Guidance for Specialized Information Technology Acquisition Cadres†
The Federal government spends over $500 billion annually on contracts and orders for supplies and services, many of them high-risk and complex in nature. Far too often, Federal information technology (IT) acquisitions, especially for large projects, have been plagued by budget overruns, missed milestones, or failure to deliver expected functionality—and sometimes all three.
To address these challenges, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a “25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Management Technology.”Among other reform initiatives, this plan calls for guidance on designing and developing specialized IT acquisition cadres, where helpful, and for best practices that can help agencies address IT acquisition challenges. The attached guidance describes how agencies can: (1) design and organize a cadre of contracting professionals, Program Managers (PMs), and Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) to ensure these functions work closely throughout the process to achieve program goals, and (2) strengthen the skills and capabilities of this specialized acquisition cadre to improve outcomes. A community of practice (CoP), described below, is being developed to capture and disseminate best practices for developing and strengthening these specialized teams and for improving IT acquisition strategies and practices generall