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The Office of Management and Budget launched a broad strategic sourcing initiative on Thursday to ensure all federal agencies manage their acquisitions effectively.

In a memo from OMB Acting Director Jeffery Zients, the initiative calls for federal agencies to increase its use of strategic sourcing for acquisition to “negotiate the best deal for the taxpayer.”

“While every agency must eliminate inefficiencies from its acquisition processes, this initiative puts additional responsibilities for designing and implementing government-wide strategic sourcing solutions on large agencies, which make up the vast majority of all Federal contracting,” Zients wrote in the memo.

The memo calls for the following action:

Designation of strategic sourcing accountable officials: The Chief Financial Officer at the 24 CFO Act agencies shall name a Strategic Sourcing Accountable Official who will have authority to coordinate the agency’s internal strategic sourcing activity. This person must be submitted to OMB by Jan. 15, 2013.

Creation of an Interagency Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council: The SSLC shall, in consultation with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, the Chief Financial Officers Council, the Chief Information Officers Council, the Performance Improvement Council and other interagency councils as necessary, lead the government’s efforts to increase the use of government-wide management and sourcing of goods and services.

By March 2013, the SSLC shall submit to OMB a set of recommendations for management strategies for specific goods and services – including several IT commodities identified through the PortfolioStat process – that would ensure that the federal government receives the most favorable offer possible.

At a minimum, the SSLC recommendations shall:

  • identify at least five products and/or services for which new government-wide acquisition vehicles or management approaches should be developed and made mandatory, to the maximum extent practicable, for the SSLC agencies;
  • for these identified commodities and solutions, provide a supporting spend analysis, estimate savings opportunities, and define metrics for tracking progress;
  • identify existing contract vehicles and relevant contract renewal dates that could be used to develop transition strategies to the new solutions;
  • identify agencies that should serve as “executive agents” to lead the development of each of these new solutions (with the assistance of interagency teams comprised of agency experts);
  • propose plans and management strategies to maximize the use of each strategic sourcing effort;
  • propose vendor management or other strategies that could be used to reduce the variability in the prices paid for similar goods and services, where the development of new government-wide vehicles may not be immediately feasible; and
  • propose other savings strategies that could be implemented, such as adapting existing vehicles (e.g., multiple award schedules, governmentwide acquisition contracts, and multi-agency contracts) to ensure that certain characteristics of strategic sourcing are followed.

The General Services Administration will have additional responsibilities

In addition to taking part in the SSLC, the administrator of GSA shall also:

  • implement, in consultation with the SSLC, at least five new government-wide strategic sourcing solutions in FY2013 and FY2014;
  • increase the transparency of prices paid for common goods and services for use by agency officials in market research and negotiations; and
  • as needed, promulgate requirements, regulations, and best practices for acquiring, using, and, where applicable, disposing of the commodities managed through strategic sourcing initiatives.

Thumbnail photo credit: Ralph Alswang