News That Impacts Your Career
OMB ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE ON STRENGTHENING
THE ACQUISITION WORKFORCE AND INCREASING COMPETITION
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued additional
guidance on the acquisition workforce and competition. The guidance
contained in two memoranda released by the Office of Federal Procurement
Policy includes: (1) a strategic plan to improve the capacity and
capability of the civilian acquisition workforce; and (2) detailed
instructions of increasing competition.
The new Acquisition Workforce Development Strategic Plan
for Fiscal 2010 to 2014, which OFPP introduced in today’s memo,
provides a structured approach to improve both the number and skills
of the civilian acquisition workforce. The plan establishes the
need for building the workforce and finding ways to set up annual
comprehensive plans focused on developing the workforce. OFPP will
manage the strategies along with the Office of Personnel Management
through fiscal 2014.
Civilian agencies will have to develop a blueprint for increasing
the use of intern programs and other training and development options.
OFPP is also requiring a five-year plan that lays out how the agency
can improve its workforce and then build a team to manage the workforce,
according to the memo.
In the past, agencies have created their acquisition workforce
plans as general exercises with the short-term employee needs in
mind, according to a memo from Lesley Field, deputy administrator
of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) in OMB. “Many
agencies concentrate on filling vacancies in the contracting community
rather than developing longer-term growth and succession plans
for the broader acquisition workforce, including program managers
and contracting officer technical representatives,” the memo states.
“For human capital planning to be successful, it must be
an integral part of each agency’s strategic planning process and reflect the unique
and dynamic nature of that organization,” the memo states.
Agencies need to submit their plans to OFPP by March 31, 2010,
and each year afterward. The plans must reflect specific hiring
and training needs for fiscal 2011 and be a part of the agency’s budget preparation
starting with the fiscal 2012 budget cycle, the memo states.
In the second memo, OFPP pushed agencies to generate more
competition for their government contracts; another central theme
of President Obama’s contracting reform policy. OFPP’s memo gives
guidelines to agencies as they shift to more competitive contracts.
To help chief acquisition officers (CAOs) and senior procurement
executives (SPEs) evaluate the effectiveness of their agencies’
competition practices and processes for selecting contract types,
the competition guidelines focus on three key questions:
- How is the agency maximizing the effective use of competition
and choosing the best contract type for the acquisition?
is the agency mitigating risk when noncompetitive, cost-reimbursement,
or time-and-material/labor hour contracts are used?
- How is the
agency creating opportunities to transition to more competitive
and lower risk contracts?
As CAOs and SPEs address each of these questions, OMB urges
them to take into account considerations such as requirements development,
outreach to vendors, performance-based acquisition, commercial
solutions, strategic sourcing, maximizing competition at the task
and delivery order level, and incentives to lower cost and improve
contractor performance. A July memo from OBM directed agencies
in fiscal year (FY) 2010 to reduce high-risk contract types by
10 percent. The new October memo indicates that OFPP plans this
year to semiannually review agencies’ progress toward meeting that
goal, and will set new targets in FY 2011.
The memoranda and guidelines can be found at: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/procurement_index_memo/
ISM 95TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL SUPPLY MANAGEMENT
CONFERENCE AND EDUCATIONAL EXHIBIT
The Institute for Supply Management will hold its 95th Annual International Supply Management Conference at the San Diego Convention Center on April 25-28, 2010.
Workshop sessions are currently in development. Register now at www.ism.ws and select your workshops after December 1, 2009. Early registrants have priority when choosing from our popular mega-sessions which cover Project Management, Business Continuity, Finance and Services Procurement. You also save on registrations submitted before February 9, 2010.
Learning tracks include: Risk Management — Best Practices in Supply Management — Logistics — Leadership, Management and Talent — Services Procurement.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS
The Project Management Institute’s Education Foundation’s Scholarships
and Awards Program supports development of the best and brightest
future project management professionals worldwide through learning
opportunities. Over US$400,000 in scholarships are available.
For Students: Academic scholarships for students attending an accredited
college or university and studying project management or a related
field. Scholarships are available for bachelors, masters, and doctoral
For Teachers: Project management training scholarships for
primary and secondary school teachers. The trainings are designed
to help teachers enhance the learning experience in their classrooms.
Scholarships for on-site seminars in select U.S. cities and online
courses are available.
For Non-Profit and NGOs: Project management training scholarships
for employees of non-profit and non-governmental organizations.
