Experts welcomed provisions in a defense policy bill that will reform the training requirements for federal procurement officials to better align with those in the private sector.
At the time of this posting, the House passed the $738 billion fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and the Senate is expected to vote on it.
“Most of these changes do not dramatically impact the acquisition system. A lot of them are just amendments to pre-existing acquisition reform legislation,” said Robert Burton, partner with Crowell & Moring LLP and former deputy administrator and acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. However, he noted that “one of the most significant provisions” directs the Defense Department to redesign the workforce training process to align with that of the private sector for the first time.
The bill gives the Defense secretary the authority to create certification requirements using either internationally or nationally recognized standards.
“The two workforces will be more aligned in their training and career paths and will be able to communicate more efficiently and also it will provide opportunities for … movement between the federal government and private sectors as far as acquisition personnel being able to rotate more easily between the two sectors,” Burton said. In the past, “it’s been a problem” that the government and private sectors are “not aligned in their thinking and training.”
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