By Calvin Speight Jr., CCP
AACE Government Liaison Committee Chair
To enhance project delivery and methods to the federal government, President Obama on Dec. 14, 2016, signed into law the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015 (PMIAA). Bipartisan support of this legislation included Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Representative Todd Young of Indiana, and Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia.
The key thrust of this law is to demonstrate prudent spending of taxpayer dollars on large, complex projects. The PMIAA also reforms federal project management fundamentals in the following four dimensions:
- Creating a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government.
- Developing a standards-based program management policy across the federal government.
- Recognizing the essential role of executive sponsorship and engagement by designating a senior executive in federal agencies to be responsible for program management policy and strategy.
- Sharing knowledge of successful approaches to program management through an interagency council on program management.
Opportunities for AACE International
Since 2016, the AACE International Government Liaison Committee has been reinvigorated. Given that PMIAA has opened the door to external associations, the AACE team will lead efforts to build linkages with government agencies for the purpose of AACE being recognized as the technical authority in cost and schedule management for programs, projects, products, assets, and services. The committee will strive to create value by advancing AACE technical knowledge and professional development. Even though information technology (IT) represents the lion’s share of the federal project and program portfolio, AACE’s niche position fits construction, aerospace, and defense projects as well. The AACE Government Liaison Committee, working in concert with the AACE Board of Directors and AACE headquarters, assists in activities necessary to ensure the successful on-site execution of the Federal Agency Roundtable. In line with PMIAA, AACE International will address each reform in the following manner:
- Promote AACE membership, AACE Section activity, and AACE certifications for federal employees.
- Infuse Total Cost Management (TCM) as the standard for asset creation and asset management into the federal DNA.
- Develop relations with federal executives, especially those working on high-value, mission-critical federal programs.
- Facilitate knowledge-sharing between AACE and federal agencies with renewed cooperative agreements with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and the U.S. Department of Energy.
- AACE members contribute heavily to the GAO Cost Expert Panel.
The Way Forward
We will feature a one-half day symposium on practical approaches to develop internal cost department excellence. The goal will be data-driven decision methods that solve problems. The three planned outcomes are results that are evidence-based, aligned to agency mission, and reflect the maturity level of agency processes. Federal executives will receive free admission and a continental breakfast. Formal presentations are optional. What we seek is wisdom and insightful discussion. We expect 30 attendees for this event; several agencies have agreed to provide attendees.
The 8 a.m. to noon event will be Friday, April 20, 2018, 8:00 am to 12 noon at:
The MITRE Corporation, Conference Center
7515 Colshire Drive
McLean, VA 22102-7539
Previous AACE sponsored Federal Agency Roundtables have been well received. Program managers and project controls professionals involved in the federal government are invited to participate in the April 20 roundtable to exchange best practice advice and concerns with professionals from government agencies. Come hear what issues your colleagues at other agencies are dealing with and share your best practices.
To register, go to this page.