Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Acquisition Workforce Competency Survey Report

Every company that contracts with the Federal Government will come into contact with the Government's acquisition professionals. These would include the contracting officers, contract specialists, contracting officer's representative, and people in the program office including project managers. And lets not forget the contract auditors.

Every contractor develops their unique impressions and opinions as to the overall skills and competency of their Government counterparts. And the Government acquisition professionals do  contractors likewise. Sadly, there is room for improvement on both sides of this most highly regulated process. We know. We've been on both sides.

The Government just published the results of its 2018 Acquisition Workforce Competency Survey (AWCS) administered by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) and the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI). This survey was limited to 23 Civilian agencies (the Defense Department performs its own surveys).

The FAI's goal is to ensure the acquisition workforce professionals broaden their skills and capabilities to become more effective and efficient in their roles to meet government-wide needs and their organizations' missions. To that end, this new survey revealed several key findings about current acquisition workforce strengths and competency gaps. Among the key findings were:

Proficiency in competencies rated highest included

  • Issuing changes and modifications, awarding contracts, and competition
  • Inspection and acceptance and business acumen and communication (by contracting officer representatives)
  • Leadership

Proficiency in competencies rated lowest included

  • Negotiating forward pricing rate agreements
  • Pre-award communication and contract negotiations
  • System engineering

Workforce satisfaction increased from the last survey performed in 2016

There was a strong correlation between time spent in a given area and the level of competency proficiency.

The full report is available on-line here.

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