Two executives at Pact’s Washington, D.C., headquarters were lauded at InsideNGO’s annual conference recently for their work implementing Cost Accounting Standards throughout Pact’s worldwide offices, developing a grants-management community of practice and transforming a lackluster customer relationship management tool into a user-friendly, sophisticated subawards tracking mechanism.
Leonard Williams, chief financial officer and executive vice president, and Mark Miebach, senior director of agreement management, earned “honorable mention” in the Finance, Grants & Contracts category of InsideNGO’s Operational Excellence Awards.
The distinction was the only award in the category other than the winning nomination, which went to Save the Children International’s finance director.
“Leonard and Mark made CAS implementation a shining example of collaboration with broad buy-in from throughout the Pact world,” said Mark Viso, Pact president and CEO. “Their efforts not only engaged hundreds of our staff at every level but also made CAS and grants management engaging subject matter equal to their importance in our work.”
Cost Accounting Standards are a set of standards and rules used by the U.S. Government in contracts with its vendors. Pact, a top 10 implementing organization for USAID, has recently taken on USG contracts that require CAS. Pact also disburses funds to hundreds of local partners around the world every year, making careful grants management a top priority.
Williams and Miebach based the CAS implementation strategy on input from Pact’s country offices and headquarters departments other than their own Finance Department, generating worldwide support for the initiative. Building on newfound trust and relationships, Williams and Miebach also supported development of a grants management community of practice to promote exchange and learning between country offices and headquarters. Further, they worked with worldwide staff to revamp an imperfect Customer Relationship Management tool into a critical system used to meticulously track and store Pact subgrants, with a focus on the end-user experience.
“It has been a cultural shift,” said Atoundra Lawson, the senior agreement management officer at Pact who nominated Williams and Miebach for the InsideNGO award. “The concepts of CAS and grants-management collaboration have worked themselves throughout the organization.”
InsideNGO helps strengthen the operational and management capacity of organizations in the global NGO community through effective collaboration, practical solutions, professional development, and advocacy. Its 2014 annual conference in Washington, D.C., included more than 1,300 attendees, exhibitors, presenters, and staff.
Williams has served Pact 4½ years; Miebach since May 2013.
About Pact – Pact is a promise of a better tomorrow for all those who are poor and marginalized. Working in partnership to develop local solutions that enable people to own their own future, Pact helps people and communities build their own capacity to generate income, improve access to quality health services, and gain lasting benefit from the sustainable use of the natural resources around them. At work in nearly 30 countries, Pact is building local promise with an integrated, adaptive approach that is shaping the future of international development. pactworld.org