Procurement

GSA chief plans 10 strategic sourcing efforts by 2015

Dan Tangherlini GSA image

Dan Tangherlini, acting GSA Administrator

Obama administration officials are going to the janitor’s closet, the tool chest and the IT office to find the next round of savings.

The General Services Administration intends to launch 10 strategic sourcing initiatives in the next two years by targeting a range of products and services that all agencies use, such as cleaning supplies, tools and wireless devices, wrote Dan Tangherlini, GSA’s acting administrator, Jan. 10 on “The GSA Blog.”

“Everyday shoppers know that buying in bulk saves both time and money,” Tangherlini wrote, “and the government has a similar responsibility to use its buying power to get the best value for the taxpayer.” The agency’s goals are saving “hundreds of millions of dollars by delivering better value,” increasing business for small companies and boosting efforts to buy environmentally friendly products. Furthermore, officials want to make it easier for agencies to comply with spending rules, Tangherlini wrote. His announcement comes a month after the Office of Management and Budget ordered GSA to launch five strategic sourcing initiatives in fiscal 2013 and 2014.

Tangherlini said the teams that are looking for opportunities to streamline wireless and software spending are well under way. They include acquisition professionals from the Defense Department, Department of Veterans Affairs and other key agencies.

GSA has also formed two teams focused on janitorial and sanitation supplies and on maintenance, repair and operations supplies.

“In the months ahead, GSA will move forward quickly to work across government, streamline agency procurement operations and drive needed savings,” he wrote. “In today’s fiscal environment, GSA recognizes that strategic sourcing is a key way to save money and deliver better value.”

OMB’s deputy director for management, Jeffrey Zients, issued a memo in December 2012 that established the Interagency Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council and a new agency position: the strategic sourcing accountable official. Agencies often pay different prices for the same items, so the government wants to improve the sharing of such information to give officials more negotiating power with contractors.

GSA has helped agencies save nearly $300 million through several strategic sourcing contracts, which include office supplies, domestic package delivery, telecommunications expense management services and print management.

“We already know that this approach works,” Tangherlini said.

About the Author

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

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