By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleJune 21, 2012
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (June 21) -- The U.S. Army Audit Agency headquarters conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony at its newly renovated facility on Hall Road June 18.
USAAA employees and guests, including Joyce Morrow, administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Army, celebrated the occasion in the agency's training room.
The renovated facility features a new carpet, wall panels and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
Contractors also installed a voice over internet protocol (VOIP) system, allowing employees to make telephone calls or check voicemails on mobile computers or phones, a function that enables USAAA employees to connect to their office phone during business travel, officials said.
Randall Exley, USAAA auditor general and keynote speaker for the ceremony said the facility will serve as USAAA's home for decades to come.
"I can say without any hesitation this new location is a place to which our workforce can be proud to come to everyday, and proud to show off to friends, Family and leaders from across the Army," Exley said.
The USAAA helps the Army maintain efficient operations by conducting audits to identify and mitigate risks such as fraud and abuse. The agency also ensures resources are properly safeguarded and laws and regulations are complied with.
Exley said the agency has called several places within the Northern Virginia area home since 1965.
"But an organization's value is not driven by the facilities that house it," Exley said.
"Army Audit is truly a unique organization of very talented and dedicated people. No matter where we have been located, serving the Army and its Soldiers, Families and civilians has been our mission and our passion."
Exley expressed gratitude to the numerous employees from partner organizations who helped USAAA during the transition, which includes the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Several of the employees attended the ribbon cutting and received awards and coins for their assistance.
"You all were just wonderful," said Stephen Johnson, USAAA's project manager during the move, who received a superior service award for his guidance. "I couldn't have asked for better work."
USAAA relocated from leased office space in Alexandria, Va., as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act. The move helped the Army save money by discontinuing a lease agreement. It brings the agency onto an Army post and closer to its main customer: Army leadership.
"It's where we belong,' Johnson said. "You have more credibility with your Soldiers. To me it's a no-brainer."
Richard Jones, USAAA director for human capitol audits, emphasized the move brings USAAA closer to the Pentagon, another important client.
"I consider myself fortunate to help Army leaders make more informed decisions and, most importantly, help Soldiers to be prepared to fight the war and help Families be taken care of," Jones said.
Jones and Johnson said the new location also helps cut down on daily commutes.
"I can devote more time to doing my job," Jones said.