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August 11, 2016

Making the Acquisition of Mobile Devices and Services More Efficient

By Tony Scott and Anne Rung


Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the third in a series of information technology (IT) policies aimed at making the acquisition and management of common IT goods and services more efficient and saving taxpayer dollars. Joining the Administration’s policies on workstations and software, today’s memorandum will help drive greater efficiencies in the approximately $1 billion spent each year on mobile devices and services through the implementation of Category Management. Specifically, it will help simplify the Federal marketplace for mobile devices and services by reducing fragmentation and duplication of the over 1,200 separate mobile agreements and more than 200 unique service plans managed by the Federal Government.

Through previous IT policies and the Administration’s broader adoption of category management principles, we’ve realized over $2.1 billion in savings since 2009. We’ve seen prices drop by as much as 50 percent for personal computers since the release of the workstation policy. We’re eliminating more than 700 duplicative professional services contracts, which is estimated to save the Government nearly $4 million over the next five years with sustained annual savings of $1.3 million thereafter. And since announcing our new Government-wide Category Leaders, we’ve seen leaders like Mary Ruuwe take steps to help reduce duplicative contracts and enable contracting officers to make smarter buying decisions when negotiating future contracts and orders. Category Leaders have also developed strategic plans that will meet their goals of maximizing small business participation.

More importantly, we’re achieving a Federal Government that is smarter, savvier and more effective in delivering for the American people.

The policy released today joins the growing list of modern technology solutions aimed at streamlining and modernizing the Federal acquisition space. It uses an enterprise-wide model that leverages economies of scale and builds on already existing practices within the Federal Government to maximize efficiencies and realize greater savings. For instance, Federal agencies, such as the Department of Energy, have realized nearly $14 million in savings this year alone and seen prices drop by an average of 30 percent for mobile services by awarding new contracts for mobile devices and services through GSA’s government-wide mobile strategic sourcing solution.

The policy released today further leverages the Federal Government’s vast buying power by directing agencies to report all mobile service usage and pricing data to a centrally managed system, eliminating unnecessary inventory and services, and using government- or agency-wide solutions, if appropriate. As these efforts get underway, the Mobile Services Category Team – comprised of Federal agency representatives – is developing the next generation mobile strategic plan that incorporates the various requirements of Federal agencies domestic and abroad, and drives continuous competitive pricing to further reduce the total cost of ownership.

Moving forward, we’re committed to further institutionalizing these category management principles, maximizing the use of each taxpayer dollar spent, and delivering greater value to the American people.

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