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    MoD, Resolute Support mentor finance and budget trainees

    Resolute Support staff mentor MoD finance and budget trainees

    Story and Photos by Lt. j.g. Egdanis Torres Sierra Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan Public Affairs

    KABUL, Afghanistan (Dec. 24, 2016) — Financial management trainees from multiple Ministry of Defense offices trained with financial advisors from Headquarters Resolute Support here this week.

    The one-day financial management seminar is part of Resolute Support’s train, advise, and assist mission, and gave Afghan MoD employees the opportunity to meet with advisors from the Multi-Year Budgeting and Execution of Programs office, known as EF-1 Functional Area Support Team or FAST, for mentorship and training.

    “This type of forum gives them a better understanding of how the Afghan financial management processes takes place and provides an opportunity for the employees to network, which improves interagency communication and support of each other within the MoD,” explained Kevin Marks, EF-1 FAST program manager.

    The seminar covered budget programming and analysis, gender integration and anti-corruption reform methods such as the Afghan personnel and pay systems and enterprise resource planning. These two systems provide transparency from authorization of salaries through pay, auditability for all personnel and pay activities, accountability, and internal controls by integrating single pay charts for all personnel and following standardized entitlement procedures. The APPS and ERP also reduce personnel requirements for paying 350-thousand soldiers and policemen.

    “I started working at the MoD two months ago and this training is very useful for us with a lot of information that will get us better prepared,” said Basira Khwaja Omari, financial database analyst at the strategy and policy department.

    The participants are all young Afghan recruits with academic degrees and field experience in finance. The advisors from EF-1 FAST then train the candidates to transition into full-time civil service positions at the MoD.

    “The ministry currently lacks a capable and affordable civilian workforce. Ideally, when the program is long over and U.S. and NATO is withdrawn, these very capable employees will still be working in the Ministry as government civilians,” Marks said.

    During the seminar, participants also brought up their concerns and explored possible solutions with their advisors.

    “Some of the challenges expressed by the employees were not fully understanding their roles within the MoD and how their work contributed to capacity building and sustainment,” expressed Darlene Mitchell, senior finance budget advisor. “During the training we engaged them in the conversation and provided a holistic view of MoD and its structure, the importance of integration and communication, as well as, key periods of budgetary calendar/cycle, budgetary savings and future opportunities within MoD.”

    Anny Garcia, EF-1 lead and senior resource manager further explained growth opportunities within FAST, which began a year ago.

    “The program and its participants have faced some resistance from within MoD due to a lack of awareness of their roles. Training events such as the one held here are designed to begin the cross communication and engender support,” Garcia explained. “As an advisor, I took this opportunity to reinforce the need for planning and programming of future requirements as well as better management of current allocated resources. I am confident that once armed with additional training, networking opportunities and support from their leadership and peers, this group of eager, young professionals can bring about lasting improvements to an already challenging process,” she expressed.

    The program manager for the company supporting the FAST program highlighted the importance of this initiative during his remarks, adding they’d hired 200 educated Afghan professionals this year, 20 percent of them females.

    The EF-1 FAST program has more than 160 workers supporting the ministry in critical non-warfighting functions, 34 of them at the provincial level in the Corps headquarters. Advisors continue to set them up for success confident that they will be successful in their careers. Mitchell concluded that FAST employees have a wealth of expertise, work experience, and knowledge to share. They have the vision, the knowledge and the experience to help pave the way to successful careers in MoD now and into future.



    Date Taken: 12.24.2016
    Date Posted: 12.28.2016 04:42
    Story ID: 218673
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 74
    Downloads: 0