OFPP charges 10 federal executives with saving billions on procurement

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy has finally put its leadership team in place to add some more fuel to its category management initiative.

OFPP named 10 new category managers Feb. 25 to lead the commodity buying areas, representing more than $270 billion in annual federal spending.

OFPP Administrator Anne Rung said in a blog post that these managers “are already hard at work conducting spend analysis, market research, financial and supply chain risk analysis, and using this information to develop strategic plans specific to their category with clear metrics and outcomes. Each team will also work towards a shared set of governmentwide metrics and outcomes described in the Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal for Category Management, including reducing duplication, meeting small business goals and driving greater savings.”

These 10 category managers come after OFPP announced Kim Luke would lead the IT category earlier this month. Luke is one of the few private sector experts to join the leadership team.

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The other leaders are current federal employees, mostly coming from the General Services Administration as well as from the departments of Homeland Security and Defense and the Office of Personnel Management.

“Each of these experienced senior leaders — representing the Office of Management and Budget, General Services Administration, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Personnel Management — will oversee a ‘Category Management Center of Excellence’ on behalf of the government while working closely with a program management office in GSA,” Rung wrote.

For instance, Tiffany Hixson, the Federal Acquisition Service’s regional commissioner for the Northwest Arctic Region, will lead the professional services category. Jaclyn Smyth, the director of DHS’s Strategic Sourcing Program Office, will head up the security and protection category, while Rob Briede, OPM’s interim human capital category manager and the acting Training and Management Assistance program (TMA) manager, is taking on the human capital products and services category.

OFPP made category management a cross-agency goal back in October and along with new guidance in May, the administration expects the initiative to save an additional $2.3 billion by December 2016 and a total of $10 billion by the end of 2019.

For example, as part of GSA’s new goals for fiscal 2016 and 2017, it plans to save $9.5 billion by Sept. 30, 2017 by helping agencies buy smarter and more efficiently. Another GSA goal is to increase the number of federal users of the Acquisition Gateway to 14,000 from a baseline of 1,000 in 2015 and the number of federal agencies accessing the Acquisition Gateway to 34, from a baseline of 15 in 2015.

GSA also has been staffing up to help improve its focus on category management.

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