Language in the annual DoD authorization bill (HR-2810) ready for a final vote in Congress would order the Pentagon to address skills gaps in several areas of its workforce.

One provision would require a study of “personnel policies and incentives needed to attract, retain, and hold accountable civilian and military program managers for the largest and most complex acquisition programs in the department.” It also would require the DoD to implement a “new career development program for highly qualified, competitively selected civilian employees to increase the pool of experienced civilian employees qualified to serve as program managers for major defense acquisition programs.”

Another provision would require the Pentagon to “evaluate gaps in knowledge of industry operations, industry motivation, and business acumen in the acquisition workforce” and report to Congress on “strategies to enhance the professionalization of the workforce to meet increasing demands.”

Also, the GAO would have to report on the “effectiveness of existing hiring flexibilities for the acquisition workforce, as well as the need for acquisition training for personnel who work in acquisition programs but are not formally considered part of the acquisition workforce.”

The measure further requires the creation of a 10-year pilot program on an “enhanced civilian personnel management system” for cybersecurity and legal professionals within the DoD.