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Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
08/23/2022 7:16 AM

​Updated source selection procedures have been published.  See DPC's Contract Policy page for competitive source selection.  It's a great place to find latest documents as well as Peer Reveiw information for your competitive procurement.


8/23/2022 7:16 AMNoAsk the Community
103.618375578704
14/10/2021 9:00 AM1
ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
08/23/2022 6:27 AM
Two resources I use a lot.  The PWS Writing Guidelines and the plain language dot gov site.  They mostly compliment one another although the plain language guide will tell you to use Must for required actions and the PWS Writing Guidelines will say to use Shall.  Check out the Plain Language web site.  NOTE:  you may have to click on the announcement title to access the link. Look for helpful links there to "Use [of] simple words and phrases."  You'll find:

Don’t say         Say
a and/or b a or b or both
accompany go with
accomplish carry out, do
accorded  given
accordingly so
accrue add, gain
accurate         correct, exact, right

And that's only partially through the As on the list.  My favorite is utilize.  Why not just use?  There are more guides to download or browse there and the Law and regulations are there too.  Look for the No-Gobbledygook awards (a bit of history trivia perhaps).

PWS Writing Guidelines may be found with a search here on DAU's web site, or click through the link above.  Do you have a favorite writing tip?  


8/23/2022 6:27 AMNoAsk the Community
103.616653356481
14/10/2021 9:00 AM1
ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
03/24/2022 3:09 PM

[Updated link 5/26/2022]​

GSA plans to roll up OASIS, OASIS Small Business, and two other professional services contract vehicles under its GSA Services MAC (“BIC MAC”), with an RFP anticipated in 2022. [BIC=Best in Class; MAC= Multiple Award Contract]

How many folks are using OASIS/OASIS Small Business?


3/24/2022 3:09 PMNoAsk the Community
96.0347795138889
14/10/2021 9:00 AM1
ADAM STROUP
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
03/14/2022 11:53 AM

The Court of Federal Claims Decision on a post-award bid protest for a sole-source award in response to FEMA's request to the Army Corps of Engineers for debris removal following tornados in 2021 provides insights into writing a good J&A.  

[Open this announcement to follow the link.]

Although there are specific circumstances here, you can pull that J&A rationale from the court's full decision.  You will have to modify it based on your situation, as the details in this case likely won't be present in your situation.  But rational that is clearly thought through including an analysis of why other acquisition methods would not suffice will lead you to a better J&A.

In this post-award bid protest, the plaintiffs, Ceres Environmental Services, Inc. (“Ceres”) and D&J Enterprises, Inc. (“D&J”), challenge the award by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) of a sole-source contract issued without competitive bidding to DRC Emergency Services, LLC (“DRC”) for debris removal in Graves County, Kentucky, following a tornado that struck on December 10, 2021.

3/14/2022 11:53 AMNoAsk the Community
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4/10/2021 9:00 AM
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
02/4/2022 7:02 AM

​[Open announcement to access the link] The Army obligates more money to acquire services than products. On average for the previous three fiscal years, the Army’s procurement of services represents nearly $67B of total contractual execution. Services acquisition is a big deal, requiring disciplined oversight and management to ensure the Army receives expected performance outcomes and deliverables that are cost effective. DoD Instruction 5000.74, Defense Acquisition of Services mandates the Services Requirement Review Board (SRRB) process. SRRBs are designed to institutionalize proper life-cycle and portfolio management of services requirements.  

Check out the Army Tip FY22 #02 for SRRB actions and minimum analysis requirements.

2/4/2022 7:02 AMNoAsk the Community
93.6199704861111
14/10/2021 9:00 AM1
ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
211/4/2019 6:20 PM

July 18, 2022 UPDATE!  Nondisplacement Rule For Contractors Coming Back!  The Biden Administration just issued a proposal to reinstitute the nondisplacement rule, which requires services contracts that succeed contracts for the same or similar services-as well as solicitations for such contracts-to include a clause offering qualified service employees under the predecessor contract a right of first refusal of employment.

Contractors will be familiar with this rule, which existed during the Obama Administration-albeit with a few differences-and was canceled during the Trump Administration. Contractors should keep in mind the following to help ensure compliance:

Unlike rules under the Obama administrate, the new rule applies to contractors performing work at a different location than the predecessor contractor.

The departing contractor is responsible for providing the contracting officer a list of the names of all service employees employed under the contract and subcontracts within the last month of contract performance. The departing contractor must also provide written notice to service employees of their possible right of first refusal for employment under the successor contract.

