Acquisition

White House calls for ideas to better government buying

The White House Office of Management and Budget wants organizations outside of government to weigh in on how to best evaluate and improve the government’s acquisition process.

OMB Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert announced the call for ideas Jan. 27 at the White House Summit on Federal Acquisition and Supply Chain Management, which facilitated discussions with the private sector and academia about supply chain management, co-creating models between the government and outside parties and creating a cycle of continuous acquisition improvement.

Weichert said that she “welcomes any idea that bolsters the administration’s efforts to increase agility and responsiveness in the federal acquisition system. We are interested in feedback from everyone, including private-sector organizations, researchers, academic institutions, good government groups and the public, on innovations in strategic sourcing.”

The call for ideas asks respondents to answer questions about how the government should benchmark itself against the private sector, what data should be used for evaluating pricing and market trends, what the future of various industries will be, where process changes and automation will have the most impact, how the private sector assesses its performance and how best to train the federal workforce in acquisition strategies.

“How do you envision the role of this mechanism? How might it operate? How might it be governed? What might its areas of focus be?” Weichert wrote in a news release about the call for ideas.

Improving federal acquisition has been a central focus for the Trump administration of late, with the General Services Administration in particular championing projects that are designed to collect more data on federal buying and encourage more use of shared services across government agencies.

Responses to the call for ideas are due to ideas@omb.eop.gov by 5 p.m. Feb. 17.

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