Support Services is responsible for the management of the day-to-day accounting activities through the Statewide Automated Accounting System (SAAS) and the analysis of financial reports and preparation of cost projections to manage agency funds and to ensure compliance with spending authority requirements contained in the Agency’s appropriation bill. The Finance and Accounting area also prepares Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) financial statements and related information for inclusion in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and the preparation of the Agency’s indirect cost plan and negotiation of the indirect cost rate with the Federal Division of Cost Allocation.
The Budgeting area includes the planning and preparation of the Agency’s annual budget for submission to the Legislative Budget Office; this process includes reviewing and compiling financial information for all funds and programs and maintaining systems and methods to capture performance measurement data to comply with the “Mississippi Performance Budget and Strategic Planning Act of 1994.” A part of the budgeting process is the compilation of supplemental information on program accomplishments and assistance in Legislative Budget Hearings through compilation of costs associated with new, expanding, and/or existing programs. The culmination of the budgeting process is the preparation of the Agency’s Z-1 budget with subsequent revisions as necessary throughout the fiscal year. An additional part of the legislative budget process is the preparation of the personal services budget as required by the State Personnel Board which ensures adequate manpower in accomplishing the Office’s mandates.
The Human Resources and Personnel area ensures compliance with all state and federal laws, rules and regulations regarding employment and employees (SPB, Section 125, FLSA, Title VII, FMLA, HIPAA, COBRA, etc.). Other functions of this area include maintaining agency, position, and employee data in SPAHRS; ensuring that leave usage complies with state and federal laws; conducting employee orientation; coordinating Benefits Training and Cafeteria Plan Enrollment; ensuring uniform implementation of Performance Appraisal Review (PAR); and maintaining the Office’s organizational chart.
Support Services provides financial and administrative support to all divisions within the Office working under grants and contracts. This support includes assisting with the preparation of grant applications and budgets, interpreting grant language, making recommendation on implementation, and fulfilling all grant reporting requirements, e.g., Financial Status Reports (FSR), Cost Reimbursement Reports, Federal Cash Transactions Reports, and various programmatic reports. During FY 2004, the Office entered into over $2,100,000 in grants/contracts with DHHS-Medicaid Fraud, Public Safety, MS Leadership Council on Aging, University of Mississippi - Cyber Crime Center, and Youth Crime Watch of America and also assisted in the administration of $4,500,000 in awards to Communities in Schools of Greenwood-Leflore, Big Brothers Big Sisters of MS, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YMCAs for the purpose of serving the unmet needs of “at risk” youth in the State of Mississippi.
Support Services is responsible for all procurement of goods and services for the Office in compliance with the Department of Finance and Administration and ITS including preparation of bid specifications and local advertisement for certain goods, negotiation of building leases, office moves, and space management. During FY 2004 the Support Services Division continued to work with the architectural firm in charge of the renovation of the Sillers Building on space allocation and designation.
Support Services is responsible for processing a monthly payroll for 200+ full-time employees utilizing the Statewide Payroll and Human Resources System (SPAHRS) inclusive of maintaining direct deposit information and balancing/payment of deductions and for processing a bi-weekly payroll for 70-100 individuals including interns, minors participating in alcohol and tobacco enforcement (Youth Services), and other contractual workers.
The law librarian is responsible for maintaining all aspects of the Office Law Library. This would include updating all current library materials, maintaining library records, handling book orders, cancellations, account inquiries/problems, and verifying statements from book vendors. The librarian maintains a directory of Westlaw passwords, monitors Westlaw usage, and assists attorneys in Westlaw training and legal research.
During FY 2004, the Attorney General’s Office entered into sixty-six (66) interagency contracts to provide legal services to various state agencies, boards and commissions. Support Services prepares all contracts, computes costs, maintains all contracts on file, makes adjustments when necessary, prepares invoices and ensures collection of amounts billed. Additionally, Support Services is responsible for ensuring the review and processing of all Outside Legal Counsel Contracts.
The Information Systems (IS) staff provides software/hardware support for the Office’s Wide Area Network (WAN). The WAN includes staff housed in the Gartin, 802 Building, and Watkins Building as well as staff housed in other state agencies. IS provides assistance with Office Suite software, on-line Legal Research and Internet access. The Office has an on-line Opinion database and supports and maintains its own Web Server which is regularly updated with Press releases and Consumer News. The IS staff supports and creates reports for an in-house case management system that is used office-wide to track case information and time entry.
The Office is currently working with Ciber on a new Dot Net Case Management and Time Tracking System. Ciber was awarded the contract for AGO and District Attorney Pilot Project from RFP 3356 for a centralized case management system (CRIMES). Installation and Roll out of the AGO CRIMES Case Management System will begin mid January 2005 with final system acceptance testing in May 2005. The second part of RFP 3356 consists of a Pilot Project to place Gulfport and Pascagoula District Attorneys’ Offices on a shared database located in Harrison County backed up by a location in Hattiesburg. ASP (Automated System Project) is helping fund the District Attorney Coast Pilot Project with a grant from Homeland Security. The shared database will interface with the local Jail Management System and receive case download information. The shared database will also interface with CIC and provide case disposition data. Future planned interfaces include AOC (Administrator of Courts) and several Court systems. Final analysis requirements for the shared database and interfaces will be complete by the end of December 2004. Installation for the Coast Pilot is scheduled for the end of February with final acceptance testing in May 2005. Future plans include adding other DAs to the shared database...