OFPP nominee lays out agenda

Anne Rung told senators at her confirmation hearing that she hopes to create areas of specialization for acquisition officials.

Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

Anne Rung, the president's pick to head the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, had her confirmation hearing on July 24.

Anne Rung, President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, told lawmakers that she wants to "break down the barriers" that stall innovation in federal acquisition.

At a brisk, sparsely attended confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on July 24, the former chief acquisition officer at the General Services Administration also cited as priorities better category management and giving the acquisition workforce the tools it needs to succeed.

Rung said she is particularly interested in creating topic specialization for acquisition officials. Often people who are buying pens and pencils for their agency are also tasked with major IT purchases.

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, the panel's ranking Republican, concurred.

"When it comes to acquisition, you need to know what you don't need," Coburn said. "We don't have people in the federal government that are knowledgeable to buy IT."

Rung also said that to spur innovation she would work "hand-in-hand" with U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel, U.S. CTO Todd Park and other senior IT officials to "streamline the acquisition process for agencies and industry, particularly small businesses, and break down the barriers that can keep innovation out of federal government procurement."

Rung said strategic sourcing presents a huge opportunity for innovation, increased efficiencies and cost savings.

"Strategic sourcing, or leveraging the federal government's vast buying power to get better prices and faster delivery, is one effective approach under this broader strategy of category management that will continue to be a priority for me if confirmed," Rung said.

The post of administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has been vacant since the departure of Joe Jordan, who stepped down in January and is now president of public sector at FedBid.

Rung served as GSA's chief acquisition officer from May 2012 to June 2013, when she was named associate administrator for the Office of Government-wide Policy at GSA.

Coburn and Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the Financial and Contracting Oversight Subcommittee, both expressed support for Rung during the hearing, which lasted less than an hour. Only two other members of the 16-member panel briefly attended the hearing.

The committee has not yet scheduled a vote on Rung's confirmation.

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