The History of Security Assistance Accounting

DISAM Journal, August 2009 | Go to article overview

The History of Security Assistance Accounting


There is a saying that states, "To know where you are going, you must understand where you came from." In the spirit of this wisdom, we wanted to share a brief history of Security Assistance Accounting with you.

On September 1, 1976, the Department of Defense (DOD) began a move to consolidate the foreign military sales (FMS) billing responsibilities. This newly established organization, the Joint Financial Management Office (JFMO), was collocated at the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center (AFAFC) in Denver, Colorado. Prior to this move, each of the military services was responsible for billing the foreign countries for contracted services and equipment.

This consolidation was a success; therefore, the DOD choose to expand the responsibility of the JFMO and to rename it as the Security Assistance Accounting Center under Department of Defense Directive 5132.11, January 24, 1978. This newly expanded organization was an element of the Defense Security Assistance Agency (now the Defense Security Cooperation Agency).

The expanded responsibilities included:

* Serving as a central point of contact for all FMS related financial inquiries from U.S. Government agencies, DOD components, commercial vendors, and foreign government representatives--this included providing assistance and guidance to these customers on the financial execution of the FMS program:

* Providing DOD-wide FMS forecasting, delivery reporting, trust fund management, foreign country case management, billing, collecting, and DOD component appropriation reimbursement

* Maintaining a centralized, automated FMS financial data system

* Centralizing other Security Assistance programs to include International Military Education and Training (IMET), Foreign Military Financing (FMF), and Special Defense Acquisition Funding

The Defense Integrated Financial System (DIFS) was created and fazed into use between 1978 and 1980. It brought about a consolidated and standardized financial management process.

In July 1988, the Security Assistance Accounting Center was separated from the Defense Security Assistance Agency (now the Defense Security Cooperation Agency). Management of it was handed over to the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center. The name of the organization was changed to the Directorate of Security Assistance.

In January 1991, AFAFC, including the Directorate of Security Assistance and its fourteen satellite offices across the United States, was capitalized into the newly formulated Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). The Directorate of Security Assistance went through yet another name change. They became known as Security Assistance Accounting (SAA).

In the 1995 to 1996 time frame, a Defense Management Review Decision was issued consolidating five of the Security Assistance satellite locations into Security Assistance Accounting at DFAS Denver. These locations were:

* Arlington, Virginia

* Hampton, Virginia

* Indianapolis, Indiana

* New Cumberland, Pennsylvania

* San Antonio, Texas

On March 31, 2000, the DFAS Security Assistance Accounting function was announced to Congress for an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) A-76 study. …

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