Fort Belvoir, Va., –
DCAA has over 300 offices in the United States and overseas, but each one is unique. One of the lesser known offices is located in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The office is small, just four auditors, but it has an important mission supporting US Foreign Military Sales (FMS). The office is a sub-office of the European Branch office, which is located in Wiesbaden, Germany. The office performs the same type of audits as other DCAA offices but due to the office size, location, and uniqueness of its mission, the teamwork between DCAA and its customers is very strong.
The office works very closely with the DCMA office, which considers them a sister agency and counterpart in supporting FMS contracts in the Middle East. The offices talk frequently and constantly work together on issues with local contractors. Since the DCAA office is so small, DCMA includes them in their holiday potlucks, organizational day, and other social activities. The office’s other local customer is the Office of the Program Officer – Saudi Arabian National Guard (OPM-SANG). They meet frequently with the OPM-SANG’s Administrative contracting officers, Contracts Director, and others to discuss issues. DCAA and OPM-SANG visit each other’s offices to go over items such as vouchers, audits, and areas of concern that either might have identified.
While the auditing work may be the same as in the U.S., the living conditions are not. The auditors live and work in a secure military compound called Eskan village. Each auditor has their own villa, a comfortable townhome-like unit, fully air-conditioned with all the basic amenities. Eskan village has all the necessary services to support employees, such as grocery and retail stores, gyms, and movie theaters. Since the auditors are unable to have their family members accompany them to KSA, they are only there for one year, but they can extend their tour with management approval. Living and working closely with your coworkers brings a new meaning to teamwork. As the former office manager, Bobby Chandra explained, “we are a small group and we consider ourselves a ‘family.’ We look out for each other and we are our family away from home.” Auditors find working in this office to be a very rewarding experience for professional reasons and for the opportunity to experience a new culture.