IG finds faults in acquisition workforce info system

The General Services Administration’s Acquisition Career Management Information System is riddled with faults, a newly released report states, forcing GSA and other agencies to take different approaches to understanding the makeup of their acquisition workforces.

ACMIS gives unreliable data to managers, who need it in order to make informed decisions about employees in light of budgets, further staffing and training, according to the report from GSA’s inspector general released Aug. 16.

The report attributes the deep-rooted problems to poor program management and a lack of oversight by GSA’s Office of Acquisition Policy and the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI), a training center for the civilian workforce. GSA has also failed to enforce the required use of the system, the IG said.

Related story:

Federal acquisition training: Change is afoot

The problems with ACMIS’ functionality have caused inefficient data entry and an unusable reporting system. In addition, employees have become frustrated by the lack of a fully operational help desk, the IG added.

In response to the report’s findings, Kathleen Turco, associate administrator of GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy, wrote that GSA and the FAI have known about the ACMIS troubles and are working to replace the system. They’re planning to turn to an existing system at the Homeland Security Department.

In an interview in August, Donna Jenkins, director of FAI, said the changeover is a foundational initiative of FAI and GSA.

The new system, called the Federal Acquisition Institute Training Application System 2.0, will help government employees transfer between agencies much more easily, she said. Jenkins likened it to a university system, where employees will be like alumni and their records follow wherever they go.

The new system "eases the burden on the individual to transfer between agencies...and maintain all of their certification and training history and work history in one location,” she said.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.


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