New Air Force Manual for IT Asset Management
By , 72nd Air Base Wing Communications Directorate ITAM Office
/ Published May 16, 2014
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The March 19 publication of Air Force Manual 33-153, Information Technology Asset Management combined two Air Force Instructions (AFI 33-114 Software License Management and AFI 33-112 Hardware Asset Management) into one and implemented significant changes for managing IT hardware assets.
The 72nd Air Base Wing Communications Directorate's ITAM Office has worked diligently to identify differences and notify commanders and IT equipment custodians of upcoming process changes resulting from the new publication.
The biggest change involves computer monitors. Previously, these assets were required to be tracked either in the Asset Information Management module of the Air Force Equipment Management System or by another identifiable method. Tinker used AIM, which meant ITECs had to physically inventory monitors once a year. If a monitor was lost, a Report of Survey had to be accomplished before it could be removed from the system.
Now monitors and other peripherals such as keyboards and mice that lack persistent storage and network capabilities are classified as non-sensitive assets. More importantly, the initial release of AFMAN 33-153 prevented non-sensitive assets costing less than $5,000 from being tracked in AIM.
However, feedback from the field has caused the Air Force Equipment Control Officer to rethink that position and a change to the new manual will be issued within the next 90 days. Until the change is received, the ITAM Office will not remove any additional monitors from AIM. ITECs with other items on their account who meet the new guidelines can request their removal from AIM by contacting the ITAM Office.
AFMAN 33-153 also changed the grade requirements for ITECs. Under the new guidance, Primary ITECs must be in the grade of Staff Sergeant and above or GS-05 and above. Alternate ITECs may be Senior Airman and above. Commanders may request a waiver of the grade requirement, but approval must come from major command level. Units with ITECs currently assigned who no longer meet the minimum grade requirements were advised of the change in April and had until May 15 to appoint new ITECs or provide an approved waiver.
The new manual also includes stricter guidance regarding the use of hand receipts for easily transportable equipment/devices such as laptops and tablets. While their use was highly recommended in the previous instruction, hand receipts are now mandatory. Additionally, when ITECs perform their annual inventory, they must contact all individuals issued equipment via a hand receipt to verify the equipment's status.
Two important responsibilities for commanders and ITECs are ensuring replacement ITECs are appointed when an ITEC departs an organization and that the new ITEC and the outgoing ITEC conduct a joint loss-gain inventory to properly transfer the account.
The new manual emphasizes the importance of these actions by explicitly making commanders responsible for all assets on the inventory if an ITEC departs without conducting a loss-gain inventory. Commanders should pay particular attention to this statement as it could greatly impact liability decisions in future Reports of Survey.
In addition to the changes detailed above, AFMAN 33-153 clarifies guidance for many other aspects of IT hardware asset management. The ITAM Office encourages ITECs and commanders to review the new manual to ensure their programs are in compliance. See the ITAM office's bi-monthly newsletter or call 739-7500 for more information on this subject.