About Finance and Administrative Services

The Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) has the most diverse set of responsibilities of any City department. In addition to the services FAS provides directly to its external customers, the behind-the-scenes services FAS provides to its internal customers — all City departments — directly support the work they do on the public's behalf. Our success depends on the success of our customers. It is our primary commitment to meet our customers' needs by providing reliable, quality service that anticipates and exceeds their expectations.

FAS' work can be broken into four categories, though there is much overlap among them.

Customer service

FAS is often the first stop for the public to interact with the City. This contact may come through the City's Customer Service Bureau, the downtown Customer Service Center or any of the six Neighborhood Service Centers. Over the phone, online and in person, customers can get information, request services, pay bills, resolve problems and voice opinions. FAS also monitors certain types of businesses to increase consumer safety and ensure proper charges for services. This includes setting rate caps for private property tows, as well as ensuring consumers are not overcharged due to an inaccurate device, such as a gas pump or a supermarket scanner or scale. FAS supports transparency in City work, providing Citywide coordination and guidance on public disclosure. FAS helps the customers clarify requests, to make sure they will receive the information they are seeking. Finally, through the Seattle Animal Shelter, FAS advocates for animal welfare, reunites lost animals with their owners and adopts homeless animals to suitable owners.

Regulation and oversight

FAS ensures all businesses operating in Seattle are properly licensed and paying required business and occupation taxes. FAS issues regulatory licenses for certain businesses types — including adult entertainment venues, door-to-door salespeople and trade shows — and enforces requirements related to those licenses. As the central coordinator for City contracting, FAS establishes the policies and procedures to ensure fair competition for City-funded construction projects and oversees programs to ensure everyone in the community has equal access to jobs and opportunities involving City construction projects. FAS also enforces animal-related ordinances, including the investigation of animal cruelty, neglect and abuse.

Financial services

FAS helps ensure the City's financial health by managing debt, investments and insurance to mitigate risk, and providing economic forecasting to City officials, all of which is essential to planning and budgeting. FAS also manages claims for damages against the City, balancing proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars when settling a claim with fairness to claimants.  FAS oversees the City's central accounting system, and payroll and treasury services, ensuring revenue is collected and vendors and staff are properly paid in a timely manner.

Operational services

FAS designs, builds and maintains City buildings, and has a portfolio of more than 100 facilities, including Seattle City Hall, the Seattle Municipal Tower, the Justice Center, the Joint Training Facility, 33 neighborhood fire stations and five police stations. When the City no longer has a purpose for it, FAS sells or otherwise disposes of property, which may include real estate or equipment such as computers, vehicles or street signs. FAS also maintains the City's vehicle fleet, which includes police patrol cars, fire engines and heavy equipment. City departments rely on FAS to build and maintain the technology that supports financial management, payroll and personnel records management. FAS also negotiates purchasing contracts on behalf of all City departments and establishes purchasing guidelines for departments.