This study examines the changing role of the contracting professional in the Department of Defense. Specifically, it examines the work effort of the contemporary contracting professional, the primary factors driving the need for changes in the conduct of contracting, the skills that are necessary in order to perform effectively, and finally, selected innovative contracting methodologies that can be employed by the contracting professional. Review and analysis of past and current contracting activities, Government documents, websites and acquisition literature, and interviews with contracting professionals provided the basis for this study. The research concludes that the acquisition environment of today and that of the future will demand an increasingly sophisticated and flexible set of acquisition skills, widely and thoroughly dispersed among, understood and effectively applied by contracting professionals. In addition to this flexible set of skills, several innovative contracting methods exist in the acquisition arena today, such as electronic commerce and performance-based acquisition, that are available to the contracting professional to utilize in supporting the customer in the best possible manner. Education and training of the contracting professional are necessary to equip him with the needed skills and the ability and confidence to use new and innovative contracting methodologies.US Army (USA) author (civilian
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