The trainings are designed to help organizations improve the effectiveness
and efficiency of their operations and ultimately increase their
impact on the communities they serve.
The James R. Snyder International Student Paper of the Year
(ISPY) Award is available to undergraduate and graduate students annually.
Papers are selected based upon the research and creative effort
that are best directed toward advancing the concepts, tools and
techniques of managing project-oriented tasks. ISPY award recipients
receive a US$500 honorarium plus complimentary registration, travel
and lodging to attend the PMI Global Congress in their region.
Winning papers are published in PMI publications.
The Donald S. Barrie Award which recognizes the paper that
best advances the project management body of knowledge in the field
of design, procurement and/or construction by providing a useful
contribution to the engineering and construction industry. In the
event of a tie, the award is equally divided among the finalists.
The award of US$500 is announced at PMI Global Congress-North America.
For more information go to the “Scholarships/Awards” section of PMIEF.org
COMMENTARY RECOMMENDS SIX CORE COMPETENCIES
FOR ACQUISITION WORKFORCE
In a commentary published in Federal Computer Week (9/30/2009), Peter
Tuttle, a senior procurement policy analyst for Distributed Solutions
Inc., discusses recent efforts to improve government performance,
and suggests that workforce skills may be more important than numbers.
“Capacity is indeed an issue, but capability is even more important
to the effective operation of government,” Tuttle contends. “Hiring
new personnel will not solve workforce challenges immediately because
skill and experience can only be gained over time.” Identifying acquisition
as a core government function, he offers six core capabilities acquisition
professionals should possess to be effective and efficient:
- Make good business decisions that serve agency and taxpayer
- Point out actions that are wrong, improper, unwise, or illegal
- Do the right thing even in the absence of specific guidance
- Engage peers inside and outside government and actively
seek out best practices
- Be ethical in all dealings
- Use common sense
“Individual agency leaders must create an environment in which
acquisition professionals can operate as truly valuable business partners,
not simply requisition processing clerks,” Tuttle concludes. “Congress can’t
legislate acceptable behavior or those core capabilities, so we in the federal
acquisition community must empower ourselves.”
DISTRIBUTES WARRANTY GUIDE
Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DRAP) director Shay Assad
has issued a memorandum to Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition
executives and the directors of defense agencies and field activities
distributing a DOD warranty guide. “Tracking warranties, from the
identification of the requirements to the expiration date of the warranted
item, will significantly enhance the enforceability of the warranties
and will improve the warranty data visibility,” Assad wrote. The “Department
of Defense Warranty Guide, Version 1.0” was developed by the warranty
working group of the Program Development and Implementation Directorate
(PDI), which has been tasked with developing requirements to track
warranties. Assad notes that the guide, distributed with the memo,
will be used by program managers, project officers, logistics managers,
contracting officers, and others within DOD responsible for warranty
development and implementation. (www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/pdi/uid/guides.html)
CSPM DIAGNOSTIC KIT AVAILABLE
The Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) has released the
Kit, Web version. It is designed to help candidates focus their
study efforts by identifying areas of supply management that need
strengthening — right from their computers. The Diagnostic Kit
provides a sample test for the CPSM® Exam(s) with automatic
scoring and correct answers, including justifications and references
for further study. The Web-based CPSM® Diagnostic Kit
more closely simulates the test-taking environment than its print
equivalent and is used along with the CPSM® Study
Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®)
gives supply professionals a career edge as well as an enhanced ability
to see the big picture to impact their organization’s supply operation.
The CPSM® surpasses
the demands of the international marketplace with multifaceted skills
in areas such as supplier relationship management, commodity management,
risk compliance issues and social responsibility.
questions on the CPSM®, visit www.ism.ws/certification or
contact ISM Professional Credentials at email@example.com.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT LINKS
Here is a list of internet sites that contain detailed information on project and program management practices:
AGU NAMED MILITARY FRIENDLY SCHOOL
American Graduate University was named to G.I. Jobs magazine’s
list of 2010 Military Friendly Schools. The list honors the top 15
percent of colleges, universities and trade schools which are doing
the most to embrace America’s veterans as students.
Schools on the list range from state universities and private
colleges to community colleges and trade schools. The common bond is their
shared priority of recruiting students with military experience.
“This list is especially important now because the recently
enacted Post-9/11 GI Bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial
means to go to school,” said Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher. “Veterans
can now enroll in any school, provided they’re academically qualified.
