OMB says fourth quarter spending spree can help boost economy

Eisenhower Executive Office Building (Image: Wikimedia Commons) 

As the federal government enters its busiest acquisition period of the fiscal year, the head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) encouraged administrators to leverage acquisition tools to squeeze the most value out of their agency's purchases, and said that fourth quarter spending can, "boost America's economic recovery."

In a July 20 memo to agency chiefs, OMB Director Russell Vought notes that fourth quarter spending could account for as much as 40% of total annual contract spending and reminds agencies that as employees return from COVID-19 related closures, buying from U.S. suppliers can help "jump-start mission performance" and help the economy.

"Take full advantage of acquisition flexibilities and innovative tools," Vought advised, including a new cross-agency priority goal for the President's Management Agenda called "frictionless acquisition." The goal sets a management platform to leverage practices that lead to more efficient outcomes, such as just-in-time delivery, and access to a broader range of innovative companies.

Category management practices are another important tool, according to Vought. The practices have saved more than $27 billion since 2016 and have made it easier for buyers to make fast, informed decisions on IT hardware, security, consulting services and other everyday needs that keep government running, he said.

Vought also encouraged the need for speedy payments contractors, in light of the economic pressure caused by the pandemic. The payment goal, he said, is for 15 days after receipt of a proper invoice and all other required documentation. He also advised agencies to consider early adoption of the Federal Acquisition Council's developing new rules to accelerate payments to small business subcontractors.

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, 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 [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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