OMB memo looks to lessen ‘earned value’ certification burden

In a memorandum issued late last month by Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung, the Obama administration wants to make at least one certification process a bit easier for chief acquisition officers and senior procurement executives.

OFPPIn the Oct. 23, 2015 memo, the Office of Management and Budget said federal agencies can enter into reciprocity agreements that recognize the Earned Value Management System certifications granted by other agencies.

“Agencies are encouraged to enter into reciprocal agreements with other agencies and to post their EVM processes and procedures on their public websites,” said the new guidance.

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Teaching digital buyers to transform acquisition

If you teach someone traditional government procurement, you’ll get better procurement. But if you use agile learning methods and immerse the same person in real-world digital services buys, then you might help transform government acquisition. 

ombThat’s the theory behind the Office of Management and Budget’s outside-the-box approach to creating a training program for digital services contracting that’s as innovative as the methods to be bought.

OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy launched a $360,000 challenge in May seeking proposals for the program. The Digital Services Contracting Professional Training and Development Program is intended to develop professionals who can embed with agency digital service teams as their business advisers, as well as acting as advocates for digital services procurement governmentwide.

Three challenge finalists — teams from GovLoop, Management Concepts Inc., ICF International, and my company, ASI Government — received $20,000 each to expand their initial responses, deliver oral presentations, and instruct a one-hour classroom session. The ICF-ASI team won the grand prize: an opportunity to test our proposal by training 30 certified contracting professionals, along with $250,000 to cover our costs. There’s another $50,000 in prize money available for developing an ongoing program.

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OFPP: Inaugural IT acquisition cadre starts work

An information technology-focused cadre of acquisition professionals will begin work, said Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Administrator Anne Rung.

OFPPThe creation of the group was mandated by the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA.

“We are delighted that this week we kicked off our first class of digital IT acquisition specialists,” said Rung during an Oct. 26 panel discussion at the ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference.

“It’s career acquisition employees who partner with industry to go through this six-month experiential, hands-on training, and the idea is to put them back in the agencies to touch the IT acquisitions,” she said.

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OMB memo ushers major shift in federal procurement

The Office of Management and Budget released a set of directives on Oct. 16  fine tuning the way agencies buy laptop and desktop computers.

ombWhile the directives focus solely on specific computer hardware, the move signals what could be a sea change in the way the federal government purchases commodity IT and other products.

Of the three new directives in the Oct. 16 memo, the first is perhaps the most significant: a prohibition on issuing new contracts for laptops and desktops with a mandate to use one of two governmentwide acquisition contracts or IT Schedule 70.

Previously, agencies had been encouraged to purchase IT products and services off GWACs or GSA schedules but were able to go their own way if they wanted.

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OMB and GSA tout progress in federal agencies ‘buying as one’

In the 10 months since the White House procurement policy chief announced a new push to consolidate contracts, the government as a whole has taken seven key steps in pursuit of category management, officials said on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2016.

omb“The more we work together to leverage our buying power, drive more consistent practices across our agencies, share information, and reduce duplication, the better the results for the American taxpayers,” wrote U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung and Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe in a blogpost for the Office of Management and Budget.

Category management, an enterprise-wide approach to acquiring goods and services used in private industry and by other governments, has been developed by the General Services Administration. A December 2014 directive “Transforming the Federal Marketplace” broadened the interagency Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council’s charge to encompass category management, or “buying as one.” Officials renamed it the Category Management Leadership Council and divided the federal marketplace into 10 super categories of common items that include information technology, professional services and human capital. The goal is to make all categories functional by early 2016.

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