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Program A: Administration/Support Services

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The mission of the Administration/Support Services Program is to provide responsive, cost effective support in the areas of mail operations, procurement of goods and services, payroll, personnel, fiscal responsibility, customer services, and technical, legal, and policy services to the agency's operational divisions, to Louisiana residents seeking financial assistance for post-secondary education and to school and lender participants.

The goals of the Administration/Support Services Program are:

1. Effectively and efficiently administer assigned programs.

2. Achieve and maintain high standards of customer service.

3. Create a motivating environment to maximize staff productivity.

4. Maintain financial viability.

The Administration/Support Services Program includes the following activities:

1. Executive Administration - Executes and enforces all decisions, orders, rules and regulations of the Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission (LASFAC) and the Student Tuition Assistance and Revenue Trust Authority (LATTA).

2. Fiscal and Administrative Services Division - Provides payroll, personnel, accounts receivable and payable, mail services, purchasing and receiving, property control, federal and state reporting, budget control and financial management.

3. Information Systems Division - Provides responsive technical support to agency divisions and the client base.

4. Customer Services Division - Provides information dissemination, marketing, auditing and technical assistance and internal and external program training.

5. Legal Section - Provides legal assistance to the agency, and policy and operational research to agency divisions and the client base.

The Administration/Support Services program provides effective and efficient administration of federal and state authorized financial aid programs including scholarship, grant, tuition savings, and loan programs for students attending post secondary institutions.

OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

The Administration/Support Services Program provides leadership to the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA). The success of this program is reflected in the success of the other programs in the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA). Performance information consistent with this program's strategic plan and with the statewide model for administration/support services programs will be reported next year. OSFA has provided significant objectives and performance indicators for the Administration/Support Services Program for FY 1998-99 that are reported below.

1. The Administration/Support Services Program, through the Customer Service Activity, will expand the communication system to permit timely and accurate responses to customer inquiries by June 30, 1999.

2. The Administration/Support Services Program, through the Customer Service Activity, will maintain staff and resources to meet operational requirements by July 1998.

3. The Administration/Support Services Program, through the Customer Service Activity, will maintain a ratio of operating expenses to loans outstanding of less than one percent through June 30, 1999.

4. The Administrative/Support Services Program will increase annual loan volume by 25%, or to an estimated volume of $371 million in FY 1998-99.

RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM

SOURCE OF FUNDING

This program is funded with the general fund, fees and self-generated revenues, and federal funds. The fees and self-generated revenues are derived from seminar registration fees used to defray administrative costs of conducting informational seminars for clients. The federal funds are from: (1) the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL) program's administrative costs allowance, which authorizes payments to the guaranty agency for the purpose of administrative costs related to the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP); (2) the collection cost allowance, which allows the agency to retain up to 27% of collections on defaulted student loans to be used for the administrative cost of collections, preclaims assistance, and monitoring the enrollment and repayment status of students; and (3) the guarantee fee, which provides for the collection of a single insurance premium equal to not more than 1% of the principal amount of the loan, to be used to cover costs incurred by the guaranty agency in the administration of its loan guarantee program.

ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION

GENERAL FUND

TOTAL

T.O.

 

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

 

 

$51,482

$2,551,423

47

 

ACT 18 FISCAL YEAR 1997-1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA-7 TRANSACTIONS:

$0

$0

0

 

None

 

 

 

 

 

$51,482

$2,551,423

47

 

EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET - December 10, 1997

 

 

 

 

 

$0

$148,200

0

 

Equipment/Major Repairs Adjustment(s)

$0

$32,999

0

 

Annualization of 1997 -'98 Merit Pay Adjustment(s)

$0

$34,319

0

 

1998 -'99 Merit Pay Adjustment(s)

$0

($30,407)

0

 

Attrition Adjustment(s)

$0

($9,180)

0

 

Retirement Rate Adjustment(s)

$0

$252

0

 

Adjustment(s) for Civil Service, Training and Other Statewide Interagency Transfer Activities

$0

($25,389)

0

 

Reductions in various Expenditure Categories; Including Reductions to fully fund Salaries

$0

$7,951

0

 

Risk Management Adjustment(s)

$0

$3,764

0

 

Rent in State-owned Buildings Adjustments

$0

$590

0

 

UPS Fees

$78

$78

0

 

