Procurement strategy focuses on mission

Procurement Executive Council

The Procurement Executive Council plans to release a strategic plan in February that focuses on transforming federal acquisition practices to better support agencies' missions and programs.

The PEC coordinates many of the procurement practices and policies across government. It is made up of senior procurement executives from each of the cabinet-level departments, large independent agencies such as NASA and the General Services Administration, and small agency representatives.

The group's fiscal 2001 strategic plan, only the second in the council's history, is intended to support the vision of an acquisition workforce that draws on commercial-style business practices.

Under this new vision, the acquisition office in any agency will be able to work with program managers to better serve employees and citizens, said David Litman, senior procurement executive for the Transportation Department.

"We need to balance the idea of running the federal procurement system as a business, but recognize that it's not a business, it has a public confidence and trust it must uphold," Litman said Tuesday at the e-Procurement conference in Tysons Corner, Va.

The PEC's strategic plan has five priority areas:

Create a workforce of "mission-oriented business leaders." Optimize the use of technology to support the acquisition process. Perform outreach and collaboration with other governmentwide organizations. Integrate socioeconomic programs into the acquisition process. Improve acquisition practices. The plan outlines initiatives and goals under each of the priorities, including developing a standards document for getting procurement and financial systems to work together and starting new training programs for the federal acquisitions workforce.

These priorities fit well with ideas from the new Bush administration, said Paul Denett, vice chairman of the PEC and senior procurement executive at the Department of Interior.

They relate to goals Bush laid out during the campaign: To rely more on performance-based contracting, move all significant government procurements to the Internet in three years and open competition to the private sector for functions that are not inherently governmental, Denett said.

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