By Marcus Hill | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — As the fiscal year winds down, the 50th Comptroller Squadron works to ensure units have sufficient money to fund the mission.
Between January and March, each unit on base submits a request for their expected requirements for the following fiscal year. During that fiscal year, units receive a specified amount of money based on requirements in the organization through 50th CPTS.
The 50th CPTS, which provides support and acquisition guidance and support to the 50th Space Wing and separated units, ensures money is used effectively and efficiently.
“We are key to funding the mission,” said Capt. Jeremy Lacewell, 50th CPTS deputy budget officer. “We make sure our team is valued and we’re always there to support everyone, no matter what. We make sure the bills get paid and we keep the lights on.”
Tech. Sgt. Drew Newlon, 50th CPTS noncommissioned officer in charge of financial analysis flight, said some units have numerous requirements while others have minimal needs.
“It’s not like giving an allowance where we say, ‘Here’s 10 bucks for you, here’s 10 more for you,’” Newlon said. “It’s more about providing money the units need to do their job. Fighter jets cost more than computer systems. A maintenance unit may need more money than an office organization.”
Throughout the year, units spend the allocated money on items presented in their budget. Occasionally, money remains leftover at the end of the fiscal year. Airmen in 50th CPTS work to calculate those numbers for further use.
“Right now, our Airmen analyze any excess funding that may not have been [used] by the groups,” Newlon said. “Then we use that funding to take care of any requirements that come up last minute or requirements that may not have had enough funding up to that point in the fiscal year, we pool that money together and take care of what we can as quickly as we can.”
Units must use their money by July 31, otherwise remaining funds become available for redistribution.
“When we come in the door Aug. 1, anything that has not been earmarked for a requirement, [that money] then belongs to the wing commander [to redistribute],” Newlon said. “We can run some different reports on our system to figure out what the budget was [for each unit] to see what they’ve spent so far and what’s earmarked. The wing commander takes control of all those funds and then goes down his priority list of other requirements that may have popped up.”
For units that have exhausted their funds, but still have funding requirements, Newlon said CPTS has an unfunded process, which is used when groups don’t have enough money in their budget and require additional assistance.
“Typically we can identify some of those units early in the fiscal year,” Newlon said. “For this fiscal year, we received our initial distribution money in March, which was half way through the year. We’ve identified the requirements a year ago, but we can identify the shortfalls and submit the unfunded, saying we’re short on our contract. If we can shift funds to cover other requirements, we’ll try to do that first. If we can’t, that’s fine, we just identify it as unfunded.”
The wing has a financial management board that determines who gets to use the remaining funds and how those funds are distributed.
“We go to the wing staff and say we’re short on some things and ask if they have additional funding they can distribute,” Newlon said. “[The commanders will] have a discussion and say they have this unfunded or that unfunded. The group commanders configure how to prioritize those unfunded.”
Throughout the process, communication is key, as 50th CPTS remains in constant contact with units to ensure they satisfy requirements.
“As we get close to the close out [of the fiscal year], we schedule meetings and reach out to everyone we’re supporting to see what’s going on or what requirements they may have remaining this year,” Lacewell said. “We’re constantly working with [the 50th Contracting Squadron] to make sure we’re hitting the deadlines they have as well.”
Lacewell said Airmen in 50th CPTS understand their role and how critical it is to ensure each unit remains funded. He added 50th CPTS fields “all sorts of questions,” but encourages Airmen to ask those questions for learning purposes.
“We work our hardest to take care of [Team Schriever],” Lacewell said. “We want to make sure we’re looking out for everybody. If there’s any support anyone needs, just let us know because we’re here to help.”