Acquisition, Program Management And Small Business Excellence Awards 2021

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Acquisition, Program Management

And Small Business

Excellence Awards 2021

To recognize acquisition professionals who contribute to outstanding improvements in acquisition throughout the federal government, the Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC) is seeking nominations for the 2021 Acquisition, Program Management, and Small Business Excellence Awards.

The deadline for nominations is August 2, 2021.

Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC)

2021 Acquisition, Program Management, and Small Business Excellence Award Nominations

As part of the efforts to recognize acquisition professionals who contribute to outstanding improvements in acquisition throughout the federal government, the Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC) is seeking nominations for the 2021 Acquisition, Program Management and Small Business Excellence Awards. We particularly encourage nominations for efforts responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts can fit into any of the awards listed below. Nominations are being solicited for Federal employees engaged in team or individual activities that led to excellent results in any of the following acquisition categories in FY 2020:

Acquisition Excellence Award – Two Awards

An award will be given to an individual and a team.

Category #1 –  Innovation: Developed an innovative solution for acquisition, a pathway to drive innovation, or an acquisition practice that is helping to accelerate internal capacity to facilitate innovative solutions. Innovative solutions can be in any acquisition areas, such as 1) facilitating or co-facilitating a service acquisition workshop with integrated project team members, 2) developing an innovative acquisition process to include use of emerging technology, 3) learning fast and iterating on a practice, 4) adopting or adapting innovative strategies such as those described in the Periodic Table of Acquisition Innovations, the Digital Services Playbook, or the Acquisition Innovation Hub, or 5) developing innovative acquisition training and development for the workforce.

Category #2 – Category Management: Demonstrated excellence and success in category management practices, including, but not limited to: 1) putting in place policies, procedures and training to implement category management; 2) increasing spend under management and cost avoidance due to the utilization of category management solutions, 3) reducing unnecessary contract duplication while meeting and exceeding small business goals and promoting business diversity and resilience, 4) implementing effective supplier engagement and demand management strategies, or 5) using the principles of category management to create strategies and incentives that facilitate new or stronger opportunities for domestic sourcing and manufacturing.

Category #3 –  Data and Technology Disruption: Emerging technology and/or applied data analytics results and insights to improve the overall acquisition lifecycle and achieve efficiencies in the agency or across the Federal enterprise. Demonstrated success in business processes, policies, and/or workforce, such as, but not limited to, (1) implementing reductions in burden, (2) amending policies based on evidence-based analytics, (3) innovative business processes resulting from identification and use of data, and (4) use of emerging technologies to create efficiencies in programs, polices, and practices.

Category #4 –  Culture: Has successfully developed a culture fostering a high-performing contracting office or organization. Demonstrated success in areas such as innovating to improve common business processes, promoting use of emerging technology, de-emphasizing compliance and prioritizing business acumen and professional judgment, building interdisciplinary networks, and creating a lifelong learning and sharing environment.

Lisa M. Wilusz Program Management Excellence Award – One Award

An award will be given to either an individual or a team.

This award is in honor of Lisa M. Wilusz, the Director of the Office of Procurement and Property Management at the Department of Agriculture, who passed away in April 2017.  Lisa had over 20 years' experience in the federal government and at USDA was responsible for providing leadership, oversight, and policy in the areas of procurement, property management, environmental stewardship, and employee safety. 

Program Management: The nominee should have demonstrated success in balancing the many factors that influence cost, scope and schedule risks as well as ensuring overall positive performance of the program or project by using critical thinking and innovative techniques to solve management or oversight challenges. Success should be demonstrated by (1) specifically describing the nominee as utilizing at least three of the standards and principles listed in Table 1 of OMB M-18-191 and why having competency in these areas was critical to success or (2) completing a major project within 10% of the original cost and schedule estimates.  

Small Business Excellence Award – One Award

An award will be given to either an individual or a team.

Effective Collaboration and Small Business Engagement: Individuals or teams engaged in collaboration between their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), the program management office, the contracting office, and small business that led to awards that were successful from both a small business and an acquisition perspective in FY2020. Particular emphasis will be placed on collaborative activities that promote business diversity and resiliency by facilitating more procurement and contracting dollars into underserved communities, so that a broad cross-section of American businesses can effectively share in the jobs and opportunities created by federal buying activities consistent with the goals of Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

Nomination packages will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Criterion #1 – Results: The team or individual demonstrated results that exceeded original expectations.
  • Criterion #2 – Impact: The impact of the effort was substantial and provided significant value to the agency and/or other beneficiaries.

Nominations will be accepted through August 2, 2021. Nominations will be judged using a two-step process:

  • Step 1: The initial nominations will be judged by senior government professionals.
  • Step 2: You will be contacted if your submission is selected as one of the top individual or team submissions and asked to provide more detailed information on the nomination for the executive judges who will select the winners.

Select nominees will have their nominations publicized on OFPP's Innovation Hub on the Acquisition Gateway.  Nominees will be contacted and approval obtained before the nominations are posted. 

The awards will be presented at Imagine Nation ELC 2021. If you have additional questions regarding the nomination process, please contact Joanie Newhart, Associate Administrator of Acquisition Workforce Programs, Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) at 

All nominations must be submitted through the online form. Select the Next button to start the nomination process.


1The standards and principles include: Change Management; Stakeholder Engagement and Coalition Building; Contracting and Acquisition Management; Customer Service; Financial Management; Human Capital Management; Information Management; Performance Management; Portfolio Management; Process Improvement; Project Management; Requirements Development and Management; Risk Management; and Strategic Planning.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, August 2, 2021. Please review this nomination template to see the information required.