USDA unifies its HR services

USDA unifies its HR services

The Agriculture Department has implemented a system that combines the human resources management activities of its three service agencies.

USDA rolled out the Combined Administrative Management System in April to provide more timely and efficient personnel management to the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Rural Development bureau, said Pat Cecil, USDA business specialist for the CAMS project.

CAMS is based on PeopleSoft HRMS from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif. The system was designed and piloted by the agencies in partnership with PeopleSoft, Unisys Corp. and USDA's National Information Technology Center and National Finance Center, Cecil said.

Agriculture began testing CAMS in July 1998 at the Gainesville, Fla., state offices of the three agencies. In December 1998, the department expanded the pilot to four states: Arkansas, Indiana, Oregon and Pennsylvania, Cecil said.

'The pilot was developed and designed so that we could learn more about our system designs and processes by doing both systems and business testing,' said Jeffrie Navarro, a Rural Development personnel management specialist in the Gainesville office.

• USDA management turned to Robbins-Gioia Inc. to provide direction and discipline for the Modernization of Administrative Processes Program.

Working with the MAP program office, the Alexandria, Va., company developed and implemented a program management infrastructure and reporting procedures that focused on comprehensive project planning, development of realistic schedules and timelines, status reporting, progress assessments and program reviews, said Todd Repass, a member of USDA's procurement project team.

'Robbins-Gioia provided project planning, performance monitoring, and schedule and action item tracking under the MAP Program,' Repass said.

Over a four-year period, the MAP program established the foundation for USDA's administrative modernization efforts. Beginning Oct. 1, 1997, responsibility for the MAP Program projects was transferred to the functional program offices: Human Resources Management, Civil Rights, Procurement and Property Management, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, he said.

• The Food Safety and Inspection Service has chosen Enterprise Training Solutions' DiscoverWare series so the agency's 4,000 mobile inspectors can train in the field, an FSIS official said.

FSIS inspectors will use the Ardsley, N.Y., company's DiscoverWare multimedia courses for Microsoft Word 97, Excel 97 and Outlook 98.

Enterprise Training Solutions began delivering training CD-ROMs to inspectors in January, said Peter Kuhmerker, FSIS project manager.


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