U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
April 13, 2020
Why We Did This Project
We conducted this audit to
determine whether the
U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's PeoplePlus—its time
and attendance reporting
system—is efficient and
effective for use in time and
attendance and cost allocation
processes and whether the
system has effective practices,
programs, and policies.
The EPA upgraded its
PeoplePlus time and attendance
system in October 2017. The
Office of Management and
Budget requires agencies to
consider existing shared service
centers and conduct an
alternatives analysis before
making decisions to improve,
enhance, or modernize existing
information technology
investments. The OMB also
requires agencies to conduct
definitive technical, cost, and
risk analyses of alternative
design implementations over the
full life cycle costs of IT products
and services.
The Office of the Chief Financial
Officer manages PeoplePlus.
This report addresses the
• Operating efficiently and
Address inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391 or
List of OIG reports.
EPA May Have Overpaid for Its $13 Million Time and
Attendance System by Not Following Information
Technology Investment Requirements
What We Found
The EPA's OCFO did not perform a required cost
analysis or consider alternative options before
awarding contracts worth more than $13 million to
upgrade PeoplePlus to the 9.2 version.
Additionally, the OCFO did not conduct four of the
five reviews required by the EPA's Chief
Information Officer Classification No. 2121-P-03.0, System Life Cycle
Management Procedure, which provides management control and direction
over decision-making.
Because the EPA did not perform the cost and alternative time and attendance
systems analyses, it cannot confirm that the PeoplePlus upgrade was the best
use of taxpayer funds. Also, the EPA may have missed the opportunity to
reduce costs through its shared service provider, the U.S. Department of
Interior's Interior Business Center. If the EPA had selected to use the IBC's
system rather than PeoplePlus, the Agency could have saved approximately
$7.7 million to $8.1 million, based on IBC estimates.
When internal control reviews are not performed, it puts the Agency at risk for
making investment choices that waste taxpayer funds. The lack of reviews
resulted in a missed opportunity for the Agency to be able to identify the most
cost-effective system with the potential to realize the most operational
Recommendations and Planned Agency Corrective Actions
We recommend that the chief financial officer 1) perform the required cost
analysis over the full life cycle of PeoplePlus and 2) analyze alternatives to the
system. Also, for Recommendations 1 and 2, we recommend that the Agency
determine whether to exercise remaining extension options in the PeoplePlus
contract, which would cost $3.1 million through February 2023. In addition, we
recommend that the chief financial officer design and implement internal
controls to 3) verify that staff complete the necessary reviews to obtain the
necessary approvals and maintain the required documentation, and 4) verify
that staff are following the system life cycle policy and procedure.
The EPA agreed with our recommendations. Recommendations 1 and 2 are
resolved with corrective action pending, and Recommendations 3 and 4 are
By not performing cost
and alternative
analyses, the EPA
missed the opportunity
to save taxpayer funds.