Information on the Procurement Workforce
GGD-88-7, Nov 5, 1987
In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the characteristics of the federal procurement work force in seven civilian agencies to determine whether the employees had the necessary skill and training to effectively manage and administer federal acquisition programs.
GAO found that: (1) published data on the federal procurement work force was inadequate because of a lack of formal definition of the procurement work force; (2) while there were differences of opinion among agency officials as to who should be included in the work force, the Departments of Commerce and the Interior included only employees in contracts and procurement, purchasing, and procurement clerks and assistants; (3) both the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) included individuals specialized in contracts and procurement or purchasing, and military officers and enlisted personnel who worked in procurement; (4) both FAI and OFPP excluded procurement clerks and assistants in their definitions of the work force because those were support staff; and (5) while the Departments of Energy and State, the Veterans Administration, and the General Services Administration included contracts and procurement, purchasing, and clerks and assistants in their definitions of the procurement work force, the Tennessee Valley Authority included only personnel in its purchasing division. GAO also found that: (1) the FAI information system could not identify contracting officers because the system contained lists of individuals within 28 other occupational series; and (2) OFPP and FAI officials believe that it is not necessary to refine the existing procurement work force database because such information is already available throughout the agencies.