Procurement execs set priorities

Procurement Executives Council

The Procurement Executives Council is focusing on three items from the President's Management Agenda to make e-government happen, a top official said Jan. 30.

In 2002, the PEC's strategic priorities will center on strategic management of human capital, increasing competitive sourcing and expanding e-government, according to Gary Krump, vice chairman of the council and the Department of Veterans Affairs' deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and materiel management.

Competitive sourcing is clearly a top concern for the federal acquisition community, and human capital plays a role as the acquisition workforce continues to shrink and the procurement environment changes, Krump said.

The public-private sector Commercial Activities Panel is close to completing its review of the A-76 cost-comparison process, and Krump said this week that the Bush administration has informed him that it is adjusting its goals for moving agencies to the performance-based contracting methods that require procurement and program officials to work together as never before.

The Office of Management and Budget plans to require that 20 percent of large services procurements must be performance-based by fiscal 2004, a shift from the administration's goal last year to get to 20 percent in fiscal 2002 and 50 percent by fiscal 2005, Krump said. But procurement officials also have a major role in e-government, and the PEC is partnering with the CIO Council and others on information technology initiatives that will make the acquisition community more efficient, and therefore make it easier to get the technology needed for other e-government projects, Krump said at the E-Gov e-procurement conference in Washington, D.C.

One PEC initiative that already is showing results is the move to the FedBizOpps portal as the single point of entry for federal acquisition information. Some issues still must be resolved with the FedBizOpps system -- such as the fact that it is only as reliable as the agency systems from which it draws information -- but it already has lifted a great amount of "scut work" from the acquisition workforce by making many basic functions self-service, Krump said.

The PEC also is working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and other groups on a system to collect and report information on all government purchases, single points of entry for vendor registration, grant application and asset sales, a governmentwide system for contractor past-performance information, and a common federal acquisition architecture that will enable individual agency acquisition systems to work together.

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