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Relevance of the Defense Acquisition Corp

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I Just joined the Defense Acquisition Corp but I'm strugglin' to see what the DAC actually represents other than some meaningless title. I be intuitively assuming t'is to make yourself look better for promotion but the requirements for joining be the same requirements ye be needing for promotion beyond GS-13 in the first place. Is thar something me missing or is this really just a waste of government resources to even offer?

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6 hours ago, Contracting Pirate said:

I Just joined the Defense Acquisition Corp but I'm strugglin' to see what the DAC actually represents other than some meaningless title. I be intuitively assuming t'is to make yourself look better for promotion but the requirements for joining be the same requirements ye be needing for promotion beyond GS-13 in the first place. Is thar something me missing or is this really just a waste of government resources to even offer?

If you don’t know why you joined, why did you join?  

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5 hours ago, Don Mansfield said:

Some positions require that you be a member of the DAC. That's the only purpose I know of. 

@joel hoffmanA scallywag like meself needs the DAC to er're have a chance at promotion, Arr.  Much to do about nothin if you ask me. 

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Arrrh, Pirate. 😀 

Congress has established a funding mechanism for training members of the Acquisition Corps in an effort to provide standardized professional training,  education standards and minimum credentials. There may be questions concerning the efficacy of the training.

I saw and worked with those folks hired during the old "Procurement and Supply" days, many of whom worked their way up from procurement clerk positions with little or no secondary education or advanced acquisition training.

In our Organization, 1102's weren't contracting officer's for construction contracts (Uniformed Military Engineer Officers were the KO's) , didn't administer them, didnt negotiate new construction contracts (did advertise and award IFB's) until circa 1990 or later.  At least one exception to the general rule was ostracized by his jealous (in my opinion) peers in contracting. He finally overcame that and became Chief of Contracting at District level . He. was one of the finest 1102's that I ever worked with, including deployment during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and thereafter back home.   

I'd say that the overall level of qualifications of the 1102 acquisition workforce has vastly improved since 1990, when the acquisition corps was established. 

I'm a former Buccaneer (BYC Commodore) and am a sailor.  Arrrh! 

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On 10/10/2018 at 8:27 AM, joel hoffman said:

I'd say that the overall level of qualifications of the 1102 acquisition workforce has vastly improved since 1990, when the acquisition corps was established. 

Does this mean you believe the current 1102 workforce is implementing statute and regulation and supporting their clients better than the old workforce (i.e. procurement clerks, procurement agents, contract specialists and contracting officers) that was hired prior to the introduction of the college degree requirement?

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In our Army Command, absolutely. 

 

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On 10/10/2018 at 12:05 AM, Don Mansfield said:

Some positions require that you be a member of the DAC. That's the only purpose I know of. 

Don, I don’t understand why you said that.

I think that your job and DAU are related to the Purpose of the DAC.

Some history of DAC and AAC: 

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a256829.pdf

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1031486.pdf

some history of DAU:

https://www.dau.mil/about/Documents/DAU History Book.pdf

I was a member of the DAC, a DAWIA level III (Contracting),  warranted Administrative Contracting Officer among other things (Licensed Professional Engineer, Designated Design-Build Institute of America D-B professional) and developed/taught various acquisition training classes/courses for over 25 years. 

I would think that you’d have some appreciation for the purpose and relevance of the Acquisition Corps.  

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1 hour ago, joel hoffman said:

In our Army Command, absolutely

Phew! Do you have any procurement clerks or agents, or any contracting officers whose job is solely to oversee and train subordinate 1102s? 

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Guest Vern Edwards
On 10/9/2018 at 6:07 AM, Contracting Pirate said:

I Just joined the Defense Acquisition Corp but I'm strugglin' to see what the DAC actually represents other than some meaningless title. I be intuitively assuming t'is to make yourself look better for promotion but the requirements for joining be the same requirements ye be needing for promotion beyond GS-13 in the first place. Is thar something me missing or is this really just a waste of government resources to even offer?

As usual, the discussion has descended to its LPLI.