The incoming contractor cannot fill any openings for positions subject to the Service Contract Act before first making good faith offers of employment to incumbent employees, although the offer need not be for the same position as the employee had previously held. The incoming contractor also retains the right to determine the number of employees necessary for efficient performance and can hire more or fewer employees than the previous contractor.

The incoming contractor is not required to offer a right of first refusal to an employee where, based on reliable evidence of past performance, the contractor or its subcontractors reasonably believe that there would be just cause to discharge that employee.

Stay tuned for that new clause!

************************************

July 21, 2021. ​Is there a Biden Administration action that reverses this?

On Oct. 31, 2019, a President Trump Executive Order revokes EO 13495 of Jan. 30, 2009, which gave Service Contract Act employees’ Right of First Refusal with a successor employer.  This is the Final Rule published in the Federal Register implementing this action.

ADAM STROUP11/19/2021 8:14 AMNoAsk the Community
53.6074340930476
32
ADAM STROUP
EDWARD CARROLL
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
09/9/2021 9:27 AM

​This podcast is about 80 priority DoD recommendations including:  Inadequate metrics, incomplete data, decreased readiness due to deployments


9/9/2021 9:27 AMNoShare an Idea
86.2229131944444
14/10/2021 9:00 AM1
ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
15/4/2021 11:11 AM
In 2018, the Army solicited for the Software and Systems Engineering Services Next Generation (SSES NEXGEN) for Army Data, Architecture, Content/Knowledge Management Solutions (DACMS) effort under the Unrestricted Suite.  Requirements included Data Architecture, Army Data Management Program, Strategic Services Architecture Support, Data Centric Solutions, and Content/ Knowledge Management Solution Services. How's SSES doing?  Data at a glace for SSES NGen may be found at GOVTRIBE, but please note that you only get 1 free view per month. It's interesting what you can do with data and worth using that free look!  Here's the question.  Where can I find info on SSES on a Government (Army) web site?  Appreciate your help!



ADAM STROUP8/25/2021 2:22 PMNoAsk the Community
80.5254908376694
4/10/2021 9:00 AM
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
16/8/2021 11:21 AM
[Update Nov 2021] 

In March 2020, the OUSD(A&S) made the CMMC version 1.02 available to the public.  The document was removed in November 2021 and replaced with version 2.0 and the Way Forward was published in the Federal Register.  Version 2.0 of the model:

  • Focused on the most critical requirements: Streamlines the model from 5 to 3 compliance levels
  • Aligned with widely accepted standards:Uses National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity standards
  • see the new ACQuipedia article, CMMC

[Updated 11 Jun 21] The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD(A&S)), working with DoD stakeholders, University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), and industry, developed the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework.

This announcement is to help you start to navigate the complexities of DFARS, NIST 800-171, and now Cybersecurtiy Maturing Model Certification (CMMC). Is industry in compliance? What does all of this mean?
- required cybersecurity controls are found in NIST 800-171 Rev 2 ; it does update frequently
- DFARS Clauses that may be on your contract
  o DFARS 252.204-7012, Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting 
  o 252.204-7020 NIST SP 800-171 DoD Assessment Requirements.
  o 252.204-7021 Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Requirements.
- DoD CMMC web sites
  o NAVWAR's Cyber COP milSuite [requires a profile and CAC]
  o USD(A&S) CMMC web site (last updated Dec. 2020)
DAU Webinar on CMMC, June 2020

What must indutry do?  Perhaps acquire Cyber Compliance as a Service.
– Supply Chain Risk Assessments
– Business Unit Readiness Assessment
– CMMC Readiness Assessments
– Cyber Compliance Remediation Services

Where to report cybersecurity incidents?  Rapidly report cyber incidents to DoD at https://dibnet.dod.mil


Send me outher resources and I will share if appropriate.

ADAM STROUP6/11/2021 9:22 AMNoAsk the Community
82.3550175698281
14/10/2021 9:00 AM1
ADAM STROUP
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
110/9/2020 12:11 PM

First, with the Back to Basics (BtB) memo (also available on the Policy Tab here in the community), things are changing.  I think more seats will become available for our non-acquisition personnel performing services acquisition functions.  ​Last year we had 81 Priority 9s graduate from an ACQ265 (38) or ACQ265V (43)--slightly more once ACQ 265 went virtual.  Currently, for FY21 there are 14 ACQ265Vs in ATRRS and 4 are just about full.  NOTE:  the schedule only goes out to 2QFY21, so I expect to see more offerings added after the new year.

