Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Contracts and Acquisitions Management (CAM) is responsible for the solicitation, award, administration, and closeout of all contracts and other acquisition instruments for the Department including the ten Regional Offices, but excluding FSA. The office’s mission is to proactively lead the acquisition process, planning, negotiating, awarding and administering contracts, advancing the Department’s mission to serve America’s students.
In carrying out its responsibilities, the Immediate Office:
- Supports ED’s socioeconomic goals through advocacy for appropriate use of small business prime and sub-contracting authorities, within applicable Federal and Departmental laws, regulations, guidelines and procedures.
- Advocates for adequate competition in procurements throughout the Department.
The Director, CAM, reports to the Deputy CFO for Management and Operations. The Director is responsible for the overall management of the CAM’s procurement functions and provides leadership and coordination to the immediate office staff and to the following components:
- Program Contracts Group;
- Operations Contracts Group;
- Education Science Contracts Group;
- Performance and Logistics Group.
Program Contracts Group/ Operations Contracts Group/ Education Science Contracts Group
Each of the Contracting Groups provides contracting and acquisition support to designated client offices.
In carrying out its responsibilities, each group:
- Develops acquisition plans in conjunction with program offices and advises clients on the preparation of requirement descriptions (statements of work), contractor performance measures, evaluation criteria and other aspects of the procurement process.
- Prepares and issues acquisition solicitations, reviews incoming proposals and bids for conformity with requirements, and advises program offices in the evaluation of these materials.
- Negotiates with offerors, performs pre-award reviews as necessary to assess the technical and business management capacity of offerors, makes source selection decisions, and awards contracts and other acquisition instruments and debriefs offerors.
- Administers acquisition instruments including monitoring, providing assistance, reviewing and accepting interim and final deliverables and reports, reviewing and approving payments, assessing overall contract performance, reviewing and approving modifications, executing terminations as necessary, and closing out contracts.
Performance and Logistics GroupThe Group provides support internally to the Director of CAM and other CAM staff, and externally to the Department’s principal offices. In carrying out its duties, the Group:
- Administers the Department-wide Acquisition Planning Process.
- Coordinates the certification programs for the Department’s Acquisition Professionals (i.e. contracting officers, Contracting officer’s representatives, and project managers).
- Prepares, publishes, and controls ED guides, handbooks, brochures, internet web site content and other materials governing CAM’s acquisition processes.
- Administers the Department's Government purchase card program.
- Coordinates the agency’s electronic commerce activities.
- Reviews CAM solicitations and pre-award contract documents for compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and other applicable regulations and statutes.
- Conducts internal reviews of CAM’s acquisition activities.
- Maintains the electronic contract data requirements for agency automated management systems and preparing internal and external procurement performance reports.
- Administers contract closeout activities.
- Develops, recommends, establishes, implements, and maintains acquisition policies, regulations, procedures, and procurement performance measures for CAM, consistent with applicable Federal and Departmental laws, regulations, guidelines and procedures.
Provides guidance to CAM on acquisition-related policies issued by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, and other authorities.
CAM Acquisition Fellowship Program
In 2010, the Department created an Acquisition Fellowship Program, with the goal to hire applicants with diverse personal and professional background experiences. This three-year development program is designed to help cultivate a pipeline of talent. Individuals hired and invited to participate in the program must demonstrate a willingness to take on challenges, demonstrate an eagerness to tackle complex problems, exhibit an enthusiasm for learning, and show a commitment to developing strong interpersonal, communication, leadership, and team building skills.
The primary mission of the program is to prepare highly skilled entry-level contract specialists for leadership positions within one of the Department’s primary acquisitions office: Contracts and Acquisitions Management (commonly known as CAM). In order to achieve this goal, the Department has created a detailed three year structure that focuses on hands-on training, project/committee/workgroup participation, and leadership opportunities. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in many facets of the acquisition life cycle. Participants spend 18-24 months working with two of three primary contracting groups within CAM. Next, participants spend six months working with one of the many program offices to support the Department’s educational mission. As an example, participants may support various grant programs or participate in legislative outreach initiatives or support data studies within the Department’s research branch. In the final year, the fellow is positioned as member of a contracting team in CAM. While they have their own workload awarding and administering contracts for the Department, they develop additional leadership skills by managing the Fellows program. Graduated fellows continue mentoring and developing new CAM fellows.Top