Text: H.R.3169 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/10/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3169 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3169

    To improve the hiring, training, and efficiency of acquisition 
personnel and organizations of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 10, 2017

     Mr. Poliquin (for himself, Mr. Bergman, and Ms. Kuster of New 
  Hampshire) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
  Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on 
   Appropriations, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To improve the hiring, training, and efficiency of acquisition 
personnel and organizations of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``VA Acquisition Workforce Improvement 
and Streamlining Act''.

SEC. 2. IMPROVEMENT TO HIRING AND TRAINING OF ACQUISITION PERSONNEL OF 
              DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Training and Certification Programs.--
            (1) Programs.--Not later than September 30 of the fiscal 
        year following the fiscal year during which this Act is 
        enacted, the Secretary shall implement covered training 
        curricula and covered certification programs.
            (2) Consideration of relevant programs of department of 
        defense.--In designing and implementing covered training 
        curricula and covered certification programs under paragraph 
        (1), the Secretary shall use as models existing training 
        curricula and certification programs that have been established 
        under chapter 87 of title 10, United States Code, as determined 
        relevant by the Secretary.
            (3) Method of training.--The Secretary may develop the 
        training curricula under paragraph (1) in a manner that 
        provides such training in any combination of--
                    (A) training provided in person;
                    (B) training provided over an internet website; or
                    (C) training provided by another department or 
                agency of the Federal Government.
            (4) Levels of certifications.--The Secretary may develop 
        the certification programs under paragraph (1) in a manner that 
        uses--
                    (A) one level of certification; or
                    (B) more than one level of certification, as 
                determined appropriate by the Secretary with respect to 
                the level of certification for different grades of the 
                General Schedule.
            (5) Initial goal.--Not later than September 30 of the 
        second fiscal year following the fiscal year during which this 
        Act is enacted, the Secretary shall ensure that the majority of 
        employees subject to the covered certification programs achieve 
        the certification or the appropriate level of certification 
        pursuant to paragraph (4)(B), as the case may be.
            (6) Subsequent goal.--After carrying out paragraph (5), the 
        Secretary shall ensure that each employee subject to the 
        covered certification programs achieves the certification or 
        the appropriate level of certification pursuant to paragraph 
        (4)(B), as the case may be, as quickly as practicable.
    (b) Improvements to Hiring of Entry-Level Positions.--
            (1) Priority.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
        prioritize the use of acquisition internship programs to hire 
        employees to entry-level positions relating to acquisition in 
        the Department of Veterans Affairs.
            (2) Goal.--Not later than September 30 of the fiscal year 
        following the fiscal year during which this Act is enacted, the 
        Secretary shall ensure that the annual number of participants 
        in acquisition internship programs is--
                    (A) not fewer than twice the number of participants 
                in such programs during fiscal year 2017; and
                    (B) not more than four times the number of 
                participants in such program during such fiscal year.
            (3) Duration.--The Secretary shall carry out paragraph (2) 
        until the date on which the Secretary certifies to the 
        Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives 
        and the Senate that the projected number of graduates of 
        acquisition internship programs is sufficient to satisfy the 
        human capital needs of the Department with respect to 
        acquisition, taking into account the rate of attrition and 
        projected retirements of personnel.
    (c) Transfers.--
            (1) Authority.--In addition to any other transfer authority 
        of the Secretary, the Secretary may transfer or reprogram 
        amounts identified under section 3 as cost savings in order to 
        make such amounts available for--
                    (A) the salaries and travel expenses of 
                participants in acquisition internship programs;
                    (B) covered training programs; or
                    (C) the design and implementation of covered 
                certification programs.
            (2) Authorizations.--A transfer made from one account to 
        another under the authority of paragraph (1) shall be deemed to 
        increase the amount authorized for the account to which the 
        amount is transferred by an amount equal to the amount 
        transferred.