So schools are clamoring for them like never before. Veterans need
a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. The Military
Friendly Schools list is that trusted friend.”
The list was compiled through exhaustive research starting
last May during which G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide.
Methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with the assistance
of an Academic Advisory Committee (AAC) consisting of educators and
administrators from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of
Toledo, Duquesne University, Coastline Community College, and Lincoln
Criteria for making the Military Friendly Schools list included
efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting
military and veteran students and academic accreditations.
REGISTER BEFORE TUITION INCREASE
sure to register for your next course by Dec. 31, 2009 to get the
current tuition rate for those courses of just $750 per course before
it increases slightly on Jan. 1, 2010 to $825 per course ($275 per
unit). All textbooks and course materials will continue to be included
and AGU will still be offering one of the nation’s greatest values
in distance learning education. Select your next course from the 2009
Degree & Certificate Catalog. To register for your next course
(or courses), go to the online AGU
Student Center. If you have questions
about what course you should take next based on your particular program
course of study, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call an AGU Academic
Advisor at 1-877-351-9060, ext. 1003.
AGU names Doug Larm 2009 Graduate of the Year
year the Distance Education and Training Council recognizes distinguished
graduates from universities under their accreditation through their
Outstanding Graduate Program. American Graduate University is pleased
to announce that this year’s Graduate of the Year is Doug Larm, an
Intelligence Analyst for the Seattle Police Department.
Doug will be featured in this year’s DETC Outstanding
Graduate and Famous Alumni publication and will
be awarded a special plaque at the DETC Annual Conference
in Del Mar, California on April 13, 2010.
Each year one AGU graduate is chosen for the award based
on their grade point average and score on the comprehensive
examination or project. Doug had a 4.0 GPA and the highest
comprehensive examination score.
In addition to Doug’s position with the Seattle Police
Department, he also is the Owner/President of Operational
Applications, Incorporated—a small business enterprise
awarded a competitive multi-year criminal intelligence
analysis contract in 2006 with Washington State. He also
serves as an adjunct professor for Seattle University
instructing data and intelligence analysis for the University’s
Master Criminal Justice program.
Doug was anxious to share his 29 years of intelligence-related
experience with the next generation of intelligence analysts
but felt he needed the skills of planning, organizing
and managing resources provided in a project management
program. The flexibility and efficiency of the AGU program
enabled him to achieve his graduate degree while still
working full time with the Seattle Police Department
and managing his own business. Upon graduation, he was
able to realize his goal of a professorship at Seattle
Raised in a military family and retired from military service, Doug resides with
his wife and 12-year old son in Puyallup, Washington. Doug’s wife is the Provost
Marshall for the Fort Lewis Army Medical Center. He is very grateful to his wife
and son for their support and assistance in earning his degree, “Indeed, my MPM
reflects my attainment of academic achievement but more importantly mirrors as
the culmination of my family’s support to my pursuit for education excellence.”
Advance Your Career With AGU
AGU COURSE 603 EQUIVALENT TO DAU'S CON 216
AGU's Course 603 "Government Contract Law" has received
the Defense Acquisition University course CON 216 "Legal Considerations
in Contracting". AGU students completing Course 603 can now
credit from DAU for their course CON 216.
AGU COURSE 601 EQUIVALENT TO THREE DAU COURSES
American Graduate University has achieved equivalency for
its Course 601, “Federal Government Contracting,” for several Defense Acquisition University courses. The DAU courses are CON 110, “Mission Support Planning,” CON 111, “Mission Planning Execution,” and CON 112, “Mission Performance Assessment.”
AGU students completing the 30 module distance education course will receive
credit for the three DAU courses. AGU Course 601 includes coverage on:
- Contract Procedures
- Laws and Regulations Governing Procurement
- Government Contract Law
- Methods of Procurement
- Types of Contracts
- Developing the Requirement
- Developing the Solicitation
- Statements of Objectives/ Statements of Work
- Source Selection Procedures
- Government Marketing/Business Development
- Proposal Preparation
- Profit and Fee
- Cost or Pricing Data
- Price and Cost Analysis
- Cost Principles and Cost Accounting
- Negotiation Techniques
- Contract Terms and Conditions
- Contract Financing
- Contract Management and Administration
- Contract Changes
- Remedies, Disputes and Claims
- Terminations for Default
- Terminations for Convenience
- Contract Closeout
In addition, AGU faculty and staff will be working on developing several new distance courses to apply for equivalency to other DAU courses.
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