OFPP nominee reveals priorities

Joe Jordan, nominated to become the administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, described his three key priorities during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, held May 9.

The goals he would pursue as OFPP head, he said, are:

Building the right supplier relationships. Agencies need to redouble efforts to document the work of contractors work and share information on past performance, he said. He also said the government needs to make the most of small and disadvantaged businesses.

“I have a real passion for ensuring that the government improves our utilization of small businesses and allows agencies and taxpayers to benefit from the win-win that occurs when they contract with small businesses,” Jordan said in prepared testimony. Jordan was the associate administrator of government contracting and business development at the Small Business Administration, before moving to the Office of Management and Budget, where he currently serves as senior advisor to OMB Director Jeffrey Zients.

He said he would adopt SBA’s three-pronged approach to prevent fraud and waste. SBA concentrates on eligibility and ongoing surveillance of companies. If there is a problem, SBA officials consider whether a suspension or a debarment is appropriate.

Strengthening the acquisition workforce. Jordan said he would gather resources from agencies to train the workforce, taking advantage of the Federal Acquisition Institute and other resources. The training would be for more than contracting officers too. As OFPP officials have emphasized in recent years, the government needs to train the contracting officer’s representatives and project and program managers as well. Jordan said he would also carry on the Front Line Form, a longstanding practice in which OFPP personnel meet with members of the government's acquisition workforce to get an on-the-ground perspective.

Buying smarter. He said he agrees with several procurement initiatives—such as strategic sourcing—to secure better prices and reduce the spread of duplicative contracts that offer common needs.

“All of our efforts must be guided by an understanding that meaningful collaboration is the key to success,” Jordan said.

Jordan needs to be approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee before moving onto a full Senate confirmation vote. Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said the committee may consider Jordan’s nomination at a meeting next week.

About the Author

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

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