TASCOE Convention 2016 is rapidly approaching!

 

TASCOE Convention 2016 will be held at the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg, TN. Wow!

Hotels Gatlinburg TN | The Park Vista - Photo Gallery | Hotels in Gatlinburg Tennessee 2016-03-04 11-37-23The Park Vista
705 Cherokee Orchard Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Make Your Reservations Now!

September 15th, – 18th, 2016
TASCOE’s Group rate is $89.00 per room plus 12.75% applicable taxes.
Online booking at www.parkvista.com use code: COE
or call 1-800-421-7275 use code: COE

If you have any questions concerning booking your reservation, please contact Donnell Ford.

For hotel overflow,  www.glenstonelodge.com

Just let them know you are with the TASCOE group and you will get the $72.00 rate.


Boy, Oh Boy is there a great line up of guests & activities this year! 

Just look at this Guest line up!

  • Wes Daniels, NASCOE President
  • David Curtis, SEA NASCOE Executive
  • Gene Davidson, State Executive Director, TN-FSA
  • Ty Samples, Administrative Officer, TN-FSA
  • Patty Taylor, Farm Programs Chief, TN-FSA
  • Q & A with TN FSA State Office Staff
  • Dillards Retirement Planning

Here is the TASCOE 2016 program.

Have you Registered? Here is the 2016 TASCOE REGISTRATION Form.


Thursday, Sept. 15th: Golf Tournament!

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Hooks & Pins II at the Bent Creek Golf Course, in Gatlinburg, TN.

If you are plannning on playing or thinking about it, please contact Will Barnes. Send a text to 931-644-4660 or email to wobarnesjr@gmail.com

 

 

 

 


small-in-memoryEach year at the NASCOE Convention, a memorial presentation is made to honor the service of those who have passed away within the last year. This year, TASCOE would like to put together a presentation to remember our Tennessee FSA employees who have passed away. Please help us honor the deceased members, including COC members, from your county by submitting their information to Andrea Stafford by September 1st. Since this is our first year for this, please feel free to submit any names you wish without regard to date of death. Please include as much information as possible (i.e. Name, County, Position, number of years served, etc.) and as many pictures as you would like.

Please email all information to andrea.stafford@tn.usda.gov


ORCA COOLER SCHOLARSHIP RAFFLE!

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Why is all of this important??

Excerpt from 1968 Directory;

“Since the beginning of TASCOE in 1959, many accomplishments and benefits have been derived by every ASCS employee. These things were brought about by TASCOE-NASCOE-ASCS-Congressmen and Senators “Getting to know” each other and the every day problems and work of ASCS people. With these accomplishments, we believe, we are able to be of better service to the farmers of this country.”

TASCOE & NASCOE continues to look out for not only FSA staff, but for farmers and producers as well by working diligently with Government leadership. A quick visit to the NASCOE Website proves this teamwork is making a difference continuously.  A perfect example of this is shown in the recent Progress Report from NASCOE President, Wes Daniels and NASCOE Vice President, Dennis Ray:

Progress Report on NASCOE Issues, July 27th, 2016
Wes Daniels

I spent the week of July 10 in WDC at the NACS/NASE and NADD Conventions. I very much appreciated the invitation and enjoyed the convention and opportunity to see how they conduct their association’s business. Having the convention in WDC was expensive but rewarding. I was able to meet with management and work on current NASCOE issues and concerns.

I met with HRD on two negotiation items. The PT Working Group that will visit rewriting PT’s Position Description is being put together and Jenae Prescott, PT from Idaho, Megan Kennedy, PT from Georgia, and Mark VanHoose, CED and Past NASCOE President, will represent NASCOE on this national task force. A committee is being put together to form the questionnaire that will replace KSA’s on the CO hiring process. NASCOE will have representation on this group as well.

I also met on IT issues. Reports on the efficiencies of CARS show even with issues two days of the last week of certification that the software performed significantly better than last year. FSA CIO has stayed on top of the issues and with a team of folks has visited many county offices to see how CARS and ACRSI are working. They have seen the issues we face and are working to resolve them. I am sure you have seen emails from Darren Ash, FSA CIO, making everyone aware of our IT issues and that they are working on them and then again when things are back up running. NASCOE very much appreciates Darren’s communications with all of us.

