Administrative Services

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. In 2008 the Center posted 18 recruitment actions which resulted in 6 selections in 2008, with several other selections to be made in the first quarter of 2009.

Safety is top priority at the Center

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 2008, the Center submitted, processed and ensured obligation of all grants, totaling more than $10 million, ahead of schedule. The Center played an active role in the Pacific Region Grants Cooperative group which sponsored Grants Online Training and grant writing training, and participated with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to staff a booth at a Grantee Forum Outreach activity on Maui.

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. We monitor the Center's equipment inventory to ensure accurate and timely accounting of all property. In 2008, the Center executed 265 procurement actions totaling $4.7 million.

The Facilities Program is responsible for maintaining Center facilities in good order and recording and reporting material deficiencies to NOAA Fisheries 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 2008, we accomplished several notable improvements at the Dole Street facility, including installation of a generator to serve the IT server room and warehouse; repair of gutters on Annex I; and the reengineering of drainage around Annex I.

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 2008, a monthly safety newsletter was developed for dissemination to Center staff. The Center also completed a Remote Area Evacuation protocol intended to guide all NOAA offices in the Pacific in the event of emergency.

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 Center continues to be a leader in the NOAA Small Boat training program, with the Center's Small Boat Coordinator serving as the west coast representative on the NOAA Small Boat Safety Board. In 2008 the Coordinator secured funding and worked with a contractor to develop and deliver the NOAA component training course. The Coordinator also conducted Surf Rescue Boat training, Advanced Coxswain training, and Motorboat Operator Certification Course training.

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 sponsored several activities during 2008 to encourage diversity in the workplace, including participation by 18 staff members in the International Women's Conference and participation in college job fairs. In 2008, PIFSC conducted training sessions on a range of topics including contract management, travel management, property management, and ethics. The Center served as a focal point for coordination of shared training opportunities with other NOAA components.

Key Activities/Issues

PIFSC continues to deal with the problems of maintaining aging facilities and providing adequate work space to accommodate a growing staff.

With a lengthy Continuing Resolution in 2009, the Center is faced with the challenge of executing grants and contracts in a very compressed time frame and obligating most funds in the latter half of the year.

Planning for the NOAA Pacific Regional Center continued in 2008. During 2009, our staff will continue to actively participate in the planning to ensure that PIFSC requirements are met during the initial building design phase of the project.

The Center is committed to ensuring that all PIFSC boat operators complete NOAA Component training by the end of March 2009. The training covers NOAA boat policy, risk assessment and team coordination.