Dan Gordon, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, has a little more than one month left on the job before he takes up the position of associate dean for government contracts law at the George Washington University Law School.
Before he goes however, he still has advice for the federal acquisition community. In an interview with Federal News Radio, Gordon said continuity is the key for the administration’s efforts to improve the acquisition process, especially the acquisition workforce.
“You are going to see my successors and the wonderful staff at OFPP continuing our efforts,” Gordon said. “We’ve been working with the Hill, with the appropriators and others, to ensure there is adequate funding for the acquisition workforce at the agencies. We will continue to do that. We are going into challenging times, but we will be focused on strengthening and protecting the acquisition workforce.”
The government has made use of strategic sourcing to take advantage of its buying power, with those efforts including blanket purchase agreements used by the General Services Administration mostly for technology.
None of those efforts would be effective without a strong acquisition workforce, Gordon said in the interview.
Gordon spent much of his tenure focusing on strengthening the acquisition workforce, including trying to grow the number of contracting officers and other key positions. OFPP also set new standards and certification requirements for contracting officer representatives in September.
Through training sessions at the Federal Acquisition Institute and the Defense Acquisition University, OFPP can track how agencies are growing both the number and training of contracting officers and their representatives.
“What we are hearing is, they are really paying attention for the first time, in terms of getting their people certified, and being sure they have qualified people managing those contracts,” Gordon said. “It is a bright light of progress in what has been prior to this administration a pretty bleak picture.”