Bureau of the Public Debt prepares for transition

PARKERSBURG – The federal offices of the local Bureau of the Public Debt eventually will be seeing some changes as the transition to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service becomes more prominent.

Almost a year ago, the Bureau of the Public Debt was consolidated with the Financial Management Service into the new Bureau of the Fiscal Service under the U.S. Treasury Department, said spokesman Tom Longnecker.

The mission of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service is to promote the financial integrity and operational efficiency of the U.S. government through exceptional accounting, financing, collections, payments and shared services, according to the bureau.

”Our goal is to help transform financial management and delivery of shared services in the federal government,” the bureau said. ”We’ll provide exceptional services and collaborate with and help other government organizations raise their level of service.

”We’ll meet our goals by introducing a level of efficiency, transparency and accountability that positively affects the public perception of how government works. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service will be a valued partner for agencies as they work to strengthen their own financial management or as they look for a quality service provider who can allow them to focus on their missions.”

People will eventually be seeing changes around the local Public Debt offices, reflecting the new agency, Longnecker said.

”The signs will eventually be changed to Bureau of the Fiscal Service,” he said. ”People should refer to us as the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.”

Local Public Debt offices still have signs that bear the name “The Bureau of the Public Debt.”

Brad Benson, spokesman for the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, said no time table has been set as the change in signage has not been a priority in the recent budgetary climate.

”Basically, we are all just continuing to do our jobs,” he said.

Benson said the merger actually took effect Oct. 1, 2012, but not much was done to publicize the change.

”We were originally the Bureau of the Fiscal Service back in the 1940’s before they split us up into two agencies,” he said.

With the merger the bureau is expected to see growth in shared services such as accounting and customer service calls.

”We are expecting growth with some to occur in Parkersburg,” Benson said.

Whenever the signage is changed, local officials believe that people will continue to call those offices and operations locally, “Public Debt.”

”The name ‘Public Debt’ is so ingrained in this area that some people will always call it ‘Public Debt,’ for years to come” Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell said.

He compared it to people who still call the state “Department of Highways,” the “State Road Department.”

To people outside of this area, it has to be explained to them that the Bureau of the Public Debt is a part of the U.S. Treasury Department, Newell said. However, the organization has had such a presence in the area and many people have ties to it that its original name will continue on in the minds of many people.

”I would be afraid to call it by its new name, because no one locally would know what I was talking about,” Newell said.