Office of Finance and Operations Functional Statement


Mission and Responsibilities
The mission of the Office of Finance and Operations (OFO) is to transform the Department of Education (ED or Department) into a high-performance, customer-focused organization by providing services to our customers that help them do a better job of managing their people, processes, and overall strategy. The OFO serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary and Senior Officials on all matters related to financial management, financial management systems, financial control and accounting, cooperative agreements and acquisition management, related training, and budget processes and proposals. The OFO is headed by a senior official, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, serving as the Assistant Secretary for Finance and Operations;

The Office directs, coordinates, and has overall responsibility to perform the following functions:

  • Conduct evaluations and assessments of Departmental programs and internal management practices.
  • Develop and oversee Departmental systems such as total quality management, organizational development, and management directives.
  • Provide personnel and training services to Departmental offices. Provide resource management services including facilities management, administrative support, and security services.
  • Develop and manage the Departmental Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program. Administer programs to improve the work life of Department employees including the development of family-friendly programs and initiatives.
  • Coordinate policy for management reform initiatives, such as the President’s Management Initiatives, human capital management, and the Government Performance and Results Act.
  • Direct and recommend policy for the Civil Rights Reviewing Authority and the Office of Administrative Law Judges. Strengthen the effectiveness with which Federal funds are spent through mandated oversight, appeal, and review authorities.
  • Administer personnel security and suitability and information security - as it relates to classified national security information - on a Department-wide basis.
  • Oversees all financial management activities related to the programs and operations of the Department.
  • Prepares a variety of reports for the agency’s senior leadership integrating key financial information with major Department policy activities and performance objectives.
  • Oversees credit management issues and trends relative to student financial assistance programs and makes recommendations and develops alternative strategies based on sound principles of credit and financial management.
  • Develops, manages, and provides policy guidance and oversight of the Department's fiscal management activities and operations. Provides leadership and direction in the areas of internal control and assessment, financial management training, post audit activities, debt collection, and indirect cost determination.
  • Prepares and transmits reports on Chief Financial Officer functions to the Secretary, the Congress, and OMB.
  • Fulfills the responsibilities of the Chief Acquisition Officer.
  • Develops, manages, and provides regulatory, policy, and procedural guidance and oversight to the Department’s acquisition system and completes acquisition management reporting requirements.
  • Establishes and maintains requirements for acquisition workforce development and career management. Manages the Department's contracts and purchasing activities.
  • Coordinates the implementation of ED Regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects in extramural and intramural research projects.
  • Coordinates the review of Department-wide policies to ensure consistency with the Secretary’s guidance and the Administration’s goals;
  • Oversees policy development and reviewing policy recommendations submitted to the Secretary by Principal Offices;
  • Manages a repository of policy data necessary to formulate, develop, validate and recommend policy positions to the Secretary;
  • Manages budget programs, process, and proposals;
  • Develops and implementing Department-wide systems and procedures for strategic accountability and performance management;
  • Analyzes current and proposed education policy; directing the development of policy options for legislative proposals and program reauthorizations based on policy analysis;
  • Conducts performance measurement, and evaluation studies for education programs;
  • Designs, conducts, and reports on evaluation studies to describe program operations and program outcomes of participants and to promote program improvement;
  • Provides technical expertise in formula development, modeling, forecasting, and trends analysis; and conducting analyses of cost/benefit and institutional effects of regulations


OFO is under the supervision of the Assistant Secretary who reports directly to the Secretary. The Assistant Secretary also serves as the Department’s Chief Financial Officer. The Office is composed of nine organizations, which perform the major functions of the Office. In addition, the Executive Office and the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) reports directly to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Finance and Operations.


Order of Sucession
In the event that the Assistant Secretary for Finance and Operations dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office and the office is thereby deemed to be vacant, and the Secretary has not designated in writing another individual to act as the Assistant Secretary for Finance and Operations, the following officials, in the order shown, shall perform the functions and duties of the office in an acting capacity.

In instances where the office of the Assistant Secretary for Finance and Operations is filled, but the head of the Office of Finance and Operations is absent, unavailable, otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the position, and/or there is a disruption in the normal channels of direction and communication, and unless the head of the Office of Finance and Operations or the Secretary, in writing, designates another individual to act as the Assistant Secretary for Finance and Operations, the following officials, in the order shown, shall serve in an acting capacity as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Finance and Operations:

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Service
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security, Facilities, and Logistics Services
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Management
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grants Administration


Last Modified: 01/31/2019