White House Procurement Chief Wants Acquisition SWAT Team

Citing as a model the U.S. Digital Service information technology fix-it team, the White House procurement chief said she hopes to create and train an elite acquisition group to help the Obama administration implement its category management efficiency reforms.

Anne Rung, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, told journalists at Bloomberg Government on Wednesday she envisions starting with perhaps 20 acquisition specialists who have “street cred” with agency contracting officers and assembling them for six months of training before returning them to their agencies to help write simplified and more market-savvy requirements for federal purchasing solicitations.

Rung said her top priorities during the final 21 months of the Obama administration include driving contract innovation and improving agency relationships with vendors. But the No. 1 issue is category management, an approach to bulk purchasing used by private sector giants such as Boeing and Macy’s as well as the government of the United Kingdom.

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