Acquisition

Rung: Federal category managers are getting right to work

Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung

The 10 managers tapped by the Office of Management and Budget to keep track of the federal government's big-ticket product and service categories are meeting with commercial companies to compare notes on streamlining acquisition through category management, according to Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung.

In an interview with FCW, Rung said IT category manager Kim Luke has talked with executives at Johnson & Johnson about that company's use of the practice. The meeting, she said, was one of the first in a planned series for the category leads with commercial companies and other entities who are also implementing category management to control spending and reduce duplicative contracting.

Luke and the other managers, including professional services category manager Tiffany Hixson, have been tasked with drawing up a strategic plans for OMB that include spending analyses, financial risk reports, recommended strategies and other research and associated data.  The results will be submitted to the Category Management Leadership Council that oversees the effort.

At the same time, the managers are also leading current strategic sourcing efforts.. Luke, for instance, is in charge of managing OMB's personal computer policy that mandates federal agencies select PCs from a list of five pre-approved designs. He's also responsible for implementing OMB's December guidance that centralized management of software licenses to reduce duplication of contracts. An upcoming release of similar guidance for mobile services and devices would also be under Luke's management, according to Rung.

As category management practices develop in the federal space, Rung said, categories could adapt to shifting technologies and other changes in markets.

"Think of it as a start-up company," she said. The team is "taking an initial deep dive" to get a baseline before the heavy lifting begins.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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