In 2008, Congress established the Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund (DAWDF) to provide a dedicated source of funding to recruit, train, and retain members of the DOD acquisition workforce. The purpose of DAWDF funding is to ensure that the DOD acquisition workforce has the capacity, in both personnel and skills to
- Properly perform its mission
- Provide appropriate oversight of contractor performance, and
- Ensure that the department receives the best value for the expenditure of public resources.
So far, $4.5 billion has been deposited into the DAWDF account. As of September 2016, DOD has obligated $3.5 billion of these funds.
So how does DOD's various acquisition agencies spend these funds. The expenditures vary from one agency to the next but include such things as,
- relocation assistance
- signing bonuses
- merit awards
- tuition assistance
- social media
- information technology
- culture (whatever that means)
Is it working? Are there tangible benefits derived from the expenditure of these funds? On that question, the jury is still out because no one really knows. The GAO performed a study (report issued last month) to try and answer that question but the closest they came to an answer was a recommendation that DOD needed to establish concrete time frames and metrics for measuring success. DOD agreed to do just that but it will take some time for results to become apparent.