The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Service Area Plan for DARS Administrative and Supportive Services

Service Area Background Information

Service Area Description

This service area provides management, administrative support and technical In addition, via memoranda of agreement, much of this service area provides administrative support and technical assistance to the Disability Services Agencies (DSA), which include the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC), Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.

Service Area Alignment to Mission

This service area directly aligns with DARS’ mission by providing management, administrative support and technical assistance for policy, personnel, technology and financial management to the program areas that provide and advocate for the highest quality services that empower individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and full inclusion into society.

Service Area Statutory Authority

Chapter 4 of Title 51.5 of the Code of Virginia establishes that the supervision of the agency shall be the responsibility of the Commissioner and establishes the Commissioner’s powers and duties.  This Chapter also authorizes the Commissioner to promulgate regulations for human research that is conducted or authorized by the agency, any sheltered workshop, or independent living center, or the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center.

Chapter 5 of Title 51.5 of the Code of Virginia requires the Commissioner to establish a fair and impartial consumer appeals process for VR consumers and educate clients and staff about this procedure.

Service Area Customer Base
Customer(s) Served Potential
Classified, wage and contract staff of the Disability Services Agencies 1,685 1,685

Anticipated Changes to Service Area Customer Base
DARS does not anticipate any significant changes to the customer base. Staffing levels are expected to be reasonably stable.

Service Area Partners

OTHER STATE AGENCIES AND THE REHABILITATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: The partners for this service area include the many state agencies and the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration, which interpret the laws and regulations and develop the policies and procedures that this service area operates under.  These agencies also provide administrative oversight of the functions.  The state agencies include, but are not limited to, the Departments of General Services, Planning and Budget, Accounts, Human Resource Management, and the Auditor of Public Accounts.

Service Area Products and Services

Administrative Support Services coordinates and provides oversight for the integration of activities and initiatives across all divisions and service areas as well as other state and local partners.  Other functions include internal audit, risk management, and constituent affairs.  A relatively new effort is aimed at identifying housing opportunities for consumers. Policy, Planning, Research and Evaluation Services develops and interprets state regulations and policies and procedures and provides associated guidance and training on these, conducts program evaluation studies, coordinates the agency’s legislative program, administers the human subjects research process, coordinates the vocational rehabilitation consumer appeals and consumer satisfaction processes, and oversees implementation of agency planning responsibilities. 

Financial Management Services provides budget administration, grants management, general accounting, financial statements, purchasing and contracts, mail services, motor fleet and central supply management. 

Human Resource Management Services interprets and communicates human resource policies, provides workforce development programs, employee relations, staff recruitment, compensation and classification and administers benefits programs. 

Information Technology Services provides systems engineering services in cooperation with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) including voice and data communications networks, hardware and computer support services for 60 facilities, computer applications development and support, web services, computer operations and mini-computer support.

Factors Impacting Service Area Products and Services
Long term employees, many of whom are reaching retirement age, will result in an increased use of employee benefits, family and medical leave, requests for reasonable accommodation of a disability, and workers' compensation claims. These actions will challenge the available staff and financial resources of the Human Resources Division. 

Limited pools of qualified applicants for agency positions will result in extended recruitment efforts, more consultation with managers regarding employee relations issues, and increased training needs for newly hired employees and their managers. Federal vocational rehabilitation grant funding for employee training and development is likely to decrease. The vocational rehabilitation program relies on this grant funding to ensure that vocational rehabilitation staff possess the knowledge and skills to provide individualized services to consumers.   

VITA now provides systems engineering and network services to DARS and is taking an active role and responsibility for creating standards, policies, and guidelines.  These activities may delay, negatively impact, or complicate DARS’ ability to communicate with its external customers and/or partners. The Infrastructure Public – Private Education Act (IPPEA) contract and the Enterprise Application Public-Private Education Act (EPPEA) contract, if established, may use additional resources.

Technology advances continue to develop at a more rapid pace than agency information technology resources can implement effectively.

The agency runs an HP3000 mini-computer, a hardware platform retired by the manufacturer. We hope to eliminate HP3000 based applications during the Fiscal Year 2006-08 biennium. Costs of application systems migration will use a significant portion of the agency’s information technology budget. 

A comprehensive, Integrated Case Management (ICM) computer system is under development. Successful implementation in 2007 will provide a single management tool which impacts most agency service programs.

The agency is working towards procurement of a new financial system to replace the 20 year old system on the HP 3000 minicomputer. E-Virginia paperless procurement processes have increased duplication of efforts and decreased compliance with Department of Accounts and Department of General Services standards for use of E-Virginia and small purchase cards. 

Conflicting standards for use of the small purchase card program, prompt payment regulation and design of legacy financial systems has created process conflicts resulting in the need for exemption for payments processing standards for some agency programs, redesign of systems and episodes of non-compliance with these standards and regulations.

New initiatives to improve operational and grants budget management are underway.

Agency demands for program evaluation, research and data analysis exceed the availability of staff resources to address the requests.

Anticipated Changes To Service Area Products and Services
System and customer service enhancements planned for the biennium include electronic (paperless) requisitions for all agencies, refresher training for American Express and contracts administration, more automated financial and budget reporting and new automated systems for contracts administration.

