Senate Governmental Affairs Chairman Collins Launches Inquiry Into Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, AMS Contract

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) today asked the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) to provide her committee with documents related to a failed contract that ended up costing federal employees $36 million.

Specifically, Collins has requested documents associated with a four-year contract between the FRTIB and American Management Systems, Inc. (AMS) to develop a record-keeping system for participants and beneficiaries of the Thrift Savings Plan. But the system that was developed proved to be useless, forcing the FRTIB to enter into a new contract with another company in 2001.

By reviewing documents related to the AMS contract, Collins hopes to learn where the contracting process broke down and what steps can be taken to improve the process in the future.

“It is outrageous that a federal agency spent tens of millions of dollars in retirement savings on a system that it couldn’t even use,” said Collins, whose committee has jurisdiction over the federal contracting process. “That’s an example of wasteful spending that should never be repeated.”

In her letter to the FRTIB, Collins asked for records relating to the contract with AMS, including correspondence about the delays, internal memoranda about the failed project, and recommendations from the new contractor, among other items.

Collins will determine whether to hold a hearing after she has received the requested information.