Even though the Office of Federal Procurement Policy did not receive its full request for fiscal 2011 appropriations, “we did have some success in strengthening the acquisition workforce at a good number of agencies,” said OFPP Administrator Dan Gordon. Still, Gordon told a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee he’s nervous about the future of the acquisition workforce as he prepares to leave his post at the end of the year.
“I am very concerned, very concerned that the progress we’ve made over the last two years is at risk,” Gordon said Nov. 16 before the subcommittee on technology, information policy, intergovernmental relations and procurement reform.
“Budgetary pressures risk slashing the federal acquisition workforce, whether it’s a matter of cutting salaries, cutting benefits, showing disrespect for our federal workforce, cutting the numbers of our people, cutting the training that they’re getting. We cannot protect the federal acquisition process without getting a good federal acquisition workforce,” said Gordon.
The Defense Department in particular has made progress in overcoming acquisition workforce challenges, said John Hutton, director of acquisition and sourcing management at the Government Accountability Office. But Hutton echoed Gordon’s concern for the future of the acquisition workforce.
“DoD has indicated that initiatives using the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund (.pdf) including hiring for the acquisition workforce will continue,” said Hutton. But “the department’s plans for continued acquisition workforce growth are uncertain. DoD announced that its halting the insourcing initiative except on a case-by-case basis and announced a hiring freeze for the civilian workforce due to anticipated budget constraints,” he added.
The department hired about 5,900 civilian acquisition employees in fiscal 2010 and aims to increase its civilian acquisition workforce by a total of 20,000 employees by fiscal 2015, said Hutton. It plans to achieve this by using DAWDF to hire personnel and by insourcing functions that were being performed by contractor personnel, he said.
For more go to the hearing page (archived video and prepared testimony).
— by M. Bernhart – Fierce Government IT – published Nov. 22, 2011 at http://www.fiercegovernment.com/print/node/87925.