FAA Policies and Plans are Insufficient to Ensure an Adequate and Effective Acquisition Workforce
On August 3, 2011, we issued our final report on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) acquisition workforce. In 2009, the President identified acquisition workforce development as a pillar for improving agency acquisition practices and performance. In response, the Office of Management and Budget initiated a strategic plan to improve the capacity and capability of the acquisition workforce. The FAA issued an initial Acquisition Workforce Plan on the agency’s workforce needs from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal year 2011, and updated the plan in 2010 to project these needs through fiscal year 2014. Our audit objectives were to assess FAA’s Acquisition Workforce Plan to determine whether it: (1) comprehensively identifies FAA’s acquisition workforce and the required skills and competencies needed now and in the future; (2) addressed gaps in the hiring and development of this important workforce; and (3) identified and implemented the programs, policies, and practices needed to ensure it has an adequate acquisition workforce.
We found that FAA's Acquisition Workforce Plan is not comprehensive and has not sufficiently addressed gaps in hiring and developing its acquisitions workforce. In addition, FAA has not fully implemented the programs, policies, and practices needed to ensure an adequate workforce. We made 11 recommendations aimed at strengthening FAA’s acquisition workforce planning, of which the agency concurred with all but one recommendation and has provided acceptable actions for 8 recommendations. The FAA has begun actions to address many of the issues identified during our audit, and we requested that the agency clarify how it plans to meet the intent of the remaining three recommendations and provide corrective action plans and target dates for completion.