The Finance/Administration section is usually initiated in incident management activities when there’s need for incident-specific finance and administrative support services. The section is crucial since it monitors incident related costs and provides procurement, time recording, accounting, and cost analysis at the time of need. The ability to respond and recover from incidents will be impaired if reimbursement and funding is limited. Incidences responses whether small or large (involving humongous event finances) ought to be recorded accordingly, and that task lies in this section of NIMS. This section is also involved with reimbursement concerns as well as cost summaries and contracts for supplies and services at all levels of government. Although there’s always a cost involved in all large incidents, not every agency needs this section under the ICS (Walsh et al., 2012).
The benefits of the Finance/Administration section in ICS cannot be overlooked. It helps the incident commander determine incident needs such as additional funding before the operation is adversely affected. It also helps track and report actual cost totals or current funds available as well as determine potential funds. The Section Chief is tasked with monitoring cost expenditures to ensure rules are followed accordingly. They’re also required to track and report to Incident Command the accumulating costs as the incident advances as well as monitor multiple sources of funds. The Section Chief is also responsible for coordinating with the planning and logistics departments to conduct a reconciliation of financial documents with operational records (Walsh et al., 2012).
The basic Financial Administration organization structure involves the following;
• The comprehensive claims unit – Concerned with financial matters arising from fatalities, injuries, and property damages at the incident
• Procurement unit – responsible for buying goods and services
• Cost unit – responsible for analyzing cost data, suggesting cost-saving strategies, making estimates, and tracking costs
• Time unit – responsible for recording time for hired equipment and incident personnel
For a financial-administration section to remain firm, it should at least have preestablished contracts and agreements as well as procedural processes with local contractors and suppliers on the required supplies and equipment required during a disaster (Walsh et al., 2012).
Walsh, D., Christen, H., Callsen, C., Miller, G., Maniscalco, P., Lord, G., & Dolan, N. (2012). National incident management system (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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