The focus of these reforms is to simplify the "Federal contracting space" in order to drive greater innovation and creativity and improve performance. Industry has long complained about the complexity of the contracting process claiming that it leads to higher costs, slower procurements, and less innovation. That statement rings true. Some of the problems include 100 page request for proposals with overly prescriptive, Government-unique requirements, significant contract duplication across Government, and very little sharing of pricing and other contract information between agencies and industry.
1 Buying as "one" through category management. There is a critical need for a new paradigm for purchasing that moves from managing purchases and price individually across thousands of procurement units to managing entire categories of common spend and total cost through category management. Each category will be led by a senior Government executive who is a true expert in the category and who will develop a Government-wide strategy to drive improved performance.
2. Develop talent and tools across agencies and growing talent within agencies to drive innovation - instill a culture that rewards innovation (whatever that means). Nothing new here. Training has been a hallmark of every procurement reform program.
3. Building stronger vendor relationships. Early, frequent, and constructive engagement with industry leads to better outcomes, according to Ms Rung. Under this reform, OFPP has laid out four objectives.
- Creating better interfaces for government-industry interactions - modernizing the IT infrastructure.
- Removing regulatory barriers to innovation - get rid of useless FAR requirements (and useless requirements contained in individual agency FAR supplements).
- Vendor feedback - new guidelines coming that will allow frank, open assessment feedback by offerors and existing contractors for agencies to consider as part of their ongoing efforts to strengthen the acquisition processes and practices.
- Appointing enterprise-wide vendor managers - one Government manager per contractor instead of multiple contracting officers per contractor.
Best get started, Ms. Rung. You only have a couple of years and then you'll be gone when a new administration shows up. Your successor, no doubt, will have a reform agenda as well, but probably of a different flavor.
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