Acquisition Workforce:

Department of Defense's Plans to Address Workforce Size and Structure Challenges

GAO-02-630: Published: Apr 26, 2002. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2002.

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David E. Cooper
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The Department of Defense (DOD) downsized its acquisition workforce by half in the past decade. It now faces serious imbalances in the skills and experience of its remaining workforce and the potential loss of highly specialized knowledge if many of its acquisition specialists retire. DOD created the Acquisition 2005 Task Force to study its civilian acquisition workforce and develop a strategy to replenish personnel losses. In response to a legislative mandate, DOD reported on its plans to implement the task force's recommendations as required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002. DOD's report shows that it has made progress in reshaping its acquisition workforce. For example, DOD is working to remove barriers to its strategic planning initiative; continuing to test various human capital innovations; and has begun making significant changes to its acquisition workforce-training program. DOD's report provides information on implementation of the task force's recommendations and their status. However, for many initiatives, DOD did not clearly describe the actions taken or when they occurred, nor did it identify all planned actions and schedules for completing the initiatives.

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