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Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: April 18, 2005

SUBJECT: Office of Federal Procurement Policy Letter 05-01, Developing and Managing the Acquisition Workforce

SOURCE: Federal Register, April 18, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 73, page 20181

AGENCIES: Office of Management and Budget (OMB), OFPP

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: OFPP is issuing Policy Letter 05-01 “to promote uniform implementation of a program to develop the federal acquisition workforce.” OFPP Policy Letter 05-01 defines the acquisition workforce more broadly and makes the civilian and defense acquisition workforce training requirements more similar.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Policy Letter 05-01 may be obtained on http://www.acqnet.gov/AcqNet/Library/OFPP/PolicyLetters.

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 15, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lesley A. Field, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 9013, 725 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20503; 202-395-7579 or 202-395-4761.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The acquisition workforce is a federal asset upon which the government depends for mission accomplishment, and OFPP is committed to ensuring that the workforce is trained and developed to meet the government's current and future mission needs.

Policy Letter 92-3 established standards for skill-based training in contracting and purchasing functions and articulated core tasks, and Policy Letter 97-01, which was developed in response to the requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, required senior procurement executives to develop agency career management programs and establish policies and procedures, including training requirements, to ensure that the workforce was trained adequately. While OFPP Policy Letters 92-3 and 97-01 established an emphasis on the development of the acquisition workforce, they did not prescribe a core, governmentwide curriculum. As a result, training content and delivery were not necessarily consistent across civilian agencies or consistent with the defense acquisition workforce requirements prescribed by the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA).

Policy Letter 05-01 rescinds Policy Letters 92-3 and 97-01. It aligns core civilian agency acquisition workforce training requirements with those for the defense workforce. The current Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition curriculum reflects the competencies required to perform the tasks articulated in Policy Letters 92-3 and 97-01. This will ensure that the federal acquisition workforce has common, core training, and this alignment will promote workforce mobility.

Also, Policy Letter 05-01 broadens the definition of the acquisition workforce beyond the GS-1102 contract specialist job series to include such acquisition-related functions as program management, legal counsel, finance, and others who perform acquisition-related functions. These individuals are included in the definition of the acquisition workforce to they can be trained and developed using common standards.

Finally, Policy Letter 05-01 emphasizes the importance of continuous learning. For example, employees in the GS-1102 series will be required to earn 80 continuous learning points every two years, which is twice the current requirement. “This emphasis on continuous learning in areas such as ethics, performance-based contracting, and other critical areas, ensures that federal managers and the acquisition workforce adhere to ethical contracting practices, apply sound business judgment, and otherwise engage in responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.” Many of these continuous learning opportunities are available free of charge on the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) website on http://www.fai.gov and through the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) on http://www.dau.mil.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The notice of Policy Letter 05-01 publication states the following: “FAI and DAU are forming a partnership to advance the capabilities of our federal acquisition workforce. To address the changing nature of the acquisition environment, DAU is currently restructuring the contracting curriculum. As new courses are completed, course content will be made available to training providers to obtain equivalencies for the new offerings. Civilian agencies depend on the private training provider community for course delivery, and these providers need time to develop core courses and request equivalencies. Additionally, employees may already be scheduled to take comparable courses or may have completed a significant part of the previous DOD curriculum. Therefore, civilian agencies should use October 1, 2005, as a general guideline in adopting the DOD curriculum, but may reasonably extend the transition time to accommodate agency and employee needs. FAI will provide guidance and information on transition as the coursework is developed and classes become available.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953.

Copyright 2005 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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