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NIMS version: March 1, 2004
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Tab 5
NIMS - The Finance/Administration Section

A. Time Unit

B. Procurement Unit

C. Compensation and Claims Unit

D. Cost Unit



When there is a specific need for financial, reimbursement (individual and agency or department), and/or administrative services to support incident management activities, a Finance/Administration Section is established. Under the ICS, not all agencies will require such assistance. In large, complex scenarios involving significant funding originating from multiple sources, the Finance/Administrative Section is an essential part of the ICS. In addition to monitoring multiple sources of funds, the Section Chief must track and report to the IC the financial “burn rate” as the incident progresses. This allows the IC to forecast the need for additional funds before operations are affected negatively. This is particularly important if significant operational assets are under contract from the private sector. The Section Chief may also need to monitor cost expenditures to ensure that statutory rules that apply are met. Close coordination with the Planning Section and Logistics Section is also essential so that operational records can be reconciled with financial documents. Note that, in some cases, only one specific function may be required
(e.g., cost analysis), which a technical specialist in the Planning Section could provide. Figure 5-A illustrates the basic Finance/Administration Section organizational structure. The Finance/Administration Section Chief will determine, given current and anticipated future requirements, the need for establishing specific subordinate units. In some of the functional areas (e.g., procurement), an actual unit need not be established if it would consist of only one person. In such a case, a procurement technical specialist would be assigned in the Planning Section instead. Because of the specialized nature of finance functions, the Section Chief should come from the agency that has the greatest requirement for this support. The Section Chief may have a deputy.


Figure 5-A

 

A. TIME UNIT.

The Time Unit is primarily responsible for ensuring proper daily recording of personnel time, in accordance with the policies of the relevant agencies. The Time Unit also ensures that the Logistics Section records or captures equipment usage time, through the Ground Support Unit for ground equipment and through the Air Operations Support Group for aircraft. cheapodrugs.com

If applicable (depending on the agencies involved), personnel time records will be collected and processed for each operational period. The unit leader may require the assistance of personnel familiar with the relevant policies of any affected agencies. These records must be verified, checked for accuracy, and posted according to existing policies. Excess hours worked must also be determined, for which separate logs must be maintained.

 

B. PROCUREMENT UNIT.

The Procurement Unit administers all financial matters pertaining to vendor contracts. This unit coordinates with local jurisdictions to identify sources for equipment, prepares and signs equipment rental agreements, and processes all administrative requirements associated with equipment rental and supply contracts.

Note that, in some agencies, the Supply Unit in the Logistics Section will be responsible for certain procurement activities. The Procurement Unit will also work closely with local cost authorities.

 

C. COMPENSATION AND CLAIMS UNIT.

Under ICS, a single unit handles injury compensation and claims. The specific activities are, of course, varied and may not always be accomplished by the same person. The individual handling injury compensation ensures that all forms required by workers’ compensation programs and local agencies are completed. This individual also maintains files on injuries and illnesses associated with the incident and ensures that all witness statements are obtained in writing. Since the Medical Unit may also perform certain of these tasks, close coordination between the Medical and Compensation and Claims Units is essential. The claims function handles investigations of all civil tort claims involving property associated with or involved in the incident. The Compensation and Claims Unit maintains logs on the claims, obtains witness statements, and documents investigations and agency follow-up requirements.

 

D. COST UNIT.

The Cost Unit provides cost analysis data for the incident. This unit must ensure that equipment and personnel for which payment is required are properly identified, obtain and record all cost data, and analyze and prepare estimates of incident costs. The Cost Unit also provides input on cost estimates for resource use to the Planning Section. The Cost Unit must maintain accurate information on the actual costs of all assigned resources.


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