The federal government is dramatically changing the way it purchases goods and services by relying more on judgment and initiative versus rigid rules for making purchasing decisions. Congress has enacted a series of reforms to help the government adapt to this environment. GAO was asked to assess strategies agencies are using to ensure that their acquisition workforces are receiving the training needed to operate in a changing business environment. In doing so, GAO looked at the General Services Administration (GSA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department of Defense (DOD). GAO also looked at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) because it is exempt from federal acquisition laws, giving it greater flexibility and discretion.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Federal Procurement Policy||1. The Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy should develop a policy that calls on agencies to establish an approach to training on new acquisition initiatives that includes (1) prioritizing the initiatives most important to the agency, (2) demonstrating top-level commitment and providing necessary resources, (3) identifying those who need training on specific initiatives, (4) tailoring training to meet the needs of the workforce, (5) tracking training to ensure it reaches the right people, and (6) measuring the effectiveness of training.|
|Office of Federal Procurement Policy||2. The Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy should develop a policy that calls on agencies to establish a focal point that sets training requirements for staff integral to the success of acquisition initiatives, including those outside the contracting community.|
|Office of Federal Procurement Policy||3. The Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy should develop a policy that calls on agencies to integrate training into the planning for policy implementation.|
|Office of Federal Procurement Policy||4. The Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy should define the role of agency procurement executives in setting priorities for the restructured Federal Acquisition Institute.|