The AC was created to improve promotional opportunities for military officers who were assigned to acquisition jobs, which had long been considered a backwater secondary career filed. See Robbert, et al., Promotion Benchmarks for Senior Officers with Joint and Acquisition Service (Rand 2016):

Quote

The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, codified at 10 U.S.C. § 1731, indicates that Acquisition Corps officers are expected, like JQOs, to be promoted at rates not less than those of all line (or equivalent) officers in the same armed force.

* .    * .    *

A key aspect of the legislation is that its fundamental objective was to influence the quality of officers assigned to joint or acquisition duties. Congress established promotion objectives not to influence promotion selections directly but rather to serve as indicators of how officer quality was distributed in earlier assignment decisions. Accordingly, promotion outcomes should be measured broadly to be as representative as possible of the quality of officers assigned at various times in the categories of interest.

See, generally, 10 USC Ch. 87, §§ 1722b, 1731, 1732, 1734, 1735, and 1737. The only mention of an acquisition corps in the CFR is at 32 CFR 751.4(c).

It is not clear to me what if any effect the creation of an AC has had on the acquisition process or on the advancement of civilian acquisition careers.

3 hours ago, napolik said:

Does this mean you believe the current 1102 workforce is implementing statute and regulation and supporting their clients better than the old workforce (i.e. procurement clerks, procurement agents, contract specialists and contracting officers) that was hired prior to the introduction of the college degree requirement.

It is not possible to compare the old workforce to the new, primarily because job content and working conditions are drastically different. The work of a GS-1102-12 or -13 has a much higher clerical content today than it did in the 1970s and early 1980s, because of the arrival of the desktop computer and the elimination of most clerical and virtually all secretarial support, and because of the effective merger of 1102 and 1105 GS series. For all of the emphasis on professionalism, 1102 job content is much less professional today than it was when I entered the field.

How do today's 1102s compare with those of yore? It depends on where you worked in yore and which of today's 1102s you're comparing them to.

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20 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

For all of the emphasis on professionalism, 1102 job content is much less professional today than it was when I entered the field.

Have you just compared the old and new workforces?

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2 hours ago, PepeTheFrog said:

Why?

I think that It helps pay his salary.

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45 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

If you think I did, then my last post failed.

I don’t seek to inflict failure; I want to bestow success!

I agree that “…job content and working conditions are drastically different”, but I think the today and yore workforces can be compared. Let’s look at and compare virtues, knowledge, skills, talents:

Virtue, …, Talent

Better Workforce

IT capability

Today

Cutting and pasting

Today

Selfie sufficiency

Today

Willingness to give OJT

Yores

Client support

Yores

Knowledge of regs

Yores

Well, it’s 3 to 3, but I say, up Yores!

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LPLI - “Liquid Phase LPG Injection”?

LPLI- “Low Power Laser Irradiation”?

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On 10/12/2018 at 12:43 PM, napolik said:

I don’t seek to inflict failure; I want to bestow success!

I agree that “…job content and working conditions are drastically different”, but I think the today and yore workforces can be compared. Let’s look at and compare virtues, knowledge, skills, talents:

Virtue, …, Talent

Better Workforce

IT capability

Today

Cutting and pasting

Today

Selfie sufficiency

Today

Willingness to give OJT

Yores

Client support

Yores

Knowledge of regs

Yores

Well, it’s 3 to 3, but I say, up Yores!

Agree.  One thing that really stands out to me is the old workforce had a small group of highly knowledgeable, experienced, and capable individuals unmatched today.  These people acquired that through self motivation, learning, training, and OJT.  In many cases they happened to be in the right job in the right organization at the right time.  At the same time, large pockets of the workforce lacked training and expertise.  They practiced tasks based on what was passed down to them by word of mouth and traditions, many of which were wrong.  That's the way they learned to do work and those were reinforced by agency practices and even policies.  

Despite all the issues existing today, I think things are a whole lot better now.

