The Office of Management and Budget could save “billions” in the acquisition of common items if it continues to promote category management.  Category management includes the identification and encouraged use of “Best in Class” (BIC) acquisition methods and the reduction of duplicative acquisition efforts.  Specifically, GAO stated that OMB needs to work with agencies to improve data management capabilities and establish new performance metrics in order to better measure both outcomes and savings.  The recommendations, part of GAO’s annual report to Congress, are no surprise to contractors.  Experienced companies understand the value of holding or participating in multiple BIC contracts.  Similarly, requirements for contractors to provide spend analysis information have mushroomed as agencies seek to meet OMB directives.  One potential hurdle in meeting GAO’s recommendations is that OMB, itself, recently issued guidance stating that the use of BIC solutions should be balanced with decentralized contracts and other necessary strategies to increase diversity within agency supplier bases.  The two goals aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, though it may take time for them to harmonize.  Look for GSA, NIH, and other agencies with BIC programs to add more small businesses, including small, disadvantaged businesses, in order for agencies to achieve both desired outcomes.  Indeed, both of these agencies are working now to expand opportunities for small firms of all types to participate on some of their most popular indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contracts.  Increased promotion of category management wasn’t the only acquisition-related recommendation GAO made.  It also stated that GSA’s 18F program and OMB’s U.S. Digital Service should work more closely together to avoid overlapping each other’s work.  We’re not holding our breath as each is backed by powerful constituencies.  In the meantime, contractors should anticipate increased small business participation on BIC programs and seek to partner with such companies to maximize federal business opportunities.