on
           DEMO: Using ECS III
• Soon after registering, you‟ll receive an email
  with you user name and password
• When you‟re ready to use the ECS III RFQ:
  – Just like when you registered, go to the ECS III
    homepage, click on ECS III quoting system, and
    this time click on
  – There‟s an on-line manual at:
             DEMO: Using ECS III
• Creating a New Request For Quote (RFQ)
  –   Click on “RFQ‟s” at the top of the page;
  –   Use the drop down to choose “Create New RFQ”;
  –   Select the equipment type (or ALL types);
  –   You may click “Attach File” if you have a document on your
      computer with your desired equipment spec.s;
  –   If you wish, click, „Notify by email‟ for RFQ responses;
  –   Click create RFQ;
  –   Choose a deadline for all bids by entering the date;
  –   Submit the quote, and sit back and wait for the vendors to
      battle over your business!
      Visa IMPAC Card Poll
• The monthly Purchase Card Survival
  Meetings have basically stopped.
• At next month‟s OSM, we‟ll focus on
  purchase card close out issues.
• In the meantime, would a Credit Card
  Seminar or Workshop be of value to you?
  Perhaps have a test audit?
• Email Eric if you or your CAO would be
  interested in either a Visa IMPAC seminar or
  „test‟ audit.
Updated NIH Purchase Card Program
   Unauthorized Purchases List

• The Visa IMPAC Unauthorized Purchases list
  was not attached to last month‟s OSM
• In case you didn‟t get a chance to stop by my
  office to pick one up, I‟ve included a copy to
  this month‟s handouts
         New Business System
• In the ADB:
  – Enter all travel in the ADB taking place in FY2003,
    including travel with a departure date in FY2003 and a
    return date in FY2004.
  – The ADB will not allow FY2004 travel to be entered.
  – The ADB will be available until September 30, 2003 for
    processing new FY2003 trips.
  – The ADB will be available after September 30, 2003 to
    close out FY2003 trips.
        New Business System
• In the NBS:
  – Enter all travel in the NBS that begins on or after
    October 1, 2003 (FY 2004)
  – The NBS will not allow FY 2003 travel to be
  No FY 2004 travel should be entered until the NBS
    System goes live
            New Business System
• Need to refresh your skills and knowledge of the NBS
  Travel System?
   – Refresher training activities are available to help you make the transition
     to the new Travel system:
   – Large forums to provide you with new information for using the NBS
     Travel System - Last one July16th
   – Register with CIT at 301.594.6248 or <>.
   – If you can not attend the NBS Town Hall, all the handouts can be found
     at the following website: You can also
     view a videocast of the June 25 Town Hall at:
         New Business System
  – Local, Foreign, and Sponsored Travel workshops to
    augment the Travel training you have already received
    from the Training & Development Branch (TDB) or the
    NBS training team. Attend any or all of these hands-on
    workshops being conducted between July 7th and August
  – Space is limited, so register with CIT at 301.594.6248 or
  – Haven‟t yet completed the NBS Travel System training
         New Business System
  – Every Tuesday from June 17th through August 26th, you
    will receive an email with links to brief Job Aids, Slide
    Shows, and Exercises to complete.
  – The ARC highly recommends that you complete these
  – Note: June 17-July 8 exercises are in your handouts
  – Training for your travelers: Job aid will be emailed to
    all NIH employees in August
  – Questions? Contact the ARC or NBS Customer Support
    at <> or 301-435-NBS7
Confirming NFT‟s & Completing Trip
          Reports [revisited]
• Foreign trip reports are now required for all
  travel entered after June 10th.
• Travelers must prepare a brief report
  indicating who, when, where, what, why.
• The reports must be in a .PDF format.
• As of June 20th, Anne Rogerson was trying to
  get instructions from her IT staff on how to
  prepare and save a report in .PDF. She will
  keep us posted.
Confirming NFT‟s & Completing Trip
          Reports [revisited]
• Please remember: As NFT preparers, you
  must confirm trips once your travelers have
  returned from travel.
• Once a traveler has returned, have them
  submit a trip report to you using pdf
• Or, have them send you the report in WP or
  Word and you can convert the file.
     Confirming NFT‟s & Completing Trip
               Reports [revisited]
• To confirm a trip:
   – Go to and click on the WIP login
   – Your username is your email address and your password is
   – Log in, go to the bottom bin called, “Awaiting Trip Report”
   – If there are trips for you to confirm, click on “Confirm
     Trip/Save Report” next to the traveler‟s name.
   – Review information, if correct, click the „Confirm NFT‟ button
     Confirming NFT‟s & Completing Trip
               Reports [revisited]
• To confirm a trip (continued):
  – Check the box next to the traveler‟s name
  – Put n/a in the „Report Description‟ text box
  – Click on the gray browse button and find the
    NoTripRptReq.PDF file
  – Double click this file
  – Finally, click on the submit button
  – The Report will no longer be in your AWAITING TRIP
    REPORT bin.
