The Trump administration unveiled its management agenda on Tuesday promising to move forward with IT modernization and leverage common contracts to drive savings within federal procurement.
Category management is a key issue in the agenda, which states that the federal government could reduce its $300 billion annual spending on common goods and services by using agency share in contracts.
The agenda, released by the Office of Management and Budget, says that current buying fragmentation from agencies leads to duplicate contracts and price variances of up to 300 percent in some cases. The administration’s goal is to achieve $18 billion in savings by the end of FY 2020 by applying category management principles to 60 percent of common spend. It also aims to reduce duplicate contracts by 50,000 in the same period. Its strategies to achieve these goals are to leverage common contracts, improve communication with vendors, implement best practices to eliminate inefficient purchases and share transactional data across federal government, including prices paid.
Speaking at the launch of the agenda in Kansas City, OMB’s Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert said the administration understands “that the public is frustrated with government’s perceived inability to deliver quality services for the American people.”
“You’ve heard other administrations say this before — we’re not inventing something wholly new. But the focus is on getting ‘er done, the focus is on the execution,” she said. “This agenda lays out a long term vision for modernizing the federal government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to work on behalf of the people to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service to the American people and effectively steward taxpayer dollars.”
Weichert was joined at the launch by other agency leaders including GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, OPM Director Jeff Pon and Federal CIO Suzette Kent.
The IT Modernization Framework was identified as one of three key drivers for change, including the recently established Technology Modernization Fund, which gives federal agencies the chance to submit proposals for a share of a $500 million fund to update aging legacy systems. The administration has set up a Cross Agency Priority goal to drive sustainable progress in IT modernization, which will be led by OMB and NSDA along with DHS, the National Security Council, GSA and OPM.
The president’s other key agenda drivers are using data to make better decisions and ensure transparency, and rethinking the federal workforce. “The Federal Government lacks a robust, integrated approach to using data to deliver on mission, serve customers, and steward resources,” states the agenda.
It outlines an emerging Federal Data Strategy, which includes managing government data as a strategic asset, developing an access, use and augmentation strategy that builds on work such as the DAIMS open data standard, and improving the use of data for decision-making and accountability. The agenda also includes commercializing government data assets in its strategy so it can be used by the private sector, scientific and research communities to spur innovative technological solutions.
Speaking about the data accountability CAP goal, newly appointed Kent said, “The United States government holds some of the most important data in the world, yours and all of ours. We’re bringing private sector experts, we’re engaging academic communities and we’re bringing the best of government thinking together to unlock and enhance our options to protect and leverage data.”
The federal workforce was another key driver, with the report describing a performance management system that “fails to reward the best and address the worst employees.” It says that the administration’s key priorities are realigning the workforce to mission, appropriately compensating personnel, streamlining the hiring and dismissal process and modernizing human resources technology.
In total, the administration named 14 key goals within the agenda, many of which were focused on IT and technology. Some of the others include improving management of major acquisitions, security clearance reform, improving outcomes through federal IT spending transparency and results-orientated accountability for grants.
“This President’s Management Agenda lays the foundation to address the critical challenges where government as a whole still operates in the past,” Weichert said.