Tags: State Department | coaching | AMTIS | Congress

State Dept. Hires Firm to Coach Officials on Testifying to Congress

By    |   Friday, 08 August 2014 08:22 AM

State Department officials have agreed on a contract worth just over a half-million dollars with a Florida company for coaching on how to testify before Congress and briefing lawmakers.

The contract, posted earlier this year, was awarded to Orlando-based AMTIS, Inc., for up to $545,000, reports The Washington Times, and will include classes such as "Communicating with Congress: Briefing and Testifying."

In addition, the contract, which was officially awarded on July 9, will allow for "interactive, professional training seminars for senior-level officials on effective congressional testimony and briefing skills," targeting government professionals "at the GS-14/FS-02 level or higher, who will be testifying before Congress or briefing members or staffers," the original posting states.

In addition, the contract calls for "one-on-one simulated congressional hearing sessions with feedback for individuals as preparation for anticipated congressional testimony."

AMTIS works for several government agencies, including announcing on its website that it had signed two contracts in July for Congressional briefing training classes for "HUD IG", or the Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General's Department.

The company's other federal customers include the Air Force and Army; the Department of Health and Human Services offices for the Food and Drug Administration; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Office of Minority Health; the Administration on Aging; and several other departments, including Justice, Labor, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.

The State Department's contract may help prevent its officials from further missteps when it comes to testifying before Congress, the Times reports.

Officials have had difficulty during hearings on the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, and have come under fire for not outlining a legal strategy for the war on terror.

In addition, the State Department has been embarrassed on the stand when it comes to President Barack Obama's political appointees.

Noah Mamet, Obama's choice for ambassador to Argentina, admitted he'd never visited that country, but that he'd traveled extensively elsewhere. The political consultant was chosen after bundling nearly $2 million for Obama since 2007.

In addition, retired Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, upon his appointment as ambassador to China, testified to Congress that he was "no real expert on China.”

And the president's ambassador appointee to Norway, Long Island hotelier George Tsunis, who was picked after bringing in nearly $1 million toward the president's re-election campaign in 2012, spoke about Norway's president. However, that country has a prime minister, not a president.

AMTIS, while not commenting on the State Department agreement, describes itself online as a company that "provides professional and business processing services, leader development and training services leveraging technology-based solutions and a highly talented, knowledgeable, flexible, and credentialed workforce."

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State Department officials have agreed on a contract worth just over a half-million dollars with a Florida company for coaching on how to testify before Congress and briefing lawmakers.
State Department, coaching, AMTIS, Congress
Friday, 08 August 2014 08:22 AM
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