I was able to meet with several different people about our concerns with ACRSI. As you should know by now, NASCOE formed an ACRSI Task Force about a year and a half ago. Our Administrator has allowed NASCOE to participate in the weekly and biweekly ACRSI conference calls. Our participation has helped make some significant changes in the ACRSI program. I was able to share some of the “pain points” our task force has put together with various people during my visits to the South Building. We made plans for Darren Ash, FSA CIO, and Brad Pfaff, DAFP, to meet with the NASCOE ACRSI Task Force during the National Convention. NASCOE knows that crop reporting is vital to our future and very much wants ACRSI to work. The implementation has had some bumps in the road but has been successful. We will continue to work toward making it more efficient and incorporating geospatial components. We have also been concerned about policy integrity in ACRSI and have met with management about our concerns in this area and are seeing improvement.

During several meetings with DAFO we discussed Bridges to Opportunity (BTO), Receipt for Service, staffing (both permanent and temporary), budget issues, COC authorities, shared management concerns (including compensation for CED’s with two or more grade twelve offices), PT upgrades, training, IT issues, workload tool, and many other concerns. DAFO allowed NASCOE to have representation on the IT Steering Committee and Kristal Rater was appointed this task. DAFO also allowed NASCOE to participate in the Managerial Cost Accounting group and Dennis Ray, NASCOE’s Vice President, served in this capacity. You should be seeing reports on these soon.

I also met with Radha Sekar, FSA CFO, about budget and, in particular, staffing. Basically it looks like we will operate under a CR to start the year and permanent staffing will remain pretty much unchanged from 2016. Temporary staffing is another subject; with the farm bill implementation funds pretty much exhausted, there are not a lot of funds available for temporaries. Management is looking at some creative ways to resolve this. We will keep you updated.

It appears that our directives are being cleaned up and will soon be in updated handbooks and notices. This has been an ongoing process and, while progress is being made, we are a long ways from completion. Space requirements and leasing were discussed and changes are continuing to be made in these areas.

We continue to push to have the COC authority and delegations restored to the 2-CRP handbook, as well as clarify the process of approving a CED’s leave in WebTA. Conversations on both of these issues seem to be heading in the right direction.

To wrap up, I was encouraged and certainly appreciated management’s willingness to meet with us and their receptiveness of the items and topics we discussed. We feel that these discussions and the relationships that we are continuing to build tremendously help improve our abilities to serve American Agriculture and improve our working environment.

Managerial Cost Accounting Work Group
Dennis Ray

National Notice AO-1651 was issued to solicit recommendations from the field on ways to improve the Managerial Cost Accounting (MCA) system. Some of the components of the MCA system include the Activity Reporting System (ARS), a cost model, FSA staffing model development, operating costs, program data, salary and benefits costs, unit counts or program performance metrics and complexity factors. Notice AO-1655 announced the formation of a MCA working group tasked with reviewing the suggested changes from the field and to make recommendations to the Executive Leadership Council. While not an official part of the working group, the employee associations were invited to attend and participate fully in reviewing the suggestions and preparing the recommendations.

The majority of the time was spent in three areas. The first was activity reporting. The group stressed the importance of properly reporting our time in WebTA. Part of the review of ARS dealt with the number of programs and activities. While there were suggestions from the field to both add activities and to reduce activities, the general consensus was that reducing the number of activities would increase the accuracy of time reporting. Another topic regarding activity reporting focused on being able to report the time and activity properly when helping another county, whether that was within your own state or serving another state on a jump team. If the MCA system is going to be used as a workload and staffing tool, the working group determined the time and unit counts had to be reported in the proper county.

The second major area was in the metric used for the workload counts. The working group reviewed the program areas and what items were being used for those counts. For example, are payments made the best count for ARC/PLC-Serv & Maint or would approved contracts be a better count? If payments made were used, then a county that didn’t trigger a payment wouldn’t get credit for ARC/PLC-Serv & Maint even though they had done the same preparation work as a county that did trigger a payment. I won’t try to remember all of the specific recommendations for the metrics but I will tell you that all of the program areas were reviewed. If the recommendations are adopted, it has the potential to be the closest thing to our old work measurement system that we have had since we quit using it several years ago.

The third area was complexity factors. This dealt with some of the inherent differences across the country. Are ARC/PLC contracts with generic bases more complex than farms without them? Are shared management operations more complex than stand-alone counties? How do you account for complex 902 business plans as opposed to 902’s for individuals? These and many other factors were discussed within the group and were the basis of the recommendations.