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News | Nov. 4, 2020

DLA Distribution Susquehanna’s Bickel earns the Patrick J. McCormick DLA Distribution Excellence in Audit Readiness Award

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency, Distribution honors Audit Readiness Coordinator Diana Bickel, DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, with the Patrick J. McCormick DLA Distribution Excellence in Audit Readiness Award 2019.

Bickel has proven herself a tenacious and dedicated leader of action armed with unrivaled technical skill and unparalleled dedication and commitment. She has managed all facets of DDSP’s Audit Readiness Program with poise and great effect, to include training, evaluation, planning and process controls. She has also developed and spearheaded several continuous audit readiness improvement initiatives throughout the organization that have had a lasting and positive impact on DDSP’s audit readiness posture.

Bickel flawlessly facilitated the implementation of DDSP’s Audit Readiness Execution Assertion Program spanning all levels of leadership. This program consisted of floor-to-book inventories, Supervisor Assertion Program requirements, trained-to-standard accountability reporting and the Electronic Warehouse Assessment Checklist reporting of work-area readiness conditions. In addition, she was integral in greatly improving accuracy expectations for all areas. Bickel led the development of DDSP’s readiness assertions for each supervisor.

During fiscal year 2019, and in alignment with DDSP’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis, Bickel developed a set of enhanced controls for stow variances and variance research requirements, which ultimately led to value-added audit readiness reports. These reports provided the organization, which encompasses 50 warehouses, three work-sites and $16 billion of assets, with precise plan-to-actual inventory accuracy performance within all work areas, engineered procedures and corresponding controls for evidential matter collection and all applicable storage responsibilities.

In addition, Bickel was actively involved in the creation of DDSP’s audit readiness Defense Performance Management and Appraisal System elements which embraced all work areas and careers and made a tremendous “accountability” impact on the floor. She also developed an enhanced internal quality control program that allowed DDSP to complete more than 58,000 audits during the year while ensuring a closed feedback loop to each employee. This helped to further establish accountability through expanded management controls with cascaded objectives. As a result of her hard work and dedication, DDSP DPMAP elements have been interlocked with key stakeholders and are utilized for employee incentives on a near daily basis. Impressively, senior DLA Distribution leadership has encouraged other centers across the enterprise to adopt much of Bickel’s work.
Bickel’s acute managerial skills, unparalleled coordination and exceptional planning were on full display during DDSP’s fiscal year 2019 Full Financial Statement Audit and Process Control Matrix assessment by the Ernst and Young independent public auditors. Due in large part to her tireless devotion to duty, E&Y was so impressed with the Independent Auditor Validation audit assessment that they determined “no further reviews are necessary across all DLA Distribution sites.” The DLA Director specifically recognized Bickel for these efforts and many others when he awarded her with a DLA coin.

Bickel was influential in the building of audit readiness tools with operational leaders and technicians alike to improve DDSP’s areas audit readiness. Due to her foresight, management was able to develop targeted, achievable and sustainable countermeasures which resulted in improvements in audit readiness preparedness and contributed significantly to DDSP’s audit readiness posture and warfighter support. In fact, she has been the central figure in DDSP’s improvement from 85% to nearly 92% location accuracy from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2020. These accomplishments and so many more are the reason Bickel is recognized with this prestigious award.