RUNG HINTS AT FURTHER CONTRACT CONSOLIDATION, BUT SAYS THERE WON’T BE “JUST ONE CONTRACT”
Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung clearly supports further contract consolidation as part of her agency’s Category Management (CM) program. Such actions would be consistent with recent OMB directives on buying laptops, desktops, software and, most recently, mobile phones. When asked during a Bloomberg Government webinar last week whether any formal move was planned to substantially cull the number of existing contracts, Rung said only that there was no drive to require all federal IT buyers to use one Government Wide Acquisition Contract. Still, it was clear from the discussion that there is concern among some companies, especially small businesses, that Category Management will drive current contractors to the sidelines as the centralized nature of the CM initiative is to drive agencies to common use contracts held by fewer companies than today’s array of vehicles offer. Rung and other OMB leaders believe that such an approach can leverage the government’s collective buying power and, in turn, reduce pricing. There is little doubt that CM will continue to move forward quickly through the rest of this administration. Whether this momentum is enough to carry CM through to a new one is unclear.