If you are a non-acquisition workforce member, you're a priority 9.  What that means is you will be waitlisted for any of these offerings until 1 month out.  At one month out, if there's a seat available, it's filled from those Priority 9s that are on the waitlist.  It's your seat now--you won't be bumped.  The other trick is to contact DAU and attempt to gain a seat from any no-shows on the first day of class.  Ask if you can get access to the ACQ265 pre-classroom work so you are ready for class on day 1.  On average, I fill one seat per class this way.  So if you are proactive and have some flexibility, you have a much better shot at getting into a class.

Here's my Second thought:  With the BtB and the six functional areas streamlining the required training, more seats are likely to be available when ACQ265 is no longer required (currenly ACQ265 is on a pick list for Logistics and Contracting).  This isn't locked yet, but it's my prediction (Stroup, editor, ACE for Services).  Hopefully we still see contractiong and logistics professionals in ACQ265 as they find a need to learn about services acquisitions. 

Third.  Rules for use of credentials are to be written.  The BtB memo tasks Human Capital Initiatives (HCI) with revising DoDI 5000.66 and a lot of thought needs to go into the policy about use, prioritization, expiration of credentials.  My input on the matter is that re-qualifying ought to be something much more engaging then retaking the current exam (that should keep me busy in the future). You'll find the current rules on the DAU Credentials page

I'd be happy to hear your thoughts!  And a reminder that there exists great training for services acquisition that has no waitlist because it's entirely on line.  ACQ 1650, ACQ 256 (that's the tools course), CLM 006 (soon to be ACQ 0060) (Cost Estimating), all OLTs, had over 2500 Priority 9 grads last FY.  Stop by the training tab here on the ACE for Services home page for more info on DAU Learning Assets.  Happy new fiscal year!  Ad

ADAM STROUP2/19/2021 9:48 AMNoAsk the Community
70.3237016279772
21
ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
12/1/2021 10:15 AM
An insightful article by Nash published February 2021 on Westlaw, a Thomson Reuters website [requires a subscription] details the trials and tribulations of using a performance work statement for services acquisition.  The title of the article is "11. PERFORMANCE WORK STATEMENTS: The Policymakers' Monster—Where Is Our Theseus?" and as this title suggests, historically the definitions of a PWS, what constitutes a service and a result of a service, and even what does measurable imply is tracked historically from today back to US Air Force regulations a few decades ago.  Are these terms archaic?  On ACQuipedia you will find a performance work statement (PWS) defined as a statement of work for performance-based acquisitions (PBAs) that describes the required results in clear, specific and objective terms with measurable outcomes.  We need to tell the offerors what those measurable outcomes are and those are standards, possibly accompanied by Acceptable Quality Levels (AQLs) which are deviations to those standards that the Government can tolerate.  But who hasn't seen contracts with task statements to the contractor that lack AQLs let alone standards? [for more info on Standards and AQLs, see Sample Performance Standards on SAM]  Nash highlights a few glaring examples. For a knowledge based service, it's very difficult for a task where we ask for a contractor's analysis to then apply a standard to get at how good an analysis was done.  I rely on insight into the contractor's staffing and management and even their Quality Controls before selecting them to (hopefully) get that good analysis. (This will be a key feature in Relational Contracting--see below) Now, that analysis ought to be in a document and there I can apply standards and AQLs to a written document such as free of errors (Standard) with less than 1 error per 100 words (AQL).  Sometimes we do have a standard for an analysis task and let me compare that to the peer review process before your solicitation leaves your office. [Do you get good comments back?  If not, you need better reviewers!]  We could implement peer review as a standard.  Something like the Government will review [all, random sample] analyses and any faults found will be corrected by the contractor at no cost to the Goverment.  The problem is I don't have reviewers standing by nor do I have a definition of a fault that's likely to survive first contact with corporate legal.  

The summary of Nash's article proposes we (Government) do away with the PWS and performance based acquisitions.  Nash has been of this opinion (with good reasoning) for over a decade now (see: A Proposal for a New Approach to Performance‐Based Services Acquisition, Def. Acquisition Rev. J. 353 (Sept. 2007).  In the 2007 article, the authors state "the main reason that PBSA has not been more successful is that it is not a practical approach to buying long-term and complex services." The why behind that statement is that it's "... unrealistic to ask agencies to specify services at the time of contract award in clear, specific, objective, and measurable terms when future needs are not fully known or understood, requirements and priorities are expected to change during performance, and the circumstances and conditions of performance are not reliably foreseeable." The authors propose Relational Contracting or Relational PBSA and outline key features and conditions for use. It is worth a read of the ARJ article and perhaps a discussion here! 
RICHARD FOWLER2/2/2021 4:24 PMNoAsk the Community
76.1297526027327
32
ADAM STROUP
RICHARD FOWLER
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
01/11/2021 8:16 AM

​The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released an important new report entitled “GAO-21-171 Information Technology: Federal Agencies Need to Take Urgent Action to Manage Supply Chain Risks.”  This is particularly timely given the December 2020 discovery of a breach of SolarWinds Worldwide LLC’s network-management software Orion, which is widely used by U.S. agencies and companies.

