Acquisition Innovation Advocates (AIA) Council
The AIA consists of advocates from each agency subject to the CFO Act of 1990, as well as, an advocate from the Small Agency Council. The council is tasked with meeting regularly to broaden awareness and foster cross-agency collaboration and innovation. Among other things, they share the status of their IT-related activities, especially the acquisitions that govern them, and exchange information with OMB’s US Digital Service, Presidential Innovation Fellows, GSA’s 18F Consulting and other innovation communities regarding successes and challenges.
In March 2016, OMB requested that agencies appoint Acquisition Innovation Advocates (AIAs) and set up Acquisition Innovation Labs (AILs) to help agencies achieve better results for each taxpayer dollar through better and smarter execution of emerging and well-established acquisition practices. There are innovation labs across the Federal government, including an overseas lab in Frankfurt, Germany. Labs are mostly virtual and are staffed with AIAs.
Although agency labs take different forms, one characteristic is common among all: they provide their workforce with a clear pathway to test and document new acquisition practices and facilitate fresh perspectives on existing practices. AIAs and AILs are helping program managers reduce the time from identification of program need to delivery of results, increase customer satisfaction, get better value, and bring new companies into the federal marketplace using tools such as agile software development, challenge-based acquisitions, prototyping, oral presentations, simplified best value analyses, micro-purchase competitions, award term incentives, and reverse industry days. A new Acquisition Innovation Hallway will soon be launched so that agencies may share and review snapshots of how these tools are being used to help taxpayers get better results.