Improving the Acquisition Process at VA
Human Capital Management

Improving the Acquisition Process at VA

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Acquisitions and Logistics (OAL)

Our Challenge

All federal government agencies must run their acquisition processes in accordance with guidelines established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB mandates that agencies provide an annual statement that they have in place adequate internal controls over these processes, and to that end it has published guidelines for assessing the adequacy of those controls. Along with our prime contracting partner, we are conducting the assessments, ensuring that the acquisition process at VA fulfills the “four cornerstones” of successful acquisition management as set forth by the Government Accountability Office:

  • Organizational alignment and leadership
  • Policies and processes
  • Human capital
  • Information management and stewardship

Our role is to recognize and highlight issues related to the four cornerstones and to provide strategic recommendations for improvement.

Our Strategy

The DFC Human Capital Team developed a detailed research plan that included visiting VA acquisition sites and conducting surveys, focus groups, and interviews at each. We collect the responses and then tabulate the data in summary form to protect the anonymity of respondents. Afterwards we create a comprehensive report which notes the degree to which the acquisition processes meet the criteria of the four cornerstones. The report also contains strategic recommendations for improvement to address the common themes that became apparent during data collection.

Our Results

The DFC team has been successfully supporting VA acquisition reviews since 2009. Our team has conducted surveys, focus groups, and interviews at every VA acquisition office on a rotating basis. The data that our team has collected through these assessments have supported the internal control reviews required by OMB and informed recommendations for improvement throughout the VA acquisitions offices.