Government is the biggest purchaser in the world and need to start acting like it, according to federal experts who spoke at the ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference on Oct. 31.

“We are the largest buyer in the entire world. We don’t always act that way so we are trying to get agencies to move in that direction,” said Beth Angerman, executive director of the Unified Shared Service Management Office in the General Services Administration.

Angerman explained that much of her job is convincing agencies to share basic services that can be bought in bulk from the private sector, likening the process to convincing her two young children to share at home. She said that while most agencies like the idea of sharing, few want to sit down and actually map out what that sharing will look like.