OMB names governmentwide procurement category managers

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The Office of Management and Budget has selected 11 federal procurement leaders to manage new governmentwide categories of federal acquisition, putting them in charge of streamlining and rationalizing $270 billion a year of buying, more than half of all U.S. government spending.

The 11 new category managers will each oversee a single channel in the GSA-operated acquisition gateway, a central portal for agencies to find better ways to procure the common products and services they need. 

FedScoop reported recently that Kim Luke, a former executive with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services, was named IT category manager. OMB officially announced Luke and 10 more category leads Thursday. The other category managers, unlike Luke, are already in government. 

While serving in their new roles, they’ll continue in their current senior leadership positions throughout government at the General Services Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Personnel Management.   

  • Professional Services Category — Tiffany Hixson, regional commissioner for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service
  • Security and Protection Category — Jaclyn Smyth, director of DHS’ Strategic Sourcing Program Office
  • Facilities and Construction Category — Mary Ruwwe, regional commissioner for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service
  • Industrial Products and Services Category — George R. Prochaska, regional commissioner for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service
  • Office Management Category — Greg Hammond, regional commissioner for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service
  • Transportation and Logistics Category — Lisa Roberts, DOD’s acting deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy
  • Travel and Lodging Category — Timothy Burke, director of travel and transportation services for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service
  • Human Capital Products and Services Category  — Rob Briede, OPM’s acting Training Management Assistance Program manager
  • Medical Products and Services Category — Jonathan Woodson, DOD’s assistant secretary for health affairs; and David Shulkin, VA’s undersecretary of health

These categories serve as the basis for the federal acquisition gateway, which is rooted in the principles of category management, a procurement philosophy in which products are broken down into broad categories, centralizing decision-making, and allowing a strategic and collaborative approach to purchasing across federal agencies. 

Many of the 10 main categories are broken down into subcategories, leaving 19 category “hallways” currently on the gateway, with plans for more to come. For instance, the IT category is currently broken into four subcategories: IT hardware, IT security, IT software and IT services.

Prior to the gateway, federal agencies were spending nearly $450 billion in acquisitions across more than 3,300 often duplicative contacts. This strategy is meant to consolidate those contracts, leverage government buying power and reduce duplication. 

[Read more: OMB puts ex-HP exec in charge of IT acquisition]

Rung said that as the new managers got settled, the results — and the benefits to the taxpayer — would become clear. 

“In the coming months, I look forward to sharing their successes and new ways to leverage our buying power, drive more consistent practices across our agencies, share information, and reduce duplication,” she said. She added that if their work amounted to even a 10 percent cut in redundant, inefficient spend — what other companies typically see after switching to category management — that would result in $27 billion in savings.

The officials in charge of the acquisition gateway recently opened it to the public for the first time to give American citizens and businesses a chance to see what’s going on behind the scenes and offer their help in its ongoing development. As of January, more than 5,500 federal procurement officials have registered to use the acquisition gateway.    

Contact the reporter on this story via email at Billy.Mitchell@FedScoop.comor follow him on Twitter @BillyMitchell89. Subscribe to the Daily Scoop to get all the federal IT news you need in your inbox every morning at fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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Agencies, Anne Rung, Government IT News, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Procurement
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