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Bus 230 Paper Assignment 1 Acquisition Management at the US Government Accountability Office






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Bus 230 Paper Assignment 1 Acquisition Management at the US
Government Accountability Office
Assignment 1 Acquisition Management at the U.S. Government
Accountability Office
Business 230 – Purchasing & Materials Management
The line of business, mission, and goals of the organization he/she
works for. Describe these briefly.
For this assignment, I interviewed Ms. Deja Craddock, a Purchasing
Manager for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The
GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that supports the Congress
by investigating how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.
GAO’s work is done at the request of Congress in most cases, but the
Comptroller General or head of the agency does also have the authority
to independently initiate research. Examples of GAO’s work include:
• audit federal agencies to determine whether tax dollars are being spent
efficiently and effectively;
• investigate allegations of illegal and improper activities;
report on how well federal policies and programs are meeting their
• analyze policies for congressional consideration; and
• issue legal decisions and opinions, such as bid protests.
The overall mission of GAO is to, “support the Congress in meeting its
constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and
ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the
American people. We provide Congress with timely information that is
objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced”
(Young, C., 1st citation). The goals and objectives of GAO are:
Goal 1 - provide timely, quality service to the Congress and the federal

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Goal 2 - respond to changing security threats and the challenges of
global interdependence;
Goal 3 - help transform the federal government’s role and how it does
business to meet 21st Century challenges; and
Goal 4 - maximize the value of GAO by being a model federal agency
and a world-class professional services organization (Young, C., 2nd
The operational and strategic objectives of the supply and purchasing
department and how they align with the organization’s mission and
The purchasing and supply management function at GAO is centrally
managed by the Acquisition Management (AM) office. Although some
small purchases (less than $3,000) are decentralized to card holders
within teams and offices, the bulk of purchasing of goods and services
from private vendors and other federal agencies is handled by AM.
Operationally, AM is divided into two branches: Procurement Operations
and Policy. The Procurement Operations Branch provides guidance on
available procurement options, program requirements, and timeframes.
Additionally, AM’s Procurement Operations Branch processes all internal
requisitions for products and services and also negotiates and finalizes
contractual agreements between GAO and outside vendors/federal
agencies. AM’s Policy Branch oversees the management and
development of policies and procedures for GAOs procurement process
and Purchase Card Program and also provides training for Contracting
Officer’s Technical Representatives (Jones, C.).
The strategic objectives of AM are tied to GAO’s Goal 4 “maximize the
value of GAO by being a model federal agency and a world-class
professional services organization (Young, C.).” To that end, AM’s
Procurement Operations Branch is charged with getting the best value
for goods and services within the limits of the Federal Acquisition
Regulation (FAR). Additionally, the Policy Branch continually updates
their internal SOPs as well as COTR training materials to reflect changes
in the FAR. As an agency whose principal mission is to audit other
federal agencies, GAO considers it critically important to “practice what it
preaches” in its GAO reports—this includes AM. GAO certainly does not
want to be on the receiving end of a contract bid protest because AM

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staff did not exercise their due diligence in letting a contract (Craddock,
Describe his/her job functions and job responsibilities, educational
background, professional experiences, personal challenges, job
achievement, and fulfillment.
Ms. Deja Craddock, a Contract Specialist and Policy Analyst with in
GAO’s Acquisition Management office, serves critical roles in both of
AM’s Procurement Operations and Policy branches. As a Contract
Specialist, Ms. Craddock works with internal clients and outside vendors
in developing requirements, preparing statements of work, preparing
solicitations, and briefing GAO’s Contract Selection Panel. Once the
selection is made, she plays an integral role in writing and implementing
the contract. As a Policy Analyst, Ms. Craddock maintains overall
responsibility for the agency’s COTR training program and also
incorporates changes/updates to the FAR in internal SOPs (Craddock,
Ms. Craddock received her undergraduate degree in Information
Technology (IT) and initially worked as a Human Resources Systems
Administrator for another federal agency. While working in the IT field,
she also found herself working with contracts, particularly with
requirements gathering. This experience led Ms. Craddock to GAO as a
Contract Specialist. She found that her IT background was very helpful
in writing proposals, particularly those that were technical in nature.
Currently she is pursuing a Masters in Acquisitions and Supply Chain
Management and Business Administration. Additionally, Ms. Craddock is
FAC-C Level III certified and is required to take 80 hours of continuing
education ever 2 years (Craddock, D.).
The most challenging aspect of Ms. Craddock’s job comes when an
internal client is uncertain what he/she wants, which makes developing
requirements very difficult. Additional challenges come in to play when a
contract serves the agency as a whole because there are many
individuals that want to be heard during requirements gathering and
during the selection process. This exact situation presented itself when
GAO selected its travel system four years ago, GovTrip. Ms. Craddock
said this was the most difficult contract she has worked with at GAO,
though it was not without recognition. Ms. Craddock received a GAO

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