Experience versus training

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would require agencies to focus more on whether information technology services contractors have the necessary experience to perform government work rather than a specific college degree or formal training.

Currently many federal solicitations for IT services include minimum education and experience requirements that preclude some qualified people from working on government contracts and make it harder for vendors to find personnel to fill federal needs, Davis said. "The government will get better results if it issues performance-based criteria and leaves it up to the offerors to propose how they will satisfy them," he said.

Davis' bill, H.R. 3582, would require federal contracting officers to justify their use of the mandatory requirements before including them in any solicitation. Should the contracting officer determine that the minimum education requirements are needed, the bill would not override the decision.

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