Federal IT Reform Could Mean Bonuses for Procurement Staff

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

House-approved FITARA includes "monetary incentives" that aren’t in the Senate bill.

One plan to overhaul how the government buys and builds information technology systems would establish an awards program for excellent IT acquisition staff, including “monetary incentives.”

Language in the plan passed by the House multiple times -- most recently last week -- directs the Office of Personnel Management to develop a program “to recognize excellent performance by federal employees and teams in the acquisition of information systems and IT,” a summary of  the legislation said. The bill also “requires such policies to include guidance regarding the award of cash bonuses and other incentives.”

IT acquisition reform legislation in the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., does not establish an awards program or suggest cash bonuses. “But Sen. Udall has heard concerns from government and industry and continues to work with them on the best way to ensure the best workforce available,” his spokeswoman Jennifer Talhelm told Nextgov.

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy already has an awards program to recognize excellent acquisition performance. While winners have included IT procurement officers, they do not have a special category, and the program does not hand out cash awards.