Eight years after the Obama administration began importing the private-sector procurement tool known as “category management,” the Trump administration on Thursday rescinded old directives and delivered new agency guidance.
In a March 21 memo to all agency heads, Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Margaret Weichert—who is doing double duty running the Office of Personnel Management — tasked agencies with a new reporting regime for shared services that “supersedes and rescinds” OMB directives from 2011 and 2012.
Category management involves agency teams coordinating bulk purchasing in areas such as information technology, security and protection, and transportation. Weichert’s memo reported that as much as 56 percent of the government’s $325 billion in purchases of software, mobile services, technology services and travel remained “unaligned” or decentralized, as of December 2018.
“This statistic confirms that substantial cost-avoidances and performance benefits are going unrealized and underscores the need for greater management attention on collaborative buying at both the federal and agency levels by increasing the portion of an agency’s spend” using category management, the memo said.
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