Defense IG: TRICARE Acquisition Staff Lack Required Certification and Training

May 2, 2013

Procurement personnel at the TRICARE Management Activity, which had an acquisition budget of $18.8 billion in 2012, lacked formal certification for their jobs, proper training and accurate position descriptions, the Defense Department Inspector General said in a highly critical report released yesterday.

These problems start at the top, the IG said, noting that none of the 32 senior TMA acquisition personnel met all the requirements for their positions mandated under the 1990 Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, including those who held Acquisition Corps positions.

Nextgov reported Tuesday that the Pentagon had shifted management and oversight of health information technology procurements from the TRICARE Management Activity to Frank Kendall, under secretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. TMA forecasted on April 18 that it planned to run health IT procurements valued at $2.3 billion this year.

The Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act requires Defense agencies to establish formal career paths for personnel who want to pursue careers in acquisition. There are formal training and certification requirements for 15 positions at three levels: entry, intermediate and advanced. Defense agencies also are required to develop position descriptions for their acquisition workforce.

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