Acquisition

OFPP releases category management draft proposal

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Before she left her position as administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy for a job at Amazon, Anne Rung issued a proposal to make category management practices a permanent part of the federal government's procurement process.

The draft circular, Implementing Category Management for Common Goods and Services, was published Oct. 7 in the Federal Register and is now open for public comment.

It seeks to codify category management practices by establishing key principles, strategies and policies, roles and responsibilities, and metrics for agencies' contracts for goods and services. The Office of Management and Budget established 10 categories overseen by a team of expert managers; the General Services Administration's Acquisition Gateway supports the effort.

In a White House blog post on Sept. 30, her last day as a federal employee, Rung said the circular "will further institutionalize category management across the federal government so that we can continue to realize bigger savings, better efficiencies and improved performance for years to come."

She unveiled the broad expansion of data-driven category management efforts in December 2014, saying they had helped the government reduce contract spending by more than $55 billion in fiscal 2013 compared with fiscal 2012 spending.

In her recent blog post, she said the practices had saved more than $2 billion in fiscal 2016 and were on track to save $3.5 billion by the end of next year.The draft circular establishes a "broader organizational vision" to maximize the effectiveness of the practices and build on the economy and efficiency of the efforts, Rung said.

The proposed guidelines would require all executive agencies and those represented on the Category Management Leadership Council to promote category management principles and strategies.

Furthermore, it would require that agencies consider existing contracts before developing a new one and give priority to practices in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, followed by category management best-in-class contract sourcing solutions.

It also designates GSA's Acquisition Gateway as the central repository for data and information to support the execution of category management practices.

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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