The government’s seven-year-old strategic sourcing initiative designed to save money through bulk purchasing of office supplies and services is achieving nowhere near its potential, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday.
Agencies “leveraged only a fraction of their buying power through strategic sourcing and achieved only limited savings,” auditors concluded after a yearlong review of procurement efforts under the General Services Administration’s Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative and independent efforts at the Defense, Energy, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs departments.
Those agencies’ contract spending made up about 80 percent of the government’s overall $537 billion procurement budget in fiscal 2011, and GAO analysts added reviews of strategic sourcing by the Air Force, Army, Navy and Defense Logistics Agency for greater detail.
Strategic sourcing, a popular tool the private and public sectors use to buy office supplies and services, telecommunications and print management aids and other items, was institutionalized by the Office of Management and Budget in 2005 and is overseen by GSA and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.
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