DOD studies its procurement capabilities

The Defense Department is proceeding with plans to have all procurement officials undergo a self-evaluation, and the department hopes to glean crucial insight into workforce demographics and the effectiveness of its contracting practices from the results, according to a senior DOD procurement official.

Shay Assad, director of procurement policy in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, said he will lay out a plan for funneling DOD’s 26,000 procurement workers through the process by the end of October.

At the Defense Logistics Agency, 4,000 workers have already completed the assessment, known in Pentagon jargon as a competency model, Assad said. Officials at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., and the Army Corps of Engineers are slated to follow with similar test efforts within weeks, he added.

DOD officials aim to complete the assessment by July 2008. By the end of fiscal 2008, they will compile a report of the results and brief Deputy Secretary Gordon England and the acquisition chiefs of the services, Assad said.

“This is going to be the fundamental underpinning of understanding our capability,” he told Federal Computer Week in an Aug. 27 interview.

The Navy already has made plans to test how the departmentwide effort could be used for assessing individual workers’ performance. Procurement professionals in the Navy will work with their superiors in developing “individual development plans,” Assad said.

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