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Shows & Panels
Inside the World's Biggest Buyer Part 1: Agency Acquisition
Which agencies have streamlined their acquisition processes to save money and how did they do it? Does combining purchasing power create better value? Has strategic sourcing been a success or failure? Federal News Radio examines these issues in Part One of our special report, Inside the World's Biggest Buyer.
All week long, Federal News Radio presents a multimedia special report on the changing face of acquisition. Throughout the series, Inside the World's Biggest Buyer, we hear from executive branch acquisition experts, lawmakers, auditors and industry experts on how the government can be a better buyer as it spends half a trillion dollars per year.
Some small businesses are calling into question the benefits of the Obama administration's strategic sourcing initiative. They say the agencies are mandating the use of the office supplies BPA and putting more than 500 Schedule 75 holders at risk of losing their business. GSA, which runs Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI), said there still are plenty of sales to go around as the BPA accounts for less than half of the $1.4 billion office supplies market.
Two former administrators of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Al Burman and Steve Kelman, discuss how acquisition reforms and improvements often fall prey to partisanship. One of OFPP's goals is not only to create acquisition policy, but systems that last beyond one administration. "You want to try to have continuity, as much as you can and keep better management of the procurement system out of partisan politics as much as you can," Kelman said. "If it's just an initiative — if it's forgotten in six months — it's never going to accomplish anything."
Procurement chief Joe Jordan and SBA Administrator Karen Mills highlighted three long-time challenges in a new memo to senior agency officials. Agencies have until July 9 to detail steps they will take to address three areas.
The National Institutes of Health has more than a decade of experience under its belt administering a governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC).
Pia Romero is a contracts administrator at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and serves as an executive officer in the New Mexico Army National Guard. In a column for Federal News Radio's special report, Inside the World's Biggest Buyer, she says DoD's Rapid Acquisition Program provides items to the force, allows the contracting community the ability to participate and compete in the process, and can save money when applied properly.
Uncle Sam, with your help, takes in more money than any person, place or thing on Earth. Equally important, he spends more in a week, again with your help, than most nations do in a decade. That's why Federal News Radio's special series, "Inside the World's Biggest Buyer: How $500 Billion Dollars Can Be Spent Better," is a must-read whether you are on the giving or receiving end, says Senior Correspondent Mike Causey.
Steven Grundman, a Lund Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., and former deputy undersecretary of Defense for Industrial Affairs, provides his perspective on how the Better Buying Power initiative has shaped DoD procurement.
The Government Accountability Office is one of the government's most robust watchdogs, especially when it comes to acquisition. Bill Anderson, GAO's controller and administrative services officer, discussed the ways GAO helps agencies get the most out of the acquisition process.