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New AFI changes inspection mindset

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Does it seem every time you turn around, the evil Unit Self-Assessment Program Monitor is hovering behind you, badgering you to run your checklists?  Or, worse yet, assigning a new checklist that needs to be run....yesterday? 

We are all too busy to complete another checklist in the Manager's Internal Control Toolset.  Why do we have to do these checklists anyway?

I am glad you asked! 

The Air Force has drastically changed the way we do inspections.  AFI 90-201, The Air Force Inspection System, which came out March 2014, has the largest change to the process since 1947.  This AFI lays out the ground work for the new concept of "self-reporting."  This document is 261 pages but let me reduce it to its basics.

The checklists are guides to help you police your area in respect to all of the compliance directives.  Your Unit SAPM will sit with you and verify that you are addressing the items on your checklist.  The SAPM then confirms with your commander that your program is running the way you say it does. 

Every so often members from the Wing will come in and observe the effectiveness of your SAPM.  These individuals are the Wing Inspection Team.  Then every two years the Air Force Inspection Agency Inspector General office will visit to observe the WITs and again evaluate how effective the SAPMs are in assessing and assisting you and your programs.

For decades, those of us "in the trenches" have been saying that we know how to do our jobs and that we know what is and is not working.  MICT is the way we tell the Air Force how well we are doing.  SAPMs, WITs, and IG Inspectors simply confirm that our report card is an accurate reflection to Air Force requirements and standards. 

The new AFIS allows you to operationalize our AF core values.  If something is broken, then say it is broken and explain your plan for getting it in compliance or why it cannot be fixed. 

Gone are the days of "getting well" for a "drag you over the coals" inspection, only to have the program go back to noncompliant minutes after the inspectors leave.  The new AFIS focus is to allow you to do the right thing and operationalize the AF core values - service, integrity and excellence. 

The Wing Inspector General and the IG Staff is available to answer your questions or concerns.  The 81 TRW IG can be reached at 228-377-3010.