4.2 Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO)
To ensure that acquisition issues receive high-level management attention, the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2003 (SARA) established the position of the CAO. (OMB. Clarifying Chief Acquisition Officer Roles and Responsibilities. 10/18/2012.) CAOs work closely with other senior executives government-wide and within their agencies to continuously improve the federal acquisition system. CAOs have several major areas of prioritized responsibility:
- Buy Smarter: CAOs should work with CFOs, CIOs, and CHCOs to increase the agency’s use of government-wide and agency-wide strategic sourcing vehicles will save money and reduce duplication. supporting the agency’s CIO in ongoing IT portfolio investment reviews, and working with the CFO to target administrative savings opportunities, will also help the agency buy smarter.
- Strengthen the Acquisition Workforce: CAOs should work with the agency’s CHCO and principal program managers to develop and implement the annual Acquisition Human Capital Plan, and work with the CIO to determine how best to support IT acquisition, such as through the development of specialized IT acquisition cadres.
- Building the Right Supplier Relationships: CAOs should lead efforts to, among other things, improve the value of contractor past performance assessments and increase the transparency of contractor business integrity data so that the Federal Government only does business with reputable firms.
- Advance Mission Performance: CAOs should also work closely with agency leaders, such as the COO, PIO, and key mission program managers that depend heavily on acquisition, to help define acquisition needs that will advance agency goals and objectives in the most cost-effective manner possible. CAOs should ensure acquisition strategies are aligned with, and driven by, mission program and performance objectives, such as those established in an agency’s strategic plans, or those that support the achievement of agency priority goals.
The CAO Council was established pursuant to Section 16 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, as amended, 41 USC 403, et seq. (41 U.S.C. § 1101. Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act.) It is chaired by OMB’s Deputy Director for Management (OMB M-04-13. Chief Acquisition Officers Council. May 2004) and consists of a diverse group of acquisition professionals in the Executive Branch established to provide a senior level forum for monitoring and improving the federal acquisition system.
The Council works closely with the Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to promote these business practices in the acquisition system. It promotes effective business practices that ensure the timely delivery of best value products and services to the agencies, achieve public policy objectives, and further integrity, fairness, competition, and openness in the federal acquisition system. CAO.gov is where the Council shares priorities, key technology policies, news, and the programs and events sponsored by the Council. (CAO. Chief Acquisition Officers Council.)