This blog by Bill Kobren will connect you to the report and provides additional blogs on Supply Chain Management Risks.  To go directly to the GAO report select GAO-21-171[NOTE:  you may have to click on the title of this article to access the two links.]

1/11/2021 8:16 AMNoAsk the Community
74.17253125
11
ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
110/23/2020 9:42 AM

It's out!  CON 0150 deployed 16 October 2020.  It will take you about an hour to complete, but it is the latest DoD content available for category managers as well as the workforce procuring services and goods for the DoD.​  The number of continuous learning points will be posted in about a month as we use actual student data to determine CLPs.  Visit the Category Management Community for more detailed information devoted to Category Management!

ADAM STROUP12/14/2020 7:39 AMNoShare an Idea
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ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
05/28/2020 8:04 AM

​GAO's Watchblog provides a snapshot of Government-Wide Contracting for FY19 with DoD at the top of the list.  Out of the department's $381.2B in contracts, Services account for $189.7B versus $191.5B for products and Aircraft, fixed wing, leads the list of products bought.  What else can we learn from these data?

Since GAO's 2017 High-Risk Report, their assessment of all five criteria remains unchanged for DoD Contract Management. DoD continues to demonstrate top leadership support for addressing challenges in its (1) acquisition workforce, (2) service acquisitions, and (3) operational contract support (OCS), which is defined as planning for and obtaining supplies, services, and construction from commercial sources in support of joint operations.  GAO noted that DOD continues to take action to meet the demonstrated progress criterion—with additional management attention needed for service acquisition.

Watchblog noted an increase of $20B in FY19 over the previous year; spend on DoD services accounted for a ~$15B increase ($175.0B in FY18).  Within services, the top categories were Professional Engineering/Technical, General Health Care, Logistics Support, Professional:  Other, and Maintenance and Repair of Aircraft Equipment.  That's a lot of Knowledge-Based Services as has traditionally been the case.

To promote small business participation in federal contracting, there is a government-wide goal to award about a quarter of contract dollars to small businesses.  DoD in FY19 awarded $75.7B to small business out of $318.2B, or 23.8%, exceeding the department's goal.  The Office of Small Business Programs tracks DoD's goals over the years on their Goals and Performance page.  You can also find goals for FY2020 posted.

To close, while the data do not reflect spending on COVID-19 response, a Coronavirus page provides blogs on this topic including one on the Military's pandemic response.

5/28/2020 8:04 AMNoAsk the Community
62.7700318287037
11
ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
05/13/2020 10:34 AM

The recently released, DODIG-2020-079 Report on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud Procurement presents the reults of the DoDIG review.

On July 26, 2018, the DoD issued a Request for Proposals to obtain cloud computing services using a single-award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract. The Request for Proposals stated that the contract would have a maximum value of $10 billion, over a potential 10-year performance period, if the DoD exercised all option periods.  Multiple protests of the solicitation and more recently the award ensued.

I find the section "JEDI Cloud Acquisition Strategy and Key Acquisition Milestones" particulary informative with respect to single award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contracts.  The rationale selected by the USD(A&S) was use of a firm fixed price contract type.  This was part of Oracle's protest.  The DoDIG comments on this indicating that "regarding the firm-fixed-price exception under 10 U.S.C. 2304a(d)(3) (2018)" that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims concluded that the term “established” meant “at the time of” entering the contract.  The JEDI Cloud contract left some future requirements open with respect to pricing.

DoDIG's Recommendation 1:  We recommend that the Acting Director for Contract Policy, Defense Pricing and Contracting, consider developing and implementing appropriate policy to require some level of documentation and analysis supporting key acquisition decisions, including any legal reviews and advice, for contracts that exceed the $112 million threshold established by statute.

Feel free to reply to this post to discuss this and other points you find of interest.  Adam Stroup, Editor, ACE for Services

5/13/2020 10:34 AMNoElectronics and Communications Services
62.0252314814815
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ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
04/6/2020 8:37 AM

IPPS-A is an online Human Resources (HR) system that will provide integrated personnel, pay and talent management capabilities in a single system to all Army Components for the first time ever. IPPS-A will improve the lives of Soldiers, and their Families, and how the Army interacts with them by transforming decades-old personnel systems to a 21st century talent management system. It will provide three essential capabilities to the Army: Total Force Visibility, Talent Management and Auditability.

