Many issues influence the ability of the federal acquisition workforce’s to get its job done, according to a survey recently released by the Professional Services Council and Grant Thornton.
In the annual Acquisition Policy Survey conducted by the two organizations, the development of the government’s acquisition workforce “showed mixed results.” The 80 persons who were surveyed reported positive trends in workforce capability, but they identified the persistence of lingering weaknesses in critical skill sets. “Workforce development and the ability to hire the right talent are key challenges,” the report states. “More than a competency gap, this year’s interviewees expressed concern about a capacity gap, wherein the existing workforce, however skilled it may be, simply does not have the time and resources to keep up with demand.”
The significance of budget, communication, innovation and oversight are also reported on in the study. Here are a few excerpts:
- “Despite ongoing budget challenges … headaches, inefficiencies, and strain, the acquisition community is committed to ‘getting the job done.'”
- “… [O]pen communication has not been routinely practiced at operational levels. Instead, communication between government and industry is viewed as inherently risky.”
- “… [T]he government does not have a consistent, successful strategy for soliciting, evaluating, and contracting for innovative ideas from industry, whether in the ‘traditional’ or ‘cutting-edge’ contracting space. In fact, the government often views the traditional contracting base as being mutually exclusive from innovative offerors.”
- “Policymakers and oversight bodies need to understand the impact of the requirements they place on an already complex acquisition system that is operating beyond its capacity ….”
Download and read the full text of the Acquisition Policy Survey here: Acquisition Policy Survey 2016