Acquisition training partnerships are planned

The Federal Acquisition Institute will start using more of the Defense Acquisition University's courses and resources, a senior administration official said.

Rob Burton, acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said FAI, which is run by the General Services Administration, will informally merge with DAU to partner more closely in training civilian acquisition workers.

'It is critical to the acquisition community to leverage DAU's experience,' Burton said at the Gov conference, sponsored by the E-Gov Institute, this week in Washington. 'DAU has all the courses anyone could ever want. Some may need to be modified a little, but we just have to tap into it.'

Burton said OFPP is taking a more managerial role over FAI than in the past. This includes, he said, reviewing the role of FAI with respect to DAU.

'We are working with the DAU to come up with a common curriculum with core competencies,' Burton said.

This also could be the first step in formally merging the two training organizations, federal officials said.

OFPP's increased role with FAI is just one of many priorities.

Burton said OFPP will soon name a public-private acquisition advisory panel to review the laws, policies and regulations concerning multiple-award schedules, performance-based service contracting and the use of commercial practices. The panel, called for by the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2002, will provide OFPP and Congress with recommendations on how to improve the programs and contracting practices.

'A lot of our initiatives over the next year will rise out of the panel's work,' Burton said. 'Our hope is much of what comes out of this will be policy changes instead of legislation.'

OFPP also is convening an interagency panel on how to improve the buying power of the government. Similar to GSA's SmartBuy software licensing program, the panel will look at products more broadly than just software or IT, Burton said.

Burton also said the Small Business Administration will issue new regulations that will make meeting subconracting goals part of a contract's past performance evaluation.

'This regulation will hold contractors more accountable in complying with subcontracting plans,' Burton said. 'We hope this will be an incentive for contractors to be more vigilant in meeting the goals they set out for themselves.'

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