Key Competencies for Public Procurement

In 2016, the Volcker Alliance examined the state of the public workforce responsible for $2 trillion in procurement spending each year. The Public Service Excellence Program proposed a model of the essential skills and competencies required for public procurement that could be applicable at all levels of government. The Alliance then engaged with procurement officials and thought leaders, public affairs scholars, vendors, and other government leaders to collect their impressions of the workforce’s current proficiency in each critical capacity.

The resulting report, Doing the People's Business: Key Competencies for Effective Public Procurement, contains the competency model, the proficiency findings, and a variety of recommendations from procurement leaders to enhance the workforce. The report's findings include the need to clarify procurement's role within public sector organizations; the need for greater specialization in and integration with internal customers and suppliers; the importance of developing a better approach to risk management; and the imperative to leverage data and adopt procurement technologies to better harness government's buyer power. 

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