A story in FNN reports Army National Guard moves to modern personnel system, gives soldiers mobile access.  IPPS-A replaces the Standard Installation and Division Personnel Reporting System (SIDPRS), which was a giant leap in the early 1980s.

The system will also help the National Guard with the COVID-19 response.  For example, soldiers can take a picture of a birth certificate, prove the birth of a new child and put it in the system without having to come in contact with another human and risk spreading the coronavirus.

The Army is now focusing on adding the other components (Active and Reserves) of the service to IPPS-A and building additional features.

4/6/2020 8:37 AMNoElectronics and Communications Services
60.1711579861111
11
ADAM STROUP
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
03/17/2020 7:38 AM

Federal News Network headline from the annual WEST 2020 conference in San Diego reports on this initiative before congress for FY21. [Note:  open this article to follow links]

The Defense Innovation Board in 2019 concluded in its final report that current “color of money” restrictions undermine DoD’s software acquisitions.  According to the board, separation of software development into research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E), procurement, and operations & maintenance (O&M) appropriations and the use of cost-based triggers within each acquisition category causes delays and places artificial limitations on the program management office’s ability to quickly meet changing needs, resulting in increased lifetime cost of software and slower deployment. Further, modern, agile approaches used in commercial software development will result in faster deployment and significant cost savings when unconstrained by 'color of money' considerations..

3/17/2020 7:38 AMNoAsk the Community
59.1691359953704
11
ADAM STROUP
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
511/1/2019 9:24 AM

UPDATE 26 June 2020:  The Category Management Community is live.  Look for Policy, Success Stories, Market Intelligence, BIRs/CIRs, Training Resources, Industry Reports and Organizational Newsletters.


The Category Management Community of Practice is a forum designed to facilitate the acceleration of the Department's Category Management efforts by:  

  • Serving as the central repository of the DoD’s Category Management materials to provide the DoD Category Management community with the support, resources, and knowledge needed to accomplish their mission
  • Providing a forum in which Category Management professionals can discuss Category Management, share better business practices, ideas, intelligence, and lessons learned
  • Serving as the portal through which access to training and guidance on how to get involved in Category Management may be provided to DoD personnel
  • Serving as a venue to facilitate cross-organization / joint collaboration on Category Management efforts
  • Providing a venue for obtaining expert advice and technical assistance in performing Category Management functions
  • Serving as a venue in which standardized guidance about how Category Management activities are to be conducted across the DoD may be disseminated, including the respective roles and responsibilities of Category Management Team members
  • Serving as the venue through which the principles, merits, and methodologies of Category Management may be communicated through introductory presentations, strategic communications, success stories, and similar promotional material

UPDATE 12 DEC 2019:  Coming soon, the new Category Management Community of Practice.  Click on the title of this post to access the link to the community!


SHERRY TAYLOR11/7/2019 5:34 PMNoAsk the Community
53.8279682653569
72
ADAM STROUP
ERIC SOFGE
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
010/28/2019 9:32 AM

​There's a new poll available.  What are your plans for obtaining a services acquisition credential?  We would also like to hear what you think about credentials in general and the two new DAU credentials for services.  Feel free to reply to this post.

If you recall the old poll, "Have you participated in any DAU Workshops for Services Acquisitions?" here are the results.

WSM002 Risk Management WS - 0
WSM008 Developing performance Requirements for SA - 1
WSM009 SOW, SOO, PWS Workshop - 1
WSM012 SAW - 3
WSM014 Acq Strat WS - 0
Other - 1
Never participated in a WS - 4
Total = 10

Not a great sample size especially given DAU trains over 500 folks annually in SAWs (WSM012).  Hopefully this community and the service acquisition mall (SAM) are providing users easy access to the information needed.  But if you have a minute, log on and take the latest poll and let us know what you think.

10/28/2019 9:32 AMNoAsk the Community
52.4241011762195
22
ADAM STROUP
JILL GARCIA
  
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  • ADAM STROUP
210/7/2019 11:13 AM

​DAU is initially piloting four credentials focused on performance in the areas of Agile Methods, Digital Engineering, and Acquisition of Services.  For services, there are two credentials:  one for a non-acquisition professional team member and one for an acquisition career field member.  For more information and to view the guide, visit the DAU Credentials page and FAQs. [NOTE:  Click on the title to access links]

ADAM STROUP10/28/2019 9:20 AMNoShare an Idea
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