DHS’s experience in standing up its performance and learning management system, or PALMS, ‘literally meets GAO’s textbook definition of waste,” the department’s IG has said after an audit.

The system is intended to deliver, track, administer, and report on employee training and performance, with the goal of saving $52 million over a five-year period. However, auditors determined that despite spending $24.2 million as of February 2017, PALMS ‘does not achieve the intended benefits or address the department’s operational requirements.”

The IG cited issues including that: despite concerns raised by several internal stakeholders, DHS accepted PALMS as operational in January 2015 without verifying that it worked as it was supposed to; the performance management function is still not operational; PALMS does not yet meet the requirements of three major DHS components, FEMA, Coast Guard and TSA; components wasted more than $5.7 million on subscriptions during a period when the system was not yet operational; and DHS did not follow its own requirements for IT acquisitions and moved forward without performing required checks at various points along the way.