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Unique Acquisition Workforce Functions

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Can unique acquisition workforce functions be performed by non-acquisition workforce ( F&R determinations, review

funds availability, other necessary memorandums and contract file documentation)? If yes/no, what is the statutory base?

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Guest Jason Lent

Did you look for the answer to this question on your own?

The FAR is abundantly clear regarding at the least the first function you listed.

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Jason,

I think, I wasn't clear enough. Please allow me: Can a non-acquisition personnel issue a Task Order (TO) (SPS - PD2), draft a memorandum  for the record, gather all the necessary documentation then submit the TO file to the Contracting Officer for review and release/award/signature? If yes/no, what is the statutory authority?

 

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Contractor employees cannot perform inherently governmental functions (FAR 7.5).  Make sure they do not perform any of these functions.  After reading this list, do you think the task you described is prohibited?

GSA has a brief guide for ordering these types of services of the MOBIS contracts.  http://www.gsa.gov/graphics/regions/Sin6OrderingGuide.pdf

Also, your agency may have additional policy/guidance regarding the purchase of acquisition support services.

 

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It is important to keep the horse in front of the cart.

There is nothing in statute that says only acquisition workforce personnel can do certain things.  However, the personnel who do the things described form the acquisition workforce.

Sal,  Whom are you referring to as non-acquisition personnel?  Contractor employees?  Federal employees outside the GS-1102 series?

Contractor employees cannot do the tasks listed in FAR 7.503( c )( 12 )( i ) through ( viii ) -- however, they can assist in any of these matters (however, see FAR 37.203( d )).  So yes, a contractor employee can draft a memorandum for a contracting officer's signature.

Any federal employee can draft a memorandum for a contracting officer's signature.  Any federal employee can do any of the tasks you mentioned [in support of a contracing officer].

Edited by ji20874
to add a qualifying note

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Guest Vern Edwards
29 minutes ago, ji20874 said:

There is nothing in statute that says only acquisition workforce personnel can do certain things.

You're kidding, right? Do you want to revise or clarify that statement before I respond? Please do, and save me the trouble.

Think. Do you consider contracting officers to be among the members of the acquisition workforce? Do you consider things like issuing a final decision under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 to be a "certain thing"?

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4 hours ago, Sal said:

Can unique acquisition workforce functions be performed by non-acquisition workforce ( F&R determinations, review

funds availability, other necessary memorandums and contract file documentation)? If yes/no, what is the statutory base?

Please define what YOU mean by the term "acquisition workforce"? You are apparently in the Department of Defense, since you mentioned the contracting software system.  Thanks. 

Edited by joel hoffman
I noticed that OP refers to PD2 and SPS in a follow-on post.

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Guest Vern Edwards
5 hours ago, Sal said:

Can unique acquisition workforce functions be performed by non-acquisition workforce ( F&R determinations, review

funds availability, other necessary memorandums and contract file documentation)? If yes/no, what is the statutory base?

Sal:

You have asked about a very complex matter.

The term "acquisition" is defined at FAR 2.101(b). Read the definition. 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(18) defines "acquisition workforce" as follows:

Quote

The term “acquisition workforce” means the persons serving in acquisition positions within the Department of Defense, as designated pursuant to section 1721(a) of this title.

10 U.S.C. § 1721(b) lists the following functions as entailing the performance of acquisition functions:

(1) Program management.
(2) Systems planning, research, development, engineering, and testing.
(3) Procurement, including contracting.
(4) Industrial property management.
(5) Logistics.
(6) Quality control and assurance.
(7) Manufacturing and production.
(8) Business, cost estimating, financial management, and auditing.
(9) Education, training, and career development.
(10) Construction.
(11) Joint development and production with other government agencies and foreign countries.

Many agencies have issued their own more detailed lists.

Many statutes, regulations, and agency policies require that certain acquisition tasks be performed by persons in certain acquisition positions, such as head of a contracting activity, program manager, and contracting officer, or their authorized designees. There are too many such statutes, regulations, and policies to list here, even if I knew them all, which I don't.

If you want to know whether a person must be a member of the acquisition workforce in order to perform a certain task, you must know the meaning of acquisition workforce in your agency and you must do some legal research. Absent a statutory or regulatory requirement or agency policy that a person in a certain acquisition position must perform a certain task, then you may presume, subject to official verification, that a government employee who is not in that position may perform that task.

As for whether a contractor employee may perform such a task, that depends on many things: statute, regulation, policy, the definition of inhererently governmental function, the terms of the contract, and a detailed description of the task.

Bottom line: You have asked about a very complex matter from the perspective of statute, regulation, policy, and practice. It is much too complex for anyone to provide you with the simple answer that your are looking for, and I doubt that anyone is going to be doing much free legal research on your behalf. (But you never know.) Unless you are qualified to do such legal research and have the necessary research tools, your best bet is to develop a list of the tasks that interest you and go see someone in your agency legal office.

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Yes, this is a DoD Agency. By acquisition workforce I meant someone outside the 1102 or 1105 series. A US Government employee Program Analyst (0343) or a Service Member without any acquisition training or certification for example.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Sal: Read the post immediately before your last one. You need to do some background reading.

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