Council forms network for acquisition officials

The Council for Excellence in Government plans to form a network of former chief acquisition officers and other government procurement executives, the group’s vice president said today.

The CAO network would become join the council's other communities of practice. They include Strategic Advisers for Government Executives, or SAGEs, who were formerly government chief financial officers and chief information officers, said Norm Lorentz, vice president of the council.

After the presidential election, a new group of politically appointed acquisition officials will arrive at their agencies next year, Lorentz said, and many times the appointees are not familiar with the intricacies of their fiduciary responsibilities when they take office.

“We don’t want any more disruptions to our acquisition process, especially with the transition,” Lorentz said. The SAGEs can help operations continue to run smoothly through a transition, and the former officials can also talk to the incoming officials about the important issues facing the field.

Through the new group, the former officials can share with new federal acquisition executives about their experiences and the lessons they’ve had to learn. As with the other groups, the SAGEs offer knowledge to mentor incoming officials, Lorentz said.

The council is setting up the CAO SAGE group’s steering committee, he said. Over the next two to three weeks, the council will begin contacting former government acquisition officials to become a part of the SAGE group. The council has approximately 20 names on its list of former officials to contact, Lorentz said. The committee and the program manager from the council then will nominate people for the inaugural SAGE group.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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