Start at the beginning.
You are starting too late in the game. Improving acquisition begins with adequately trained personnel. The move toward education of procurement personnel is a good one, but they can't even put their training information into the electronic acquisition career management system (ACMIS) because it does not work correctly. Fix that. Begin at the beginning please.
Could someone share this particular suggestion/comments with FAI? It would be great if the ACMIS PM would reply with a comment. Perhaps ACMIS is working on an enhancement. The beauty of these types of forums is that information such as this can be shared with the rest of the community and used to facilitae understanding, etc.
Hello All -
I’m excited to tell you if you haven't already heard, FAI is decommissioning ACMIS. We heard the comments and understand that the system was not user friendly. We have enhanced the Federal Acquisition Institute Training Application System (FAITAS v2.0) to not only manage your training history, but in the near future you will be able to track your continuous learning, acquisition certifications, and warrants. If you haven't registered in FAITAS yet, join the over 35,000 acquisition professionals by visiting us at: www.FAI.Gov and clicking on the bright yellow button labeled “FAITAS v2.0.”
The right people need to be hired for the right job. In my agency, people with masters degrees in environmental science are hired to do procurement...because the job announcement isn't written right, the supervisors have no clue (and/or no interest in) how much work goes into good acquisition....these people come into these jobs expecting to do one thing that they actually have expertise in and end up doing something completely different with no proper training or support. And no one cares!!!
Alex Trofimovsky commented
education of personal is great, just as good if not better, is designing with the end-users in mind! use usability and human factors methods.
Human resources personnel need to be trained in how to hire acquisition employees and how the grades should be. At some agencies, it is recognized that contracting 1102s can go all the way up to 14s and 15s because of the complexity of procurements. Other agencies limit grades to lower grades in the series unless someone is a supervisor. Without being able to hire extremely qualified personnel, staff can't handle complex procurements.
Armand Recontee commented
Well it looks like GSA got the message. They are scheduled to revamp the system. But when this was announced, it appeared that the purpose was to add more info to the system. Hopefully the will get it working correctly FIRST and only then, enhance it. So far, it is competely non-intuitive and non-user friendly. Whoever designed it certainly never had to use it.
The procurement community needs to become aware that there is a 'dysfunctional culture' which prevents small and disadvantaged businesses from receiving 'maximum practicable utilization' or MPU as prescribed by P.L. 95-507. Awareness and education might help eliminate the existing practices. You can view the examples on this link, http://www.docstoc.com/profile/FPA
Raul Espinosa, Founder
Fairness in Procurement Alliance (FPA)
Since folks appear to be interested in ACMIS, there is a recent GSA RFI on the street concerning it: Link: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=249d707e43b231686b597faef0633a90&tab=core&cck=1&au=&ck=
Geraldine Foss commented
Oh wow! I attended that training too! But the instructions online at the ACMIS website are hard to follow and I agree, even with the training, the system is not user friendly. Half of our training session was spent asking "Why did you set it up that way, wouldn't it make more sense if...?" The ACMIS system really needs to be revamped.
Peter - Thank you for the support. Typical to ACMIS management, they have not improved the system so that it is user-friendly, but instead they are offering training in how to use it. I suspect that they have purchased a lousy system that they are stuck with. Have you ever tried to log in and enter data? It is completely counter-intuitive. Anyway, two months ago, when I tried to sign up on the website for training at https://admin.acmis.gov/ the login instructions were so confusing that you couldn't figure out if you were signing up for the course or logging in! But I called, got registered and just recently attended the training. Without it, no one can find their way around this puzzling maze. The training shows you how to do it, but it's terribly difficult.
Richard K Kahn commented
Agreed! ACMIS is a disaster. When you call the help desk they can't even help with input and update of information. It would be great to see improvements in such an important area which is supposed to support the acquistion community.
I have tried to put my information into ACMIS and did it once, but could never update it. And this is the system that is supposed to track training and education and certification. It is very frustrating.
The ACMIS system is extremely non-friendly. It is almost impossible trying to figure out how to input information.