Panelists Discuss Pros, Cons Of New Strategic Sourcing Push

Executive Briefing: May 23, The Future of Multiple Award Contracts

Bloomberg Government, The Public Contracting Institute (PCI) and the Professional Services Council (PSC) have partnered to bring together leaders in Government and industry to discuss the important issues affecting the acquisition community. The United States Government, as the largest buyer in the world, spends more than $500 billion annually on goods and services. In a time of significant budget cuts and increasing pressure on the Government acquisition workforce to save costs, the need for Government and industry to collaborate and work together efficiently and effectively is essential. Through a series of briefings, this coalition will facilitate the coordination and communication between Government and industry on critical issues that have significant impact on how both parties work together to meet the needs of the American public.

(BNA) — Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Commissioner Tom Sharpe said May 23 that new strategic sourcing initiatives are a key component of his plan to increase reliance on the General Services Administration for government purchases and stem proliferation of duplicative contracts.
Sharpe said his goal is to increase FAS’s market share from 12 percent to 17 percent of the more than $500 billion spent on government contracts annually.
To meet this goal, he has called for heightened scrutiny of the use of strategic sourcing and GSA’s schedules program on an agency-by-agency basis. He also plans to hold top department officials accountable for failing to rely on strategic sourcing and GSA schedules.
In addition, Sharpe said he is working with Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Joe Jordan to cut duplicative contracts by one third. Instituting a “hold harmless” policy for preferred contracting vehicles is one solution under discussion, he said.
Sharpe was the government representative on a panel of procurement experts discussing multiple-award contracts at an event sponsored by Bloomberg Government, the Professional Services Council, and the Public Contracting Institute.
While Sharpe is new to GSA—he was tapped to head FAS early this year—he is well-acquainted with the challenges associated with modernizing the agency’s Multiple Award Schedules program. He was named to the 15-member MAS advisory panel, created in 2008 with a two-year charter, while serving as a senior procurement executive at the Treasury Department. During his tenure at Treasury, Sharpe was viewed as a leading advocate of strategic sourcing.
Also at the meeting, PSC Executive Vice President and Counsel Alan Chvotkin warned that, despite its potential to save the government time and money, strategic sourcing is frequently misused. Chvotkin also was a member of the MAS advisory group.
Another industry representative on the panel, Trey Hodgkins, TechAmerica’s senior vice president for the global public sector and government affairs, said that strategic sourcing is more appropriate for commodities than for services.
The above story appeared in:
Federal Contracts Report

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