Revisions & Updates to Travel Policies
  – Travelers are allowed 2 days of annual leave
    per fiscal year for a single international trip.
     •   Both days must be taken on a single trip.
     •   You can‟t bank one day and apply it to another trip.
     •   Weekend and holidays are not counted.
     •   No annual leave may be taken on a sponsored
         foreign trip.
 Revisions & Updates to Travel Policies
• LEAVE POLICY for Domestic travel
  – Annual leave for domestic regular, and sponsored
    travel remains the same:
     • The number of personal days (including weekends) cannot
       exceed the number of days of official business.
     • Leave must be reflected:
        – on the travel order,
        – and in ITAS
   Revisions & Updates to Travel Policies
• Vacations while on Official Duty Travel:
  – If a traveler is going on vacation (paying their own airfare)
    and is asked to conduct business while on vacation, the
    following applies:
     • If business is before or after vacation, we may be authorized to pay
       Per diem, registration fees, miscellaneous travel expenses like tolls &
       taxis. However,
     • If business is in the middle of vacation and is at or near the
       vacation area, no Per diem may be paid (even if it‟s sponsored
         – The rationale for this is if you are taking a vacation and then are asked
           to do business in the middle of the vacation at your vacation site, you
           would have already been paying for lodging and meals.
         – Vacations combined with business where the employee is paying the
           airfare still requires a travel order and an NFT.
  Revisions & Updates to Travel Policies
• US Citizens must use their official passport.
  Rationale for use of official passport is that it‟s
  considered a misrepresentation for an official
  traveler to use a tourist passport.
• Premium class Sponsored tickets - In order to be
  able to accept a premium class ticket from a
  sponsor, the sponsor must make full payment to
  NIH in advance of the trip, or they must obtain an
  „In-kind‟ ticket for the traveler.
   – In order to accept a premium class ticket, this class of
     accommodation must also be provided to all meeting
  Revisions & Updates to Travel Policies
• Attendance at foreign meetings with exorbitant
  registration fees (> $500) should be discouraged.
• Attendance at foreign continuing education
  seminars or other training opportunities may be
  approved by managers only after determining that
  the same or substantially similar courses are not
  held within the US.
   Revisions & Updates to Travel Policies
• The Annual International Travel Plan:
  – Beginning in fy‟04 we will be required to submit an annual
    foreign travel plan to HHS for all travel being paid with
    appropriated or sponsored funds.
  – NIH will be coming out in July or August with a list of
    meetings that we will have to gather specific information on.
  – In anticipation of this new requirement, we recommend you
    survey your travelers now to find out their foreign travel
    plans for fy‟04. You may want to create your own listing in
    preparation of this request.
  – The ARC will eventually need this information. The format
    & specific requirements will follow as soon as we receive
  Revisions & Updates to Travel Policies
• Local Travel changes:
  – The HHS Local Travel Area/Official Duty Station:
     • Is a minimum radius of 50 miles from BOTH the official duty
       station AND the employee‟s residence [previously 35 miles].
     • Per diem allowances may not be paid within this local travel area /
       official duty station.
     • Transportation expenses may only be claimed if they are above
       normal commuting distances.
     • It is HHS policy that the travel charge card may only be used for
       official travel related expenses connected with temporary duty
       travel. The travel charge card may not be used for local travel.
        TSP Catch-Up Contributions
• If you will be age 50 before the end of 2003, or you are over age 50 and
  you are currently contributing the maximum regular contributions toward
  your TSP account, you are eligible to make “catch-up” contributions as
  well. Under the catch-up provisions, eligible employees may contribute up
  to $2,000.00 during calendar year 2003.
• Catch-up contributions are NOT limited by open seasons. Eligible
  employees may start, stop and change amounts contributed at any time.
• Allocations are made in whole dollar amounts and will continue until either
  the annual limit is reached or you elect to stop contributions.
• Unlike regular TSP contributions, catch-up contributions must be elected
  each calendar year.
• Detailed information about catch-up contributions can be found at
         TSP Catch-Up Contributions
• Elections will begin August 10, 2003 if your request is received prior to that
  date. If received after August 10, it will be effective the beginning of the pay
  period after receipt.
• The easiest way to begin catch-up contributions is by using Employee
  Express using your PIN.
• If you cannot locate your EE PIN, you may request a new PIN at the web
  site or by calling 1-478-757-3030.
• You will receive a new PIN within 48 hours of your request if you request
  that they e-mail the new PIN. Otherwise, you will receive the PIN at your
  home address within two weeks.
             OPEN DISCUSSION
        Problems? Issues? Concerns?
        Anything you‟d like to see on next month‟s agenda?
        Do you have something you‟d like to present?
        Just let us know!
NEXT MONTH‟S Operation Staff Meeting (OSM) will be 2:30-
3:30pm on the second ??? of the month.
Remember to email me if the 2nd Thursday of each month at
2:30-3:30pm presents a problem. I‟ll send out an email with next
month‟s schedule within the next 2 weeks.

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