Federal Program Will Train New Digital Team of Contracting Officers


A new federal training program will soon begin in an effort to train federal contracting officers to help their agencies more effectively procure technology. The effort will be led by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and is similar in concept to the U.S. Digital Service, which also seeks to improve the government’s relationship to the tech sector in terms of acquisitions and contracting. Learn more about the new training effort in our blog.



A new program aims to improve technology acquisitions.


Federal Program Will Train New Digital Team of Contracting Officers


The main goal of the program is to streamline federal contract acquisitions with the tech sector. Federal agency contracting offices are notorious for writing long proposals that number in the hundreds of pages. The agencies then expect the contractor to submit a similar proposal. The problem is that this process is slow and inefficient, especially considering the agility of the private sector.


The new program will actually be selected from a number of proposals that were submitted to the U.S. Digital Service, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget. The three offices had held a prize competition that sought proposals “for the best program to teach federal contracting officers about more flexible ways of purchasing IT and digital service, including agile software development,” according to NextGov. Proposals were accepted through June 23rd, and are now being reviewed.


When a proposal is selected, a small group of federal contracting officers will be selected to participate in the training program. Once they complete the program, they will return to their agencies to implement the strategies they learned. The program will start small, but will be scaled up over time.


The similar U.S. Digital Service is “a separate, though related effort to embed within agencies teams of acquisition cadres who are more generally focused on technology, as mandated by the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act,” and operates under the White House.



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