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    Undersea Warfare Center Comptroller is Still Open for Business



    Story by Nathanael T. Miller 

    Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport

    The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport’s Comptroller Department remains open for business supporting the warfare center’s financial needs during the Coronavirus pandemic.

    The comptroller department oversees the budgeting, accounting, and other financial operations critical to NUWC Keyport’s ability to continue the mission of supporting the nation’s warfighters.

    Dave Shafer, NUWC Keyport’s comptroller, said the department was able to shift rapidly to a full telework status when the requirement for distancing emerged.

    “The shift to 100% telework for the comptroller department was relatively seamless,” Shafer said. “Virtually all processes were already fully electronic and all employees already had notebook computers due to continuity of operations planning for just such an event.”

    Although the Comptroller team was already operating in an electronic world, they did face some challenges due to the unprecedented shifting of a large portion of the Navy’s nationwide workforce to telework.

    “The biggest challenge shifting to telework was associated with getting and maintaining connectivity,” Shafer said. “After about a week or so, when the Navy was able to increase the number of lines available, the connectivity issues were mostly mitigated. There are still occasions with temporary connectivity outages that lead to delays in work and some employee frustration.”

    Communication between the department’s members proved to be another challenge the team had to find ways to overcome.

    “We have learned the importance of being exceptionally clear in communications. Since we can't read body language on a conference call, it may be harder to determine if points being made are really understood by all,” said Shafer.

    Shafer said special attention was paid to the safety needs of the department’s contractors. Many contracts originally precluded contractors from teleworking. Shafer said the contracts were quickly amended to provide telework options for the contractors.

    “The contract for our contractor employees were quickly modified within a couple days to allow our contractor employees to telework,” said Shafer. “We had an adequate number of spare notebook computers to accommodate all our contractor employees so we were very quick to get all contractors telecommuting. This has given them the same level of protection for their health and wellbeing that is afforded to our federal employees.”

    Shafer believes the department will continue relying heavily on telework even when the Coronavirus pandemic has passed.

    “Even if an effective vaccine comes out for coronavirus that eliminates it as a threat going forward I think we will continue to see a significant increase in telecommuting by the department,” said Shafer. “We have also become much more adept at doing conference calls and are starting to explore using Microsoft Teams video conferencing.”

    Shafer said his team has worked hard to overcome the challenges they faced in order to keep NUWC Keyport’s financial house in order. This has allowed the command to continue focusing on its core mission while also beginning to support the local civilian medical community and Naval Hospital Bremerton.

    “We are determined to ensure we do our part to keep Keyport open for business,” Shafer said. “My team has adapted and will always find new methods to keep functioning so we can help keep Keyport on mission.”



    Date Taken: 05.12.2020
    Date Posted: 05.12.2020 11:57
    Story ID: 369794
    Location: KEYPORT, WA, US 

    Web Views: 75
    Downloads: 0