Williams: Acquisition workforce is key to new initiatives

Jim Williams, acting administrator of the General Services Administration, said today he hopes that the Obama administration will recognize the acquisition workforce as a key to stretching the government’s funds.

“You all contribute to the bottom line, and the work that you do is so critical to the government,” Williams said in a speech at the Government Contract Management Conference. He added that making good use of that workforce could help the administration set the course for its other initiatives.

The government needs to give contracting officers more opportunities to make decisions because they know the procurement system well and can find ways of saving money, Williams said. He also recommended using strategic sourcing initiatives, such as SmartBuy, to save money though bulk buying.

“There’s tremendous savings out there,” he said.

Williams continued to urge agencies to view the government as a single unit instead of individual parts. However, he said, agencies want to handle their own purchases.

“But I will tell you it’s not necessary,” Williams said, adding that he hopes the newly arriving officials will also see that.

About the Author

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

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