VA needs to better market its new acquisition approach, industry says

A need for better communication is driving the Veterans Affairs Department’s acquisition shop to rethink the way it buys products and services. But industry says the VA’s new approach has been slow to trickle down to contracting officers in the field.

Greg Giddens, the department’s chief acquisition officer and principal executive director for the Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction, released two memos last December detailing 10 new guiding principles for VA acquisition.

“The intent behind this was to give documented coverage for our employees to go out and take risks,” Giddens said. “If it’s not against the law, not against statute, not against an executive order, and it’s good for taxpayers, veterans and employees, then we need to figure out how to move out on it.”

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