Doing Business With the Defense Finance and Accounting Service
General Info about DFAS<@VM>The CIO file: Audrey Davis
- By Evamarie C. Socha
- May 22, 2003
1931 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22240-5291
Thomas Bloom Employees:
16,000What it does:
DFAS is the world's largest finance and accounting operation. In 2002 it handled the paychecks and entitlements of about 5.7 million military personnel, defense civilian employees, employees of the Executive Office of the President, military retirees and annuitants. It also pays defense contractors and provides business intelligence to Congress and the executive branch regarding the finance end of defense. Major subagencies:
DFAS has three lines of business: Military and Civilian Pay Services manages all pay issues; Commercial Pay Services pays defense contractors; and the Accounting Services provides departmental and field-level accounting and disbursing services. There are client executives that act as points of contact for each military service and defense agencies. DFAS has 26 locations worldwide. The Web site:
The information on doing business with DFAS is straightforward, but I just stumbled upon it. I clicked on "news" on the homepage, which took me to "What's New," where there happens to be a link to "DFAS Contracting Opportunities" (www.dfas.mil/aso/asdindex.htm
). A direct link to this on the homepage would be better. However, once you get to this link, it has all the information you need, including specifics on active solicitations and small businesses. It's a good link, but it needs to be more obvious. Also, the reference library link (www.dfas.mil/library
) has good info on contractor payment.
Director for information and technology and chief information officerTook the job:
Lawton, Okla.Home now:
Alexandria, Va. Family:
Mom and dad in Oklahoma, older brother and younger sister in DallasHobbies:
Reading, physical exercise, doing anything with her hands such as knitting, crocheting and sewing.Currently reading:
"The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?" by Rick Warren Alma mater:
Bachelors of science degree in geography, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater; Master's degree in urban and regional planning, University of Oklahoma in Norman. Also attended Industrial College of Armed forces, Fort McNair, DC; Masters in national security strategy WT: What are the main technology needs of your agency?
Davis: There are two things: understanding how we want to change the way we do business, and then using technology to support that. The industry term today is "coming up with an architecture." That really is how we want to do business in the future. That is one piece. The other piece is governance. For us, it's become a big issue, the accountability and oversight of all the different systems. Our business is so tech-enabled. How do we use it to meet our vision WT: Now that we're at war, have your priorities changed?
Davis: From a tech standpoint, they've changed only in that we have an increased awareness from security standpoint. We're always concerned about security, but the whole, continuing operation focus has been heightened. We spend a lot of time testing ... [the] slightest things that look suspicious. We're on them.WT: What do you look for in companies with which you are thinking of doing business?
Davis: I look for companies that can provide value-added services, a company who really wants to know the business that we're in. Not from the standpoint of what can I sell you, but what value adds can I provide you without selling you anything. Building relations, that's what I like. WT: A year from now, where do you see DFAS' technology capabilities?
Davis: I think a year from now we'll be better aligned with our strategy. We have a large customer base, and we want to satisfy their needs. We want to do that in a way that is best for the whole, because we easily could go off along any customer's particular needs. We will stay closer to tech investments that are better aligned with our vision and strategy. Another piece is [enterprise resource planning.] We have that whole effort in the Defense Department, to be better aligned. We'll be moving closer to that.