SEC. 3. IMPROVEMENT TO EFFICIENCY OF ACQUISITION ORGANIZATIONS OF THE 
              DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Plan.--The Secretary shall develop a plan to reduce duplication 
and to increase efficiencies with respect to the acquisition functions 
of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with an emphasis on procurement 
and logistics functions, in a manner that achieves cost savings in an 
amount necessary to carry out section 2. The Secretary shall ensure 
that such plan--
            (1) in all respects and to the greatest extent practicable, 
        seeks to place procurement employees and logistics employees in 
        close geographic proximity to the other employees of the 
        Department for whom the procurement employees and logistics 
        employees procure supplies or services;
            (2) does not place any procurement employee in a formal 
        reporting or subordinate-supervisor relationship with an 
        employee of the Department for whom the procurement employee 
        procures supplies or services; and
            (3) may not achieve cost savings through demotions, 
        furloughs, or liquidations, as defined in part 351 of title 5, 
        Code of Federal Regulations.
    (b) Matters Included.--In developing the plan under subsection (a), 
the Secretary shall determine whether to carry out the following 
activities:
            (1) Consolidate or abolish (and transfer functions to the 
        procurement or logistics activities of individual facilities of 
        the Veterans Health Administration, the Network Contracting 
        Offices of the Veterans Health Administration, the Procurement 
        and Logistics Office of the Veterans Health Administration, or 
        the Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction of the 
        Department)--
                    (A) the Service Area Office East;
                    (B) the Service Area Office Central;
                    (C) the Service Area Office West; and
                    (D) the Program Contacting Activity Central Office.
            (2) With respect to the functions of the Procurement and 
        Logistics Office of the Veterans Health Administration and the 
        Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction of the 
        Department, consolidate one or more of the following functions 
        into one of the respective offices:
                    (A) Policy making functions.
                    (B) Contract quality assurance and review 
                functions.
                    (C) Real property management functions.
                    (D) Business operations functions.
                    (E) Health care acquisition.
                    (F) Logistics functions.
    (c) Submission.--Not later than 180 days after the fiscal year 
during which this Act is enacted, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives and the 
Senate the plan developed under subsection (a).
    (d) Implementation.--The Secretary shall commence implementation of 
the plan developed under subsection (a) beginning on the date that is 
30 days after submitting the plan under subsection (c).

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``acquisition internship programs'' means 
        programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 
        including the Warriors to Workforce Program and the Acquisition 
        Intern Program, under which the Secretary employs--
                    (A) a veteran, while the veteran earns an 
                undergraduate degree and completes foundational 
                training courses relating to acquisition; or
                    (B) an individual who completes progressive 
                training courses relating to acquisition and 
                participates in rotational work assignments relating to 
                acquisition.
            (2) The term ``covered certification programs'' means--
                    (A) with respect to logistics employees, a program 
                to certify knowledge and skills relating to logistics; 
                and
                    (B) with respect to employees of the Department who 
                are members of occupational series relating to 
                construction or facilities management, or who award or 
                administer contracts for major construction, minor 
                construction, or non-recurring maintenance, including 
                as contract specialists or contracting officers' 
                representatives, a program to certify knowledge and 
                skills relating to construction or facilities 
                management.
            (3) The term ``covered training curricula'' means--
                    (A) with respect to logistics employees, a training 
                curriculum relating to logistics; and
                    (B) with respect to employees specified in 
                paragraph (2)(B), a training curriculum relating to 
                construction or facilities management.
            (4) The term ``logistics'' includes supply chain 
        management.
            (5) The term ``logistics employee'' means an employee of 
        the Department of Veterans Affairs who is a member of an 
        occupational series relating to logistics, or who performs 
        logistics functions within the Office of Acquisition, 
        Logistics, and Construction of the Department or the Veterans 
        Health Administration.
            (6) The term ``procurement employee'' means an employee of 
        the Department who is a member of an occupational series 
        relating to procurement.
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