Federal Acquisition Institute to set acquisition workforce standards, OFPP says

Federal Acquisition Institute to set acquisition workforce standards, OFPP says

Over the next nine months, the Federal Acquisition Institute will develop a certification program for agency acquisition workers, including contracting officers and project and program managers.

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy late last week issued ]a policy memo calling for a standard set of requirements for acquisition workers. The policy applies to all civilian agencies; the Defense Department established standards under the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act of 1991.

The memo takes effect immediately and lays out a series of tasks for FAI, chief acquisition officers and interagency working groups. OFPP had been working on the memo since last summer [See GCN coverage].

'OFPP's vision for the federal acquisition workforce is the development of common certification programs that generally reflect a governmentwide standard for education, training and experience leading to the fulfillment of core competencies in a variety of acquisition-related disciplines,' said David Safavian, OFPP administrator, in the memo.

FAI, working with the Defense Acquisition University, has until Jan. 1, 2006, to develop the certification program, and contracting officers who receive new approvals to buy for the government after Jan. 1, 2007, must be certified, the memo noted.

'Chief acquisition officers shall establish agency-specific requirements for tying warrant levels to certification levels based on agency needs,' the memo said.

FAI also shall work with an interagency working group made up of experts from the CIO Council, Chief Financial Officers Council, Chief Human Capital Officers Council and other organizations to develop recommendations for establishing program and project manager certifications. The CIO Council developed IT project management certifications last summer [See GCN coverage].

The memo calls for agencies by Oct. 1, 2006, to input their acquisition workforce data into the Acquisition Career Management Information System for all contracting officers, and by April 1, 2007, for all project and program managers and contracting officers' technical representatives.

FAI will provide guidance to agencies on using ACMIS.

Safavian said the policy memo 'establishes a governmentwide framework for creating a federal acquisition workforce with the skills necessary to deliver best value supplies and services, find the best business solutions and provide strategic business advice to accomplish agency missions.'

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