OMB and GSA Tout Progress in Federal Agencies ‘Buying as One’

U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung Commerce Department file photo

In the 10 months since the White House procurement policy chief announced a new push to consolidate contracts, the government as a whole has taken seven key steps in pursuit of category management, officials said on Wednesday.

“The more we work together to leverage our buying power, drive more consistent practices across our agencies, share information, and reduce duplication, the better the results for the American taxpayers,” wrote U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung and Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe in a blogpost for the Office of Management and Budget.

Category management, an enterprise-wide approach to acquiring goods and services used in private industry and by other governments, has been developed by the General Services Administration. A December 2014 directive “Transforming the Federal Marketplace” broadened the interagency Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council’s charge to encompass category management, or “buying as one.” Officials renamed it the Category Management Leadership Council and divided the federal marketplace into 10 super categories of common items that include information technology, professional services and human capital. The goal is to make all categories functional by early 2016.

 The seven steps taken toward a governmentwide embrace of category management are:

  • A “single-source” guidance document that lays out the case for change, key agencies, managers and their roles in such tasks as conducting analyses of spending and supply chains, risk assessments and outreach to suppliers;
  • Elevating category management as one of the Obama administration’s 15 Cross-Agency Priority Goals as required by the 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernization Act (Rung worked with Defense Undersecretary for Acquisition and Logistics Frank Kendall on the sub-goals of using category management to boost savings, reducing the number of new contracts and raising the proportion of governmentwide spending under category management);
  • Enhanced content on GSA’s Acquisition Gateway, a new interactive online tool for the federal contracting workforce that contains key acquisition information and tools by category;
  • A new, more “mature” model for managing the governmentwide “spend” that includes metrics for tracking contract progress under way at agencies;
  • Naming of GSA, the Defense Department, OMB and the Office of Personnel Management to lead at least seven of the 10 new “Category Centers of Excellence;”
  • GSA’s launch in early October of the new single Professional Services Schedule giving federal agency acquisition professionals the ability to obtain total contract solutions for their professional services requirements using one, rather than eight contract vehicles (GSA estimates that removing duplication will eliminate more than 700 contracts for a five-year savings of $3.95 million and sustained savings of $1.29 million annually thereafter);
  • The recently-awarded government-wide blanket purchase agreements that steer agencies to an approved list of qualified contractors who can provide credit monitoring following the massive data breach of OPM personnel files revealed this June.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.