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Section II. Acquisition Overview

March 2014

Section II. Acquisition Overview

Agency Acquisition Profile Information

Table 1: Agency Acquisition Profile Information

Total Dollar Amount of Obligations$19.219B$19.918B
Percent Services72%73%
Percent Supplies28%27%
Number of Contract Actions (include all actions)88,65090,248
Number of Open Contracts (including delivery and task orders)77,0673,705

Calculation note: The total dollar amount of “Service” obligations includes research and development.

A. Acquisition Workforce Data

Table 2.A: Acquisition Workforce Data by Functional Area -- 1102s

Number of 1102 Employees1,0821,2811,1531,2201,285
Percent of Workforce Certified60%80%75.4%85%85%
Number in an Intern Program20%10%0%0%0%
Attrition Rate (# of attritions during FY13 ÷ # on-board at start of FY13)3336303030
Percent of Retirement Eligible Employees.28%.28%.34%.34%.33%

Table 2.B: Acquisition Workforce Data by Functional Area -- CORs

(as of March 2014)
Number of COR Certifications in FAITAS9,92110,9136,9058,1869,000

HHS’ COR Community vs. COR Certifications

Since the COR “function” is not tracked by a series, HHS does not currently have a system in place to track individuals that are currently serving on a contract. At HHS, individuals are able to obtain a COR certification in an effort to backfill a need. Also, CORs may be on a contract that only lasts for a short period of time and still maintain their certification. HHS feels this that this question does not yield relevant information. This data can be pulled by OFPP and FAI in FAITAS, yet it does not give insight into the true nature of how many employees holding COR certifications are actually functioning as CORs. Adding a function into FAITAS that asks if an individual is serving as a COR would be useful.  HHS is assessing various means to properly address this issue in the future but being registered in FAITAS does not address specific questions related to CORs assigned to active contracts.
Table 2-C: Acquisition Workforce Data by Functional Area – P/PMs

(as of March 2014)
Number of PM Certifications in FAITAS126164298367unknown

HHS’ Growing PM Community

Prior to the new FAC-P/PM program requirements, to date HHS only track Level III PMs; as they were the only level required to have certification. Currently we are in the process of identified the various projects and programs that required a FAC-P/PM certified manager, the unique identifier for the P/PM positions will help to improve management of the HHS P/PM program and assist with real time verification and validation of the individual serving in the position.  We expect more than 100% increase in the number of P/PMs requiring FAC=P/PM certification. 
In preparation of the influx of certified P/PMs, HHS is in the process of building a foundation on which to best track all acquisition project and program managers. This process will: align project/program dollar thresholds with PM certification levels; determine the “appropriate” certification level for each PM; and allow HHS to target specific individuals for training. 

Sources Used to Gather Data
FAITAS was used exclusively to obtain the data above.  Please be advised that no position identifier is available for P/PMs or CORs and the reported data represents an assumed estimate of certification holders based upon acquisition workforce data entered into FAITAS.

B. Strengthening the Role of the Acquisition Career Manager (ACM)

  1. The position of ACM is a Full-Time Position.
  2. Does your agency have one ACM to manage all certification programs, or multiple ACMs? Multiple
  3. 2a. If multiple, please describe:

    HHS has three Departmental Acquisition Career Managers (ACM) that are responsible for managing professional development and providing training and certification oversight for the entire acquisition community as it relates to their program area (FAC-C, FAC-COR, FAC-P/PM).  HHS’ Heads of Contracting Activity (HCAs) reside within eight Operating Divisions (OPDIV) and two Staff Divisions (StaffDiv) and each are staffed with a StaffDiv/OPDIV level ACM.

  1. The ACM works in the following office: Office of the Secretary (OS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources (ASFR), Office of Grants, Acquisition Policy and Accountability (OGAPA), Division of Acquisition (DA), Office of Acquisition Workforce and Strategic Initiatives (OAWSI).
  2. The ACM reports directly to the following position: Director of Acquisition Workforce and Strategic Initiatives (OAWSI) and the Senior Procurement Executive (SPE)
  3. How is the Acquisition Workforce Office staffed?:  There are 3 full-time Departmental ACMs, 1 full-manager Director, and 1 full-time program specialist directly supporting the ACMs and the Agency’s acquisition workforce programs.
  4. There are ACMs in the agency sub-components (e.g., bureaus, services, units, nodes): Yes
  5. 6a. If yes, please indicate the number of agency sub-component ACMs:                   
    (8) OPDIV Level ACMs:

    • Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
    • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    • Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)
    • Indian Health Service (IHS)
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

    (2) StaffDiv Level ACMs:

    • Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response (ASPR), Office of Acquisition Management, Contracts and Grants (AMCG)
    • Office of the Secretary, Program Support Center (PSC)
  1. The acquisition training program is managed by the: Office of Acquisition Workforce and Strategic Initiatives (OAWSI)

