Bill would overhaul federal acquisition training

Legislation would promote career development for those working within the civilian acquisition workforce

A bill now in the House and Senate would reorganize the federal acquisition training system and promote career development for those working within the civilian acquisition workforce.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., introduced the Federal Acquisition Institute Improvement Act, H.R. 1424, in the House. A companion measure, S. 762, was introduced in the Senate by Susan Collins, R- Maine, Daniel Akaka D-Hawaii, Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. and Scott Brown, R-Mass.

“In the past decade, federal procurement spending grew by 155 percent while the acquisition personnel managing that spending grew by just 10 percent,” Connolly said in an April 8 statement. “We just don’t have the workforce to manage large, complex contracts and the Federal Acquisition Institute is not meeting our training demands.”

The bill would clear up issues which have left the FAI largely underused, the lawmakers said. Among other things, the proposed legislation would establish a clear line of responsibility and accountability for the institute by requiring FAI to report directly to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. 

The bill also would require all existing civilian agency training programs to follow guidelines issued by OFPP, which would ensure consistent cross-government training standards, the sponsors said. And the bill would mandate the review of FAI curriculum to make sure it covers all certification needs.

“The federal acquisition system is under tremendous stress,” said Collins. “This level of spending requires professionally trained and invested acquisition personnel who can manage these huge expenditures while also guarding against the possibility of waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars.”

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