OFPP: Big programs require more training

OFPP memo

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Program and project managers assigned to large acquisitions now will have to meet training and experience requirements, according to a memo from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

The new rules apply to managers assigned to programs considered major acquisitions, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-11. The rules focus on essential competencies needed for managers, the memo states.

“A strong partnership between program and project managers and contracting professionals requires a common understanding of how to meet the government’s needs,” Paul Denett, OFPP administrator, wrote in the memo.

Robert Burton, OFPP’s deputy administrator, said the managers will receive basic training, such as writing good requirements for performance-based acquisition contracts.

Managers are an important part of the acquisition community, along with the staff who write the contracts, Burton said at a Concerns of the Chief Acquisition Officer luncheon.

“This is absolutely critical for the acquisition workforce to be effective, and, in particular, for our procurement folks because they rely so heavily on the program managers,” he said.

According to the memo, a manager’s certification is based on gaining basic skills and having a certain number of years of experience in acquisition. Projects will stay on schedule and within budget with managers who have appropriate training and experience, Denett said.

OFPP’s memo, however, set no specific curriculum for training. Agencies must create their own training and development needs, the memo states.

The Federal Acquisition Institute partnered with twenty federal agencies to recommend the competencies and framework for this program, the memo states.

The certification applies to all civilian agencies. The Department of Defense has a separate program.

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