Enhancing Professional and Technical Excellence: Analysis of Contract Management Competency Models
Rendon, Rene G.
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The DoD’s contracting function continues to be challenged by deficiencies in pre-award, award, and post-award contract management processes. The DoD Inspector General (DoD IG) has identified acquisition and contract management as one of the top 10 DoD Management Challenges for FY2019. Additionally, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) continues to identify DoD contract management as a “high risk” due to the department’s challenge in improving the capability of its contract management workforce, specifically ensuring the “workforce has the requisite skills, tools, and training to perform key tasks.” Both the DoD IG and the GAO identify the need for increased competency in the DoD contracting workforce. The DoD’s response to these contracting deficiencies and workforce capability challenges continues to be an emphasis on contract management training and workforce competency development. However, recent legislative initiatives reflect Congress’s concerns about the adequacy of the DoD’s acquisition workforce training and competency development. The FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Section 809 required the Secretary of Defense to establish an independent advisory panel on streamlining acquisition regulations. The 809 Panel reported that if the DoD is to achieve its acquisition workforce goals, it will need to prepare and develop its workforce differently. The FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directed the Under Secretary of Defense (USD) for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S) to assess the training of the acquisition workforce, specifically, the gaps in business acumen, knowledge of industry operations, and knowledge of industry motivation within the defense acquisition workforce. Given this background, one must ask: Does the training provided by the DoD truly reflect what is needed by the DoD contracting workforce? The purpose of this research is to conduct an analysis of the DoD contracting competency framework and compare this framework with those of other federal agencies. Additionally, this research will compare the DoD contracting competency model with competency models established by procurement and contracting professional associations. This research builds upon past studies comparing federal government and industry contract management competency frameworks. Based on the analysis and comparisons of the reviewed competency frameworks, recommendations will be made to improve the DoD contracting competency framework to help improve the professional and technical excellence of the DoD contracting workforce.
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NPS Report NumberSYM-AM-19-036
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Albano, Jonathan D. (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2013-12);Contract management is instrumental in supporting the mission of the Department of Defense (DoD) but continues to face significant problems with regard to management and oversight. The skills and training of contracting ...
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