Regardless of whether you’re new to Government Property management or you’re a seasoned veteran — taking on a property management role at a new organization is daunting. It is possible that you will be able to start from scratch and have a clean slate to build your department the way you see fit. But, more than likely you will be taking over from someone else who had the position before you. When you inherit a government property management program like this, it’s likely that the policies, management processes and systems are out of date.
1. Assess Your Requirements
First, take the time to review your contract obligations and the current systems that you have at your disposal to manage GFP and CAP in your possession. Also, begin researching how to perform a self-audit against your contract. That will get you into the mindset of a DCMA auditor and better understand how they’ll approach the process.
Government Property Manager, Matt Schuerman, from Scientific Research Corporation (SRC) says, “One of the greatest challenges I faced when taking on the role of Government Property Manager was that I was hired to build a DCMA compliant Government Property Management System from scratch with only 8 months until our scheduled DCMA audit. This consisted of creating a corporate policy, training program, property forms, conducting a full scope inventory, record scrubbing, retagging efforts, and implementing a strategic asset tracking system.
The [corporate] policy (which was one paragraph) had been developed in the early ‘90s and did not even reference current FAR/DFARS regulations. Assets were being tracked on an extremely disorganized excel spreadsheet with numerous inaccuracies. The methodology of tracking assets across various locations was dependent upon numerous sites providing spreadsheet updates to one employee at corporate to update. This methodology was not only inefficient, it was also ineffective.”
2. Find What Motivates You, Then Prioritize
Being prepared for a DCMA audit is one of the greatest priorities of a government property manager. Preparing for an audit takes considerable planning. The risks of failing an audit are significant and could last years. If you’re organization is flagged as “high risk” by DCMA, audits become more frequent.
“After structuring a new corporate policy, I knew that the next step of implementing a technology solution was imperative in accurately managing such a diverse range of assets in so many locations.” Says Matt Schuerman, “During the hiring process, I made a commitment to SRC that if I was selected, I would embrace the difficult challenge of building them a system provided that they support me with the resources necessary to achieve it. They honored their commitment and I was determined to honor mine.”
3. Invest in Technology to Make Life Easier
Today’s modern technology is designed to save time, improve accuracy and streamline reporting. Government property managers can take advantage of available systems in the market that can manage this entire lifecycle of government property while automating reporting obligations to government systems. However finding the right government property management system to meet the demands of your government contracts and now the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) obligations take careful consideration.
Matt tells us about the results of his investment: “Having the ability to empower multiple locations to manage their own inventory, while still being able to manage all records from a corporate level has led to significant improvements in our accuracy, visibility, and consistency of our inventory. The outstanding Property Management team across SRC has quickly learned to adapt and rely on the system which has drastically reduced their inventory times. Inventories that previously took days were reduced to hours. Rather than sifting through piles of paper to find an asset, we simply scan it and get the information we need in seconds.
Having the ability to take our DCMA auditor to locations and scan assets to show all the required information significantly reduces our audit time and mitigates risk.”
Click here to read more about how Matt and his property management team were able to update and establish a new process at SRC that increased efficiency, accuracy and audit-readiness.