The Planning and Finance Division has welcomed new employees since the last installment of this newsletter: Renee Munford as our new Purchasing Manager and Denise Ukrop as our newest Accountant. To better support our long term and consistent staffing needs, we also recently welcomed Andrew Dickerson and Ed Laube, previously contract employees from Virginia Tech’s Conservation Management Institute (CMI), as new full time employees in the Planning and Finance IMS/GIS section. We are extremely excited to welcome Renee and Denise to DGIF, and to have Andrew and Ed on board fulltime.
As most of you are aware, the Board approved the Department’s Operating and Capital Budgets on May 27. The Planning and Finance Division greatly appreciates everyone’s help as we worked to develop budgets that account for declining sales revenues, lower cash reserves, and most importantly, the financial uncertainty DGIF and other Executive Branch agencies face as a result of impacts from COVID-19. A big thanks goes out to everyone, but especially our Budget, Accounting, and Grants Management Staff, who were involved in helping develop these budgets for next year. Stay tuned for more information to assist in managing our budget in the coming weeks.
It is also very much worth celebrating the continued hard work and determination by our complete Planning and Finance team who have adapted to working almost exclusively from home, and have continued to show incredible determination and flexibility to support the rest of DGIF. Just a sample of the work they have accomplished in the last couple of months includes:
- Procurement staff has purchased and issued more than 5,000 facemasks and 500 bottles of hand sanitizer;
- Facilities staff have worked closely with vendors to ensure that deliveries, building maintenance, and cleaning services are not just maintained but held to new standards as a result of our current environment.
- Procurement and IT Operations staff have worked together to initially provide loaner laptops for historically desktop users and then later purchase and issue 22 new emergency laptops that now allows DGIF to completely outfit every fulltime employee with a mobile option.
- Procurement, IT Operations, and Accounting staff have supported both our division and others by assisting in on-boarded 6 new employees with their technology equipment needs.
- IT Operations staff have approved hundreds of updates, resets, and new orders for RSA Soft tokens and VPN connections.
- IT Operations staff supported our first ever Virtual DGIF Board meeting.
- IT Operations, IMS, Accounting, Facilities, and Go Outdoors staff have all initiated efforts to update all naming conventions from DGIF to DWR to prepare for the July 1 agency name change.
- All staff have provided guidance and training on new technological options as well new policies or procedures, and continued to meet both employees and outside contractors at HQ to provide desktop support, facilitate VITA’s voice modernization project, and to continue the project management efforts for what will be DGIF’s new time and leave management system coming next fall. (More to come on this later!)
- IMS/GIS staff have produced dozens of WMA maps and updated GIS services, which support wildlife, fisheries, and law enforcement operational needs daily.
- With the help of our Go Outdoors Virginia solution, customers have been able to interact with us even when sheltered in place. To this end, we have averaged over a 50% increase in online transactions during March and April, and services that were once thought to be strictly in-house or mailed-in have been successfully moved online. Further, thanks to a strong partnership between P&F’s Mailroom/Central Receiving staff and the Outreach Division’s Client Services group, we have been able to increase the number of staff who can work from home by leveraging existing and new technologies and still stay up to date in opening/scanning/processing thousands of mailed-in applications as well.
- The IMS/GIS Development Team has been busy working on fundamental changes in how agency collection and look up systems can leverage geospatial data and tabular data in the agency-supported applications, as well as how to better tailor the design and data collection to meet varied end users’ needs. Applications benefiting from this new enterprise level focus include the Cold Water Stream Survey Application, Nuisance Wildlife Trapper List, and VAFWIS.
- The IMS Development staff have also worked hard on finding new ways to leverage automation, with one area in particular that will help us realize better integration between budget, accounting, procurement, and planning.
Finally, in order to continue supporting the Planning and Finance staff, as they support us, please remember to email as follows:
- Any purchasing requests sent to the Purchasing email box: [email protected] to ensure that all of the Purchasing staff are aware of requests.
- All invoices for processing and questions for our Accounting staff should be emailed to [email protected].
- All Information Technology questions or requests to [email protected] for any desktop support; [email protected] for any telecom support; and [email protected] for any network/email account support.