Officials request agencies' strategic-sourcing reports

Agencies must turn in their strategic-sourcing reports to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy by April 18 as acquisition officials seek to bolster support for the buying strategy by using specific numbers.

“OMB continues to focuses on strategic sourcing as a sound business principle that should be applied wherever possible,” Paul Denett, OFPP administrator, wrote in a March 11 memo to agencies’ top procurement officials.

Agency officials must submit their fiscal 2007 strategic-sourcing goals and the results and outline their 2008 goals. OFPP also wants to know how the agencies arrived at those results, such as by calculating price, transaction costs and customer satisfaction, Denett wrote.

In addition, OFPP wants to know about agencies’ participation in the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative, Denett wrote. “If you have achieved savings or other process efficiencies through the use of one or more of these solutions, please describe,” he wrote.

The government has awarded several strategic-sourcing contracts for express and domestic delivery services, office products and most recently wireless telecommunications expense management services. The delivery services contracts were said to have saved nearly $16.7 million in 2007 with more than 50 participating agencies placing more than $50 million in orders. For office supplies, agencies could get as much as a 30 percent discount through the blanket purchase agreement awarded for the initiative. Moreover, Denett wrote that officials believe the telecommunications management services may reduce agencies’ wireless bills by as much as 40 percent.

Denett also wants to know if an agency isn’t participating in the initiative and why. In the memo, he asked for suggestions on adjusting the program’s approach in a way that would encourage an agency to join.

Officials are looking at expanding the initiative. The Chief Acquisition Officers Council’s strategic-sourcing working group is exploring standard labor category definitions for information technology services. The group has conducted a preliminary analysis and intends to talk to agency officials as it considers its next steps, Denett wrote.

Creating standard categories could improve how requirements are defined and help the proposal evaluation process, he wrote.

Officials want better deals on basic IT services, such as help-desk support, Denett said in a 2007 speech.

Officials want to create a consistent cost structure for the services, unlike the current situation in which contracting officers and program managers are paying different amounts of money for the same services, he said.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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