The Office of Administration provides a comprehensive range of services in support of the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's mission and staff. The office manages Center hiring and personnel issues, grants, procurement and property, safety, facilities, small boats, and staff training.
Administration staff specialists help PIFSC announce and fill federal job vacancies in Center programs, manage the orderly entry and exit of personnel from Center programs, ensure accurate and timely accounting of staff work time and attendance, and handle other personnel issues in cooperation with NOAA's Workforce Management Office.
Members of the Administration staff manage several grants and cooperative agreements supporting research and related activities for protected species, coral reefs, fisheries, oceanography, aquaculture, and other areas of scientific research critical to the NOAA mission. In 2007, the Center completed timely processing of grants totaling more than $10 million.
Our procurement specialists help Center staff obtain services, supplies, and equipment they need to meet program requirements and achieve operational goals. We strive to process invoices quickly, so contractors and vendors are paid promptly, and to record transaction accounting data accurately and make needed adjustments in a timely manner. We monitor the Center's equipment inventory to ensure accurate and timely accounting of all property. In 2007, the Center executed 285 contracts and purchase orders totaling more than $5.3 million.
The Facilities Program is responsible for maintaining Center facilities in good order and recording and reporting material deficiencies to NMFS facility program managers. The Administration staff actively monitors the status of PIFSC facilities and coordinates with the Center's Safety Officer and Executive Officer to identify needed repairs or improvements, determine costs, and ensure proper completion of work orders. In 2007 we completed a facility condition survey and accomplished several notable improvements including: retrofitting of light fixtures in the main building on Dole Street; upgrading of our closed-circuit television security system; and installing new air conditioning systems in the IT server room, conference room and other spaces.
The Safety and Environmental Compliance Program is responsible for ensuring that PIFSC research programs and activities abide by federal rules and regulations designed to prevent injury to employees and adverse effects to the environment. The program manages facility compliance inspections and training and promotes behavioral changes in Center staff to reduce injuries and adverse environmental impacts. In 2007, we met or exceeded all NMFS Safety Action Plan milestones, including continued implementation of NOAA's Operational Risk Management initiative.
The Small Boat Program is responsible for ensuring PIFSC compliance with NOAA policies related to boats and skiffs. The program maintains an up-to-date PIFSC vessel policy, conducts boat and water safety training for Center staff, and manages the PIFSC small boat fleet. The program coordinates with Center research divisions conducting boating operations and provides assistance and guidance to them on boating and safety issues.
The PIFSC Office of Administration also coordinates and tracks training and professional development activities for Center managers and staff, including guidance and training on equal employment opportunity matters. The Office of Administration sponsors several activities during the year to encourage diversity in the workplace, including training seminars, brown bag luncheons, internship opportunities, and educational poster displays. In 2007, PIFSC conducted training sessions on a range of topics including contract management, EEO, prevention of sexual harassment, prevention of workplace violence, retirement planning, and more.
To improve management of the Center's growing property inventory, staff members within each research division were designated and trained to act as property custodians. A comprehensive Facility Condition Survey was conducted to identify deficiencies in buildings and infrastructure. The survey produced a "punch list" of needed improvements which were prioritized and completed as resources allowed.
Planning for the Pacific Regional Center continued in 2007 with the focus on early stages of construction, including facilities for storage and seawater facilities. Storage facility requirements were identified with respect to air conditioning, security, and other aspects with help of a logistics and storage consultant. Likewise, seawater system requirements were identified for support of live animal science, and facilities were planned with a seawater systems design specialist. In coordination with IT staff, plans were developed to create a personnel database and user interface software to improve administrative tracking, querying, and reporting of staff information such as personnel counts, organization, training course completion, badge issuance, and more.