DARS will continue to participate in workgroups associated with IPPEA and EPPEA contracts, participate in the Secretary of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Technology Team and provide feedback through an on-line comment system, ORCA.

DARS will work to implement all VITA standards. Delays on new initiatives or increased costs may occur.

DARS plans to continue training efforts for its internal information technology staff and hire consultants, as necessary to address technology advances.

DARS plans to replace the HP3000 platform within 5 years. All HP3000 applications will migrate to a new SQL, Web based application environment.

The Integrated Case Management system (ICM) will be implemented in 2007. It will enable most consumer program staff to input, view, analyze and share information at any location accessible by the internet.  Implementation of ICM also will require changes to DARS’ vocational rehabilitation policies and procedures.

The new fiscal processing system will be implemented by 2007. It will interface with all consumer programs, administrative and Commonwealth Enterprise fiscal processes

DARS has submitted its application for five years of In-Service Training Grant Funds from the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration.  Funding at the maximum level will allow for the development and implementation of human resource development programs to improve consumer services for vocational rehabilitation staff.

A Workforce Planning initiative will address the loss of institutional knowledge from employee retirements and reduce the risk of loss of critical agency functions as follows:

  • Increased presence of CommonHealth promotion activities,
  • Development of brochures and web site information on retention of retirees through mentorship or training positions,
  • Identify and cross train critical functions of the agency,
  • Succession planning,
  • A student internship program with various colleges and universities, and
  • Expanded use of telecommuting, alternate work schedules, and flexible work hours attract and retain staff. 

Service Area Financial Summary

The Administrative and Support Services' funding comes from federal funds (38%), general funds (2%), and indirect cost funds recovered from federal grants (60%.)

Service Area Financial Summary
  Fiscal Year 2007 Fiscal Year 2008
Report Type General Funds Nongeneral Funds General Funds Nongeneral Funds
Base Budget $167,478 8,037,504 $167,478 $8,037,504
Changes to Base $37,081 $564,030 $37,081 $564,030
SERVICE AREA TOTAL $204,559 $8,601,534 $204,559 $8,601,534

Service Area Human Resources Summary

Administrative support is provided by 53 Full Time Equivalent employees performing a variety of functions.  Of these 53, approximately 40% are eligible for retirement in the next five years, six of which are senior managers.  DARS receives numerous position transfers under agreements with other agencies to provide services to those agencies.

Service Area Work Force Breakdown

Effective Date       5/1/2005
Total Authorized Position Level …………………. 53
Vacant Positions …………………………………... 7
    Non-Classified (Filled) …………….1
    Full-Time Classified (Filled) ………52
    Part-Time Classified (Filled) ……...0
    Faculty ……………………………....0
Contract Employees ………………………………..4
Total Human Resource Level ……………………..20.75

Factors Impacting Human Resource
Long term employees, many of whom are reaching retirement age, will result in increased use of employee benefits, family and medical leave, requests for reasonable accommodation of a disability, and workers' compensation claims. These actions will challenge the available staff and financial resources of the Human Resources Division. 

Limited pools of qualified applicants for agency positions will result in extended recruitment efforts in this service area for information technology, finance and accounting and human resource professionals.  In addition these professions require frequent training to remain current with regulatory changes and technology.

Anticipated Human Resource Changes
A Workforce Planning initiative addresses the loss of institutional knowledge from retirements and reduces the risk of loss of critical agency functions.  Of particular importance to staff in this service area are cross training for critical functions of the agency, succession planning, and aggressive use of an internship program with various colleges and universities.

Service Area Objectives, Measures, and Strategies

Objective 49900.01
To have efficient and effective administrative and support services.

DARS provides administrative and support services to the Disability Services Agencies (DSA).  It is imperative that these services be provided in an effective and efficient manner and in compliance with State laws, regulations and policies.

This Objective Supports The Following Agency Goal:

Enhance customer service delivery through effective and efficient management of fiscal processes, human resources, use of technology and current administrative processes.

This Objective Has The Following Measure(s):

Measure 49900.01.01
Percent of administrative objectives achieved.

Measure Type: Output                       Measure Frequency: Annually

Measure Baseline: 81% for Fiscal Year 2005.

Measure Target: 81%

Measure Data Source and Calculation
The source is the Agency Performance Management Scorecard on the Virginia Performs website.  Calculation is the percentage of grouped categories of performance measures where DARS achieves a “meets expectation” rating.

Objective 49900.01 Has The Following Strategies:

  • Improve operational budget computer systems.
  • Provide training to agency staff on procurement and contracting and the small purchase card program.
  • To develop and implement a single integrated fiscal  administration system to replace the application currently residing at DARS on the antiquated HP3000 mini-computer.
  • Improve contract management software.
  • To maintain WWRC's grounds in an aesthetic and hazard free condition for visitors, clients and staff.
  • To provide housekeeping services to all areas of WWRC so that buildings and walkways are maintained to the highest quality standards that are achieveable.
  • To maintain all transportation vehicles in safe operating condition and complying with all Federal, State, and local laws and regulations governing vehicle operation.
  • To  participate in an energy performance management program, in compliance with Executive Order 54,  that reduces the energy use and cost.
  • To actively pursue reduced natural gas costs at WWRC by purchasing natural gas futures.