The Acquisition Process is only one major phase of the Federal Acquisition System. The Acquisition Process phase consists of three major processes known as:
1) the Pre-award;
2) the Solicitation and Award; and
3) the Post-award Processes.
Acquisition Planning is part of the first process, i.e., the Pre-award Process, and is described in Part 7 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The definition of Acquisition Planning is defined in Part 2 of the FAR as "the process by which the efforts of all personnel responsible for an acquisition are coordinated and integrated through a comprehensive plan for fulfilling the agency need in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost." In addition, it includes developing the overall strategy for managing the acquisition. Acquisition Planning includes conducting the determination of need; the analysis of the requirement; the extent of competition; and the source selection planning. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 7 establishes the statutory requirement for acquisition planning.
The Department of Commerce (DOC) Office of Acquisition Management (OAM) has directed all of its operating units (i.e. Census Bureau) to utilize the Forecasting and Advanced Acquisition Planning System (FAAPS) for conducting effective advanced acquisition planning. The system will be used beginning in Fiscal Year 2011 and continuing for all subsequent fiscal years.
The FAAPS is a web-based system that contains the data fields required to develop and effectively communicate a business opportunities forecast to stakeholders, including the public.