K. Administrative Section


The Administrative Section comprises the following positions:

  • Administrative Officer.
  • Administrative Support Specialist.
    Specific responsibilities for each position are listed below.

1. Administrative Officer

The Administrative Officer manages the DART’s fiscal and administrative activities; hires and manages local personnel; and procures supplies, services, and facilities for the DART. The Administrative Officer reports directly to the Team Leader. Specific responsibilities of the Administrative Officer are as follows.

a. Predeparture

  • Contact the Team Leader, and receive a general briefing. In addition to the General Checklist for All DART Members in section E, the Administrative Officer should:
    • Discuss fiscal authorities and levels delegated to the Team Leader by OFDA/W and determine support levels and facilitation of distribution of administrative support cables.
    • Establish fiscal reporting requirements with USAID/Embassy and fiscal monitoring requirements for administrative fund cites.
    • Establish a contact with USAID/Embassy as liaison with the DART for administrative concerns.
    • Establish contact with the USAID Financial Management Office in-country, and discuss the possible workload consequences of the DART’s presence.
    • Establish contact with OFDA/W Financial Management Office to facilitate the movement of DART funds.
    • Determine types and levels of administrative support to be provided by administrative function to DART.
    • Research disaster funding by other USG agencies and how it is being administered.
    • Determine DART member fiscal responsibilities and allowances, such as per diem versus purchase order for lodging, local travel, phone call policy, and limits on petty cash reimbursements.
    • Discuss with General Counsel the ramifications for administrative function of the "notwithstanding" clause of the FAA.
    • Accumulate emergency information on all DART members.
  • Contact USAID/Embassy to discuss administrative support issues. Obtain names and telephone numbers of EXO and controller/FMO, or the person responsible for receiving DART allocations.
  • Obtain copies of the pertinent USAID directives dealing with travel, administrative, and financial operations.
  • Coordinate with computer and communications support for the acquisition of computer and communications equipment.

b. In-Country

(1) Immediate Actions

  • Establish contacts with USAID/Embassy. Determine reporting relationships. Determine the Mission’s ability to support the DART with personnel, office equipment, space, transportation, and procurement; and the availability of local storage and work space, local hires, equipment, supplies, relief commodities, and transportation. Discuss:
    • Setting up a petty cash account.
    • DART member fiscal responsibilities and allowances, such as per diem versus purchase order for lodging, local travel, phone call policy, and limits on petty cash reimbursements.
    • Methods of communication with USAID/Embassy.
    • Motor pool procedures.
    • Procurement and customs procedures.
    • Check-cashing policy for team members.
    • Travel office procedures.
    • Local hire procedures.
    • Potential International Cooperative Administrative Support Services budget issues.
  • In coordination with the Logistics Officer, consider the following when leasing or purchasing vehicles:
    • Country laws on liability, insurance, licensing, and leasing.
    • Cost analysis between leasing with a package (driver, insurance, license) versus purchasing plus cost of driver, insurance, and license.
    • Fleet size and vehicle types.
    • Personnel use policy.
    • Availability of taxis (the key factor being the ability to communicate with the drivers).
    • Maintenance.
    • Disposal at the end of DART assignment.
  • Consider the following when deciding on housing for DART members:
    • Availability of hotels versus alternate housing options.
    • Morale factor of long-term hotel living.
    • Group houses often lead to additional stress. Long-term individual apartments are optimum for DARTs exceeding 6 months, when possible.
    • The safety and security of potential facilities.
  • Consider whether locally purchased equipment can be locally maintained when deciding to lease or purchase equipment.
  • Select a worksite, set up equipment, and begin operations.
  • Discuss staff work schedule with the Team Leader or Deputy Team Leader.
  • Hire local personnel as needed. Consider the following when hiring locals for DART support:
    • Country laws on hiring and USG FSN compensation plans.
    • USAID/Embassy procedures for hiring local staff.
  • Establish procedures for time and attendance and payroll.

(2) Ongoing Actions

  • Establish a precise accounting and tracking system for OFDA fund cites.
  • Provide the Team Leader with regular reports on DART funds.
  • Provide assistance on pricing and payment mechanisms.
  • Advise other functions on cost estimates for proposed actions.
  • Oversee proper timekeeping procedures for all DART personnel.

c. Demobilization

  • Provide notice within the terms of the lease, and follow lease procedures for inspection and turnover. Conduct the inspection with owners if possible.
  • Ensure that arrangements are made for closing all pur-chase orders and for processing final bills.
  • Ensure that arrangements are made for the proper dis-position of any remaining facilities, equipment, and supplies, and/or ensure that equipment, files, and records are accounted for and prepared for return shipment to OFDA/W.
  • Discuss all closeout procedures with USAID/Embassy staff.

2. Administrative Support Specialist

The Administrative Support Specialist provides administrative support to all DART functions. This position is usually filled by a local hire through the USAID/Embassy network or directly from the affected community. The Administrative Support Specialist reports directly to the Administrative Officer. The Administrative Support Specialist performs those functions delegated by the Administrative Officer. Those functions normally performed by the Administrative Support Specialist also include the following.

a. Predeparture

See the General Checklist for All DART Members in section E of this chapter.

b. In-Country

(1) Ongoing Actions (Performed for Various Functions)

  • Provide unofficial interpretive and translation services.
  • As requested, type, file, fax, and copy.
  • Answer phones and radios, and keep communications logs.
  • Act as a receptionist.
  • Take and write up meeting notes.
  • Assist in briefings.
  • Provide expediting services as required.
  • Assist in maintaining tracking systems by gathering information and filling out forms.
  • Give general advice on local issues such as laws, customs, government and private sector, and locations of supplies, equipment, and commodities.

c. Demobilization

  • Assist with preparation of DART documentation package.
  • Complete paperwork on time and attendance.
  • Ensure that equipment, files, and records are accounted for and prepared for return shipment to OFDA/W.

TOC: Disaster Assistance Response Team