Jim Williams, former acting administrator of the General Services Administration and partner at Schambach & Williams Consulting discusses how new category management will change acquisition at agencies, and why it’s taken so long to get the concept off the ground.
New guidance from the Office of Management and Budget could mean big changes in the way that agencies make purchases. The OMB’s category management guidance changes the reporting requirement, and creates new goals to promote cross-enterprise acquisition. Jim Williams, former acting administrator of the General Services Administration and partner at Schambach & Williams Consulting, says that this guidance will be a great help to improving management across the federal government. “This is really mostly about the efficiency of government, where you don’t have acquisition people spending time on duplicative actions. Meaning they’re spending more time issuing task orders for work versus acquiring a stable of contractors, and I think that’s a very good thing to eliminate the duplication,” Williams said. “I think eventually they want to move to where they can increase the effectiveness. And freeing up people from duplicative work can increase their effectiveness. Mostly this is about efficiency; being smarter buyers, buying more common goods in a common way and saving money. And I think that’s a good thing.”