Huck receives OUSD award
Story by Micki J. Young, DFAS Corporate Communications 

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 22, 2021 – The Office of Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) announced the results of the 2020 Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Financial Management team awards. Emil (EJ) Huck won in the category of Contributions to DoD Audit Remediation for his project titled "Leading the way to audit steadiness."

"The efforts and accomplishments that our Limestone team undertook and achieved are in support of even larger initiatives agency wide. Our success is our contribution to these overall efforts," Huck said about the initiative.

The National Defense Strategy places unqualified Audit progress as a cornerstone of fiduciary responsibility.

According to Dale Sampson, Defense Finance and Accounting Service - Limestone site director who nominated Huck for the award, "EJ Huck, epitomized this progress in efforts to increase automation and efficiencies at DFAS Limestone by standing-up the Limestone Data Analytics team in the first quarter of 2020, creating substantial improvements for all mission areas."

"His efforts also lead to focused results on clearing suspense accounts for funds balance with treasury (FBwT) totaling $12 million, deposit tickets totaling $10.9 million. Additionally, Intragovernmental Payments and Collections (IPAC) removed 475 lines, and standardization of Journal Voucher (JV) documentation resulted in zero unsupported JVs," Sampson detailed in his nomination.

"I knew the project was big—large in scope and scale," Huck said, "but we have so many significant projects, I didn't expect this one to be award worthy."

Huck didn't tackle this project alone. He established a data analytics team to address the need for automation and efficiencies.
A primary tool used by the team is Audit Command Language (ACL), which is the desired tool from an audit perspective because of its action logging functionality.

"Huck arranged for multiple ACL classes to be taught which has provided 28 employees the skillsets to support the ongoing initiative to provide operational efficiencies through more readily available financial information," Sampson said.

"The implementation of the Data Analytics team has produced tools which are either actionable, informational, or compliance driven and contain key information for management's awareness and review, using ACL as it has never been used before to organize and disperse information necessary for working in a COVID environment" Sampson explained. "One particular analysis application was developed to address and remedy four gaps in the Vendor Pay Debt process which were identified by Internal Review (IR). The product was ultimately approved by IR and implemented at Limestone as an internal control, while also serving as a fortified workload management tool," he added.

In August 2020, Enterprise Solutions & Standards worked to standardize the business practice of retrieving JVs within the Corporate Electronic Document Management System (CEDMS) and added additional elements to Form 9339, which is used to ensure complete and accurate supporting documentation is on file. Huck supported this initiative, working with Accounting Operations and Audit Sustainment to review the new process and form recommendations.

"He posed relevant questions, allowing potential shortcomings to be identified, and he brought recommendations and concerns forward to be addressed. This effort resulted in Limestone achieving a 100 percent supported JV population," Sampson said. "Huck encourages collaboration across the Agency to support consistent application of processes, policies, and procedures to ensure mission objectives are aligned," Sampson added.
"Huck maintains an ongoing partnership with the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System (DEAMS) Functional Management Office and DEAMS Program Management Office, which affords him the awareness needed to review issues as they arise and leverages his knowledge to mitigate negative operational impacts. He has also cultivated a strong working relationship with the Air Force Accounting & Finance Office (AFAFO) which allows DFAS and AFAFO to work in conjunction to develop policy, procedures, and guidance that aligns with supporting an unmodified audit opinion for the Air Force."

"I am consistently looking for what we can do in order to be more efficient and where we can best support Agency initiatives and priorities," Huck said.
Page updated July 22, 2021