Plans for Strengthening the ACM Role

HHS’ ACMs are critical to the HHS acquisition workforce strategic plan and play a key role in advancing the professional qualifications, knowledge, skills and abilities of all professionals involved in the acquisition life cycle.  Many of the ACMs also have auxiliary roles and responsibilities; therefore, developing initiatives to support them is very important.
HHS’ Senior Procurement Executive (SPE) plans to increase the number of ACMs department-wide. There will be ACMs at each agency that will manage GS-1102s, CORs and PMs, respectively. ACMs will be able to focus on specific program areas which will add more efficiency to HHS’ training and certification process.
HHS’ Departmental ACM orchestrates and facilitates routine ACM Quarterly Forums. These Forums provides a platform that promotes communication and collaboration among HHS ACMs.  The ACM Quarterly Forum is an opportunity for ACMs to convene and share specific information that is occurring within their individual OPDIVs, share strategies and best practices, galvanize support from other ACMs on larger initiatives, and discuss current HHS acquisition workforce initiatives.
In December 2013, the ACM Summit focused on strategic thinking, effective customer service, communication and collaboration.  This two-day Summit created the momentum for the ACMs to begin working toward strategic planning, developing business acumen and interpersonal skills, and managing results.  This Summit resulted in the ACMs leveraging knowledge, enhancing competencies, and increased cohesion and alignment.
HHS feels that OFPP could assist in the development of the ACM role by: (1) Standardizing a GS level and position description for the Departmental ACM role; (2) Develop a training and certification program for Departmental ACMs; and (3) Continue encouraging cross-governmental teaming and information sharing within the ACM community.  This includes the implementation of the FAI communities of practice web portal that will allow government-wide ACMs the ability to share best practices, policy documents, training schedules, and other useful information.

Agency Acquisition Workforce Competency Profile

Acquisition Workforce Competency Proficiency Profile: Contracting Professionals

Confirm or update the five strongest technical competency proficiencies for Contracting Professionals at your agency.

  1. Contract Award
  2. Determination how to satisfy customer requirements
  3. Solicitation of offers
  4. Competition
  5. Contract Administration

Confirm or update the five weakest technical competency proficiencies for Contracting Professionals at your agency.

  1. Protests
  2. Contract Closeout
  3. Socio-economic Requirements
  4. e-Business and automated tools
  5. Cost and/or Price Analysis

Acquisition Workforce Competency Proficiency Profile: CORs

Confirm or update the five strongest technical competency proficiencies for CORs at your agency.

  1. Effective Inspection & Acceptance
  2. Business Acumen and Communication Skill Sets
  3. Proposal Evaluation
  4. Contract Administration Management

Confirm or update the five weakest technical competency proficiencies for CORs at your agency.

  1. Acquisition Planning
  2. Effective Pre-Award
  3. Market Research
  4. Contract Closeout
  5. Contract Negotiation

Acquisition Workforce Competency Proficiency Profile: P/PMs

Confirm or update the four strongest technical competency proficiencies for P/PMs at your agency.

  1. Leadership
  2. Requirements Development and Management Processes
  3. Systems Engineering
  4. Contracting

Confirm or update the three weakest technical competency proficiencies for P/PMs at your agency.

  1. Business, Cost and Financial Management
  2. Life Cycle Logistics
  3. Test and Evaluation

Steps to Incorporate 2013 AWCS Results

Currently, HHS’ 2014 training schedule is addressing a number of the competency gaps listed in the preceding profile. These courses are a hybrid of online and classroom offerings.

Contracting: HHS is offering elective courses for contracting professionals. These courses addressed several competency areas to include the areas identified in FAI’s AWCS results. However, HHS realizes that competency gaps within the contracting community are not just the result of lack of training but exists in tandem with the lack of experience. Moving forward, HHS will focus on ensuring its contracting community is appropriately trained at the appropriate level and has the opportunity to gain the needed experience to perform their jobs more effectively. 

Contracting Officers Representative: HHS is offering (elective and core) courses for its COR community that addressed the above mentioned competency gaps. Moving forward, HHS plans to evaluate it’s COR community by examining who is managing what type of contracts and by developing a more targeted training schedule for its COR community.

Project and Program Managers: HHS is offering a variety of elective courses to its PM community. HHS’ project and program managers are expected to do more with less by increasing efficiency, cutting waste, and maximizing return on investment. They must respond quickly and effectively to changing stakeholder needs by delivering functionality to mission users in shorter timeframes while ensuring that programs remain closely aligned with evolving requirements. PMs must also minimize program risk and ensure that expected results will be delivered when promised and for the expected cost. Moving forward, HHS plans to evaluate its PM workforce and build a targeted training schedule best-suited for its PM community.

Agency Recruitment and Retention Incentives

Table 3: Effectiveness of Recruitment and Retention Incentives: FY13

IncentiveFrequency of UseUsefulness
Recruitment IncentivesRarelySomewhat Helpful
Relocation IncentivesNot UsedNot Applicable
Student Loan RepaymentSomewhat FrequentlySomewhat Helpful
Tuition AssistanceRarelySomewhat Helpful
Performance AwardsSomewhat FrequentlyVery Helpful
Special Pay IncentiveRarelySomewhat Helpful
TeleworkFrequentlyVery Helpful
Alternative Work ScheduleFrequentlyVery Helpful
Please Specify:Direct-Hire Authority
FrequentlyVery Helpful

Does your agency plan to focus on any of these incentives in the future?

HHS will continue utilizing direct hire, student loan repayment, performance awards, telework, and alternative work schedule as a means of attracting and retaining highly qualified acquisition professionals. Using incentives provides the necessary steps to keep current workers satisfied with their roles and will ensure productivity is not interrupted. These incentives are important because they help create a positive work environment and strengthen an employee’s commitment to the organization. HHS’ intentions are to retain talented and qualified professionals by utilizing human capital programs that support cross-training and knowledge sharing.

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Executive Summary

Section 1: Strategic Alignment with Agency Mission

Section 3: Acquisition Human Capital Initiatives Action Planning

Appendix A: Human Capital Programs and Initiatives – Status Update

Appendix B: Increasing Efficiencies in the Training, Development, and Management of the Acquisition Workforce – OFPP Memorandum Progress Update

Content created by Assist. Sec./Financial Resources - Division of Acquisition
Content last reviewed on April 28, 2014