Rung looks to procurement workforce, collaboration

Specific proposals on hiring will be forthcoming soon, says the Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator.

Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung

Two months into her job as administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Anne Rung said she's open to proposals aimed at debunking misunderstandings about what is and is not permitted in agency/industry communications regarding pending and future contracts.

OFPP and the Office of Management and Budget have already begun similar efforts to better explain and facilitate accurate and usable information for government contracting officers through OMB's Digital Services Team's release of its TechFAR and Digital Playbook efforts.

Those kinds of efforts to better explain the complex federal acquisition environment are vital elements of more efficient and effective procurement, Rung said in Nov. 4 remarks at the National Contract Management Association's annual Government Contract Management Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, efforts to bring in new IT and other product and service suppliers, as well as new procurement workers are also ramping up, she said.

Over the next few months, OFPP "will identify a specific strategy" to reach out to companies that aren't experienced with federal procurement practices to get them more acquainted with the process and into the supplier pool.

Rung also said she was open to the idea of paying government contracting officers commensurately with their private industry counterparts and developing more flexible ways to entice the next generation of contracting workers into the federal fold.

While tech-savvy members of the millennial generation are eager to work for the government, they might not plan on staying for decades, as previous generations have. Rung said she wants to explore ways to allow talented contracting employees freer rein to re-enter the federal workforce after stints in the private sector. "We have to recognize we can bring in talented people, but they may not stay 30 years. We have to get them engaged."

She said OFPP will have "specific proposals on the [acquisition] workforce soon."

Additional collaboration with the OMB's Office of E-Government and Information Technology is also in the works, said Rung, pointing out that "my office is next to the acting federal CIO, Lisa Schlosser," who has been leading the office since Steven VanRoekel's departure in September.

Rung said she and Schlosser are talking about how to bring more collaboration and IT partnerships into the federal space. "We're concocting new ideas in the next few weeks on how to expand that program," she said.

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