The U.S. Digital Service (USDS) said earlier this month that it established a new standard for Federal acquisition pros looking to procure digital services. Acting as a “core-plus certification” to the existing Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C), FAC-C-DS certifies those who complete a Digital IT Acquisition Professional (DITAP) program.

“The same processes used to buy fighter jets do not work to buy technology systems,” said Traci Walker, director of digital procurement at USDS, and Joanie Newhart, associate administrator at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), in a May 23 blog post. “This certification empowers acquisition mavericks to employ the need for speed when buying digital services,” they said.

USDS also explained how the program aligns with the President’s Management Agenda. “By empowering the workforce of the 21st century with the best methods to acquire modern technology, we provide the tools to deliver data, accountability, and transparency,” wrote Walker and Newhart.

Contracting professionals who primarily work with digital services will have two years to complete the six-month DITAP program, and professionals will be expected to have the certification before stepping into digital services acquisition roles by fiscal year 2022.

In addition to the new certification, USDS is also looking at a FAC-C-IT standard for future implementation, OFPP Deputy Administrator Lesley Field said in a May 18 memorandum to chief acquisition officers announcing the FAC-C-DS certification standard.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.