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  • Question

    What is the difference between the CAE and the SPE? Provide examples please. Thank you!


    Answer

         From FAR 2.1 Senior procurement executive means the individual appointed pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1702(c) who is responsible for management direction of the acquisition system of the executive agency, including implementation of the unique acquisition policies, regulations, and standards of the executive agency.

     

    From US code 414 we have this (reading CAO as synonymous with CAE)

    (b) Authority and functions of agency Chief Acquisition Officers The functions of each Chief Acquisition Officer shall include—

     

    (1) monitoring the performance of acquisition activities and acquisition programs of the executive agency, evaluating the performance of those programs on the basis of applicable performance measurements, and advising the head of the executive agency regarding the appropriate business strategy to achieve the mission of the executive agency;

     

    The distinction I would make based on the above is Procurement Process Vs Procurement Performance

     

    As defined in FAR 2.1, The Senior Procurement Executive is the Process role.  This individual sets up the Business Processes and deals with systemic problems.  For example, say the agency has a systemic problem with excessive Procurement Action Lead Time (PALT) , the SPE would likely review the business processes and determine modifications to the process to ameliorate the system wide issues causing delay. 

     

    But what if the system is not the problem, let's say now the overall PALT numbers are fine, but one specific acquisition is lagging, say the F-35.  This is not a process problem, but rather an "instance".  The Component Acquisition Executive role would likely come in here. A Component Acquisition Executive (CAE) is a single official within a DoD component that is responsible for all acquisition functions within that component.  The CAEs are responsible for all acquisition functions within their Component. 

    While the term is defined in many acquisition documents (i.e., https://bea.osd.mil/bea11.2/reports/definitions2_term_44855.htm,) their duties and responsibilities vary by agency.

     I would then use the "process" vs "instance" analogy to define the difference in roles and state the Component Acquisition Executive would focus on the overall performance of the specific acquisition, rather than redefining a business process to deal with an individual problem. 

     

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