Legislative Auditor Fees

$209,515

$209,515

4

 

Workload - Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS): Increased administrative costs

$0

$168,784

4

 

Workload - Projected increase in administrative costs due to a 25.0% increase in annual loan volume

$130,416

$0

0

 

Means of Financing Substitution - replace Federal Funds with State General Fund (Direct) to properly allocate costs associated with state-oriented programs

$15,500

$15,000

0

 

Other Adjustment - Mini-mainframe computer upgrade

 

 

 

 

 

$355,431

$3,108,399

55

 

TOTAL RECOMMENDED

 

 

 

 

 

$303,949

$556,976

8

 

DIFFERENCE (TOTAL RECOMMENDED AND EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET)

The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 121.8% of the existing operating budget. It represents 86.5% of the total request ($3,594,452) for this program. The major reason for the increase from the existing operating budget is due to various workload adjustments made to this program. The largest single workload adjustment is a $209,515 general fund increase for administrative costs associated with the Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). TOPS is slated to grow by 74.4% in FY 1998-1999: 4,021 net new awards will be funded at an additional $13.1 million (see the full discussion in Program C: Scholarships/Grants, below). This adjustment will cover four (4) additional staffers in the program's Customer Service Response Unit to answer the agency's main informational telephone lines. Based on the number of students eligible for TOPS, these positions will be used to maintain the agency's current response rate dealing with incoming calls. The same rationale applies to a $55,793 federal funds workload adjustment to provide one (1) Customer Service position to deal with the anticipated 25.0% increase in annual federal loan volume in FY 1998-1999. The increase in annual loan volume is also expected to bring increases in mail volume: 18.0% for out-going mail and 16.5% for in-coming mail. As a result, a $60,686 federal funds workload adjustment is recommended to provide for personnel services and operating expenses associated with two (2) additional Mail Center employees. A 15.0% increase in bankruptcy filings is anticipated for FY 1998-1999, necessitating a $51,305 federal workload adjustment to fund personal services and operating expenses associated with the hiring of one (1) new paralegal position to process bankruptcies encountered in the collection of student loans. The net $148,200 increase in federal funds for equipment will be used to upgrade the agency's mini-mainframe computer: the vendor will no longer service the computer's current processor in FY 1998-1999. Associated with this equipment upgrade is a $15,500 general fund purchase of a maintenance agreement so as to properly allocate the new processor's costs between the agency's state-funded and federally funded programs. A $130,416 means of financing substitution (which replaces federal funds with general fund) is recommended to properly allocate the agency's costs in providing administrative and support services for the agency's state-oriented programs.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

$7,000

 

Out-of-state default litigation costs

$3,628

 

Professional honoraria for guest speakers at various workshops

$1,000

 

Deaf interpreter services

 

 

 

$11,628

 

TOTAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

OTHER CHARGES

$15,862

 

Legislative Auditor expenses

 

 

 

$15,862

 

TOTAL OTHER CHARGES

 

 

 

 

 

Interagency Transfers:

$240,398

 

Division of Administration - Rent in state-owned buildings

$3,250

 

Division of Administration - Uniform Payroll System

$2,390

 

Division of Administration - State Register

$947

 

Division of Administration - Comprehensive Public Training Program

$27,296

 

Louisiana Educational Television Authority - Training Videos

$2,698

 

Department of Civil Service - Service fees

 

 

 

$276,979

 

TOTAL INTERAGENCY TRANSFERS

ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS

$155,000

 

New mini-mainframe computer upgrade: Model 620 processor for AS400 (model 300 series) computer

$3,700

 

Replacement calculators (37 @ $100 each)

$10,000

 

New workstations and chairs (5 @ $2,000 each) for Customer Service workload adjustment

$7,500

 

New personal computers (5 @ $1,500 each) for Customer Service workload adjustment

$3,600

 

New automatic calling and dialing telephone instruments (4 @ $900 each) for Customer Service workload adjustment

$4,000

 

New workstations and chairs (2 @ $2,000 each) for Mail Center workload adjustment

$1,000

 

New file cabinets (5 @ $200 each) for storage workload adjustment

$5,000

 

New personal computer ($1,500) and Premise software ($3,500) for Bankruptcy workload adjustment

 

 

 

$189,800

 

TOTAL ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS


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