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5 hours ago, formerfed said:

One thing that really stands out to me is the old workforce had a small group of highly knowledgeable, experienced, and capable individuals unmatched today.  These people acquired that through self motivation, learning, training, and OJT.  In many cases they happened to be in the right job in the right organization at the right time.  At the same time, large pockets of the workforce lacked training and expertise.  They practiced tasks based on what was passed down to them by word of mouth and traditions, many of which were wrong.  That's the way they learned to do work and those were reinforced by agency practices and even policies

I must disagree with you on these points.

I was very fortunate to be hired by a field contracting office that bought everything and that emphasized personnel training and development. In my experience, my 1102, 1105 and 1106 colleagues were very knowledgeable. I was most fortunate to have been hired by someone who understood the importance of creating knowledge via formal training, on-the-job training, rotational assignments and the use of Contracting Officers whose jobs included the oversight and training of the 1102 workforce.

I participated in DOD and DON courses on the ASPR; benefitted from regular training in the office; received work assignments designed to improve my knowledge of formal advertising, negotiations, small purchases, R&D, GSA schedules, supply and services contracting, and pre and post award activities; and worked for GS 13 contracting officers who carefully reviewed my work, identified my errors, explained why they were errors and corrected them. Then, the future arrived.

All training was assigned to entities outside the office, with much of it occurring “on-line”; IT and “procurement systems” arrived and minimized/ eliminated the need for or the disposition to review 1102 work products; the 1105 and 1106 workforces were eliminated and all administrative tasks were assigned to 1102s; 1102s were not held accountable for errors in the planning and execution of their cut and pasted procurements; and contracting officer warrants were distributed to many/ most/ all 1102s at the GS 13 grade level.

Full disclosure: I have grey hair and significant difficulty with keyboards. And, I miss hard copy texts and carbon paper.

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1 hour ago, napolik said:

I miss hard copy texts and carbon paper.

Shiver me timbers, I'd give me other leg to Davey Jones if I could go 100% digital.  The death of Hard Copy's can't come soon enough.  I've been hornswaggled out of enough of me time messin about with such things.  I'd prefer to drown at sea, not under paper in me cubicle.  Yo Ho Ho for Computer Science!

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Guest Vern Edwards
2 hours ago, napolik said:

Then, the future arrived.

All training was assigned to entities outside the office, with much of it occurring “on-line”; IT and “procurement systems” arrived and minimized/ eliminated the need for or the disposition to review 1102 work products; the 1105 and 1106 workforces were eliminated and all administrative tasks were assigned to 1102s; 1102s were not held accountable for errors in the planning and execution of their cut and pasted procurements; and contracting officer warrants were distributed to many/ most/ all 1102s at the GS 13 grade level.

I think that's a pretty accurate description of what happened after the future arrived. CO certificates of appointment were, indeed, handed out like candy at a Halloween party.

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On 10/15/2018 at 3:24 PM, Contracting Pirate said:

Shiver me timbers, I'd give me other leg to Davey Jones if I could go 100% digital.  The death of Hard Copy's can't come soon enough.

PepeTheFrog agrees. Do any frogs really, truly, actually wish for the return (or continuation) of those awful red folders? The ones with two holes at the top? What frog designed those red folders with the two holes? The design makes it difficult to review the file. Some of the old frogs can probably remember awkwardly weighing down the other half of the file folder with a stapler or a heavy book. Why not a three-ring binder?

On 10/15/2018 at 1:25 PM, napolik said:

Full disclosure: I have grey hair and significant difficulty with keyboards.

You think you have it rough? Try typing on a keyboard with webbed hands!

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22 hours ago, PepeTheFrog said:

Do any frogs really, truly, actually wish for the return (or continuation) of those awful red folders? The ones with two holes at the top? What frog designed those red folders with the two holes? The design makes it difficult to review the file. Some of the old frogs can probably remember awkwardly weighing down the other half of the file folder with a stapler or a heavy book. Why not a three-ring binder?

I used to get so much guff from people for printing my documents for vertical flipping by default. Sure, it's unusual for review, but it's better for the file.

My former employer just mandated (as of 1 OCT) electronic contract files...for SAP buys only. They also had about 5 gigs of network storage space per 1102, which won't last long, given the lack of file size discipline exercised by most users.

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