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Defense Acquisition Workforce: Improved Processes, Guidance, and Planning Needed to Enhance Use of Workforce Funds

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "DOD has identified DAWDF as a key tool used to address gaps in the acquisition workforce through additional hiring and training initiatives. For example, DOD officials noted they used DAWDF funds to hire about 5,855 new acquisition staff through fiscal year 2011 and enabled the Defense Acquisition University to provide 19,000 additional classroom seats, among other improvements. However, DODÂ’s ability to effectively execute hiring and other initiatives has been hindered by delays in the DAWDF funding process and the absence of clear guidance on the availability and use of related funds. DOD has not collected and distributed funds within required timeframes, sometimes delaying distribution to components until the following fiscal year. For example, only about 39 percent of the total amount of fiscal year 2011 transfer funds were distributed before the end of the fiscal year. These delays can result in uncertainty about the availability of funds, and negatively impact the componentsÂ’ ability to execute according to their approved plans for the year. Additionally, DOD officials noted that the delays contributed, at least in part, to the amount of unobligated funds that were carried over to future years. DOD acknowledges that improved guidance that clarifies when DAWDF funds will be available and how they can be used would help improve the execution of program initiatives."
Date: June 20, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisition Workforce: Better Identification, Development, and Oversight Needed for Personnel Involved in Acquiring Services

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In fiscal year 2010, more than half of the $367 billion dollars the Department of Defense (DOD) spent on contracts was spent on services. Buying services is fundamentally different than buying weapon systems, yet most acquisition regulations, policies, processes, and training remain structured for acquiring weapon systems. Over the last decade, reports from GAO, DOD, and Congress have raised issues about services acquisitions and have also highlighted the importance of acquisition training. GAO previously reported on the training provided to the acquisition workforce as defined by the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA). This report addresses personnel working on services acquisitions who were outside the DAWIA acquisition workforce--termed non-DAWIA personnel with acquisition-related responsibilities--and the extent to which (1) DOD knows the composition of this population, (2) this population is taking acquisition training, and (3) DOD has implemented past recommendations related to this population. To complete this work, GAO reviewed a nongeneralizable sample of 29 service contracts, relevant policies, and recommendations from previous reports and met with key DOD officials."
Date: September 28, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisition Workforce: DOD's Training Program Demonstrates Many Attributes of Effectiveness, but Improvement Is Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The President has announced his intention to improve the acquisition process, particularly given the half a trillion dollars the federal government spent in fiscal year 2009 on acquiring goods and services. The Department of Defense (DOD) spent $384 billion in fiscal year 2009 on goods and services--double what it spent in 2001. A high-quality workforce with the right competencies and skill sets will be critical to improving DOD acquisitions. GAO was mandated to determine the efficacy of DOD's certification training for its acquisition workforce. GAO assessed (1) DOD's capability to provide certification training, (2) the extent that such training reaches members of the workforce, and (3) the extent that previous training recommendations have been implemented. To conduct this work, GAO compared DOD's certification training to GAO guidance for effective training programs and analyzed policies, data, and previous reports on acquisition training."
Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisition Workforce: The Air Force Needs to Evaluate Changes in Funding for Civilians Engaged in Space Acquisition

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Air Force did not evaluate its pilot program that moved funding for Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) acquisition civilian personnel from its 1-year Operation and Maintenance (O&M) appropriation to its 2-year Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation. In addition, the Air Force is considering using this pilot program to inform funding changes for other sections of its civilian workforce. GAO's prior work has identified the following practices for implementing and evaluating pilot programs: (1) develop objectives that link to the goals of the pilot; (2) develop processes for monitoring the pilot; (3) develop and implement a data collection and analysis plan for evaluating the pilot; and (4) communicate evaluation results to stakeholders. When implementing the pilot program, the Air Force did not follow these practices, and primarily focused on ensuring that administrative changes were made accurately such as ensuring employees received pay on time. For example, while a variety of potential goals were identified for the pilot program by the Air Force in various documents; they were not clear or consistent. As a result, anecdotal opinions on the advantages or disadvantages of the pilot varied significantly. Air Force acquisition officials stated that the pilot program could protect the funding from general reductions, while conversely, Air Force financial management officials said that the pilot would not necessarily mean that space acquisition personnel would be excluded from general reductions to civilian personnel funding. Further, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) officials stated that they are relying on the Air Force to report to them on the pilot's outcomes, but the Air Force has not completed a data collection plan to evaluate the pilot program and has not developed processes for monitoring the pilot ...
Date: July 8, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department