AMPS Utility Management

The important aspects of building the AMPS utility were:

Management and Training

The management of AMPS consists of a General Manager assisted by an Operations Manager and an Office Manager. The Operations Manager is in charge of the physical operation of AMPS, such as engineering, construction, and purchasing and the staff connected to these activities. The Office Manager also serves as an Administrative Assistant to the General Manager and is in charge of the administrative workings of AMPS, such as customer service, billing, and accounting.

AMPS' first General Manager was the same consultant that helped the tribe start the utility and was hired on a contract basis. Eventually, the tribe intends to have tribal members manage the utility. However, until they have enough experience, the tribe will continue to look outside of its membership to find qualified upper management personnel. AMPS has established an apprenticeship program to train tribal members to be linemen.

A Board of Directors oversees AMPS' operations. Its seven members serve rotating terms of three years. Eligible candidates for the Board are elected by the sitting Board members to fill vacant seats. The tribe requires candidates to posses knowledge and experience in one or more areas related to utility operation such as finance, law, engineering, or management.

Utility Operations Infrastructure (GIS Service Center)

The completion of the Master Plan necessitated a complete geographic survey of the reservation, particularly the Nevada portion. To accomplish this task the tribe established its own Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Service Center. The GIS Service Center is currently inventorying the entire electrical system on the reservation including the assets of MEC and Needles. The GIS Service Center is using the system of global positioning satellites to accurately determine the position of poles, substations, roads, rights of way, etc. The tribe is also using an AM/FM (automated mapping/facilities management) system to develop a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system for AMPS. In addition to its utility uses, the tribe uses its GIS Service Center to map existing tribal land uses so as to supervise the long-term leases the tribe holds on its developed agricultural reservation land.

Tribal Hiring Preferences

One advantage of AMPS for the Fort Mojave Tribe is its tribal hiring preferences. Tribal members are offered employment opportunities that would not be available if AMPS did not exist. At present there are six tribal AMPS employees and the number of employees should grow as the utility expands to meet increased power demand.