White House updates acquisition, business of government priorities

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Workforce, interoperability and governance all feature in the new goals set for the President's Management Agenda.

The White House filled in some of the blanks on the President's Management Agenda last Friday with an update on flexing federal procurement muscles to advance administration priorities like addressing climate change. 

"We can harness this collective power and make connections across the federal acquisition and financial assistance systems to strengthen the U.S. manufacturing base and support American workers, catalyze new solutions that address the climate crisis and enhance sustainability, and advance equity," the document states.

The government oversees over $1.5 trillion in federal contracts and financial assistance annually, according to performance.gov. 

One goal is to "create a diverse and resilient federal marketplace." The administration has already set goals around increasing the number of awards given to small, disadvantaged businesses generally and minority-owned small disadvantaged businesses specifically.

The Office of Management and Budget also pins down interoperability and sharing of acquisition data and tools as a second goal, and building an "inspired, engaged acquisition workforce" as a third goal for procurement and acquisition. 

An OMB spokesperson told FCW that acquisition workforce improvements could involve modernizing training and development, and pursuing pilots meant to "support user-friendly access to information to support decision-making by the Federal acquisition workforce."

The second half of the "business of government" priority focuses on federal financial management, where the administration says it wants to further improve processes and "build capacity."

The PMA website points to lessons learned from implementing the American Rescue Plan Act and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as evidence that the time is ripe to make progress in managing government business on an enterprise level, as well as an "increasing federal focus on program and payment integrity."

Success metrics and milestones for this area of the PMA – something the other two priorities of workforce and customer experience already have – will be published in the next update to performance.gov, according to a blog post accompanying the latest update.

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