- Our key leaders must have the required qualifications, not just certification, for the positions they hold – this includes the appropriate amount of relevant experience, education, and training. Current qualification standards do not emphasize the hands-on experience necessary to become truly proficient enough to take on the responsibilities associated with being a key acquisition leader. The Department has many highly qualified acquisition leaders, but the bench is not deep enough and there is significant room for improvement. Pilot programs have been initiated to develop appropriate requirements for qualification for key leader positions.
- Professionalism is emphasized not because of some perception that the workforce lacks professionalism but because we can and should always be working to improve our abilities. The Acquisition Workforce Qualification Initiative (AWQI) is an employee development tool used to identify job-specific gaps in experience leading to a stronger workforce. The tool and more information can be found at: www.dau.mil/awqi
• Upcoming Changes to the Contracting Curriculum in Fiscal Year 2012 (Memo, 3/25/2011)
- Managing a major program or a multi-billion dollar logistics or other service contract is a high level of responsibility that demands special ability that should be recognized. While the Department does this to a point, this initiative recognizes the need to raise the recognition and prestige of the acquisition workforce at all levels within the Department.
- Under BBP 1.0 we made significant strides in this direction, but there is still work to be done and this area will require continuous attention. Perverse incentives to spend the budget, such as obligation rate criteria and leadership emphasis on getting on contract instead of getting the best business deal, need to be countered. There is good recognition in the Department that cost matters a great deal now that budgets have stopped growing, but this is an area in which we must continue to raise the consciousness of the workforce if we are to permanently change the Department’s culture.