Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer
GSA Acquisition Workforce Forum
--Informing the GSA acquisition workforce on the latest acquisition news and events!
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
CAO Corner – Strategic Sourcing
From the Desk of the Editor
GSAM Rewrite Update
GSA Contracting Officer Warrant Program
Update on Acquisition Planning Wizard
Professional Development thNCMA Hosts 25 Annual Government Contract Management Conference 2006 Ida M. Ustad Award Winner Announced
Small Business Corner
GSA Participates in U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention & Expo Veterans Team Up with Greater Southwest and Rocky Mountain Regions Southeast Sunbelt Region Participates in Small Business Conference Mid-Atlantic Region Hosts GSA Outreach Europe Expo in Germany Green Procurement
David Winstead Speaks at Nation’s Principal Green Building Expo
Then & Now: Integrating the Acquisition Environment—Part 2
GSA and JWOD/AbilityOne Strategic Alliance
JWOD Program Renamed AbilityOne
New JWOD/AbilityOne Catalog Available
Know a Career JWOD/AbilityOne Program Supporter?
Did You Know?
Check It Out!
―Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.‖
-- George Patton
CAO CORNER by Emily Murphy
Strategic sourcing illustrates that the acquisition workforce includes professions other than the 1102 job series, while recognizing the power that contract specialists have to be strong business advisors. To succeed, strategic sourcing needs to engage the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) community in areas like spend analysis; include the small business community to truly understand the supply chain; and include the Chief Information Officer (CIO) community to ensure that our systems facilitate the use of the resulting contracts. In many cases, these groups lead commodity councils. The success of the initiative relies on all of these communities and the many others who form the acquisition team. With that in mind, I want to give you an update on GSA’s strategic sourcing initiative.
As many of you are aware, in May of 2005 the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) advised agencies to use strategic sourcing as a way of managing expenditures and recognizing cost savings. Strategic sourcing is best defined as the collaborative and structured process of critically analyzing an
organization’s spending and using this information to make business decisions about acquiring commodities and services more effectively and efficiently. This process helps agencies optimize performance, minimize price, increase achievement of socio-economic acquisition goals, evaluate total life cycle management costs, improve vendor access to business opportunities, and otherwise increase the value of each dollar spent.
The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is co-managing the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI). GSA’s initial internal effort identified Office Supplies, Express/Overnight Delivery, Printers and Copiers, and wireless communications, as suitable for Strategic Sourcing in FY 2006/07. GSA has been meeting the strategic sourcing mandate through previous efforts such as the National Broker Contract, the CIO’s hardware Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA), the recent
purchase of training courses for the Federal Acquisition Institute, and the CIO’s current efforts on IT consolidation.
Concurrent with the initial effort to meet OMB’s mandate for FY 2006/07, my office is developing an agency-wide strategic sourcing blueprint that will implement a clear, repeatable process to manage the agency’s spend from this
point forward. My staff is working through GSA’s Strategic Sourcing Council.
The Strategic Sourcing Council is comprised of representatives from Public Building Service (PBS), FAS, Office of General Council, CFO, Small Business Utilization, and regional management. The primary responsibility of the Council is to provide high level management of the strategic sourcing initiative for GSA’s
While GSA’s internal strategic sourcing plan is not fully developed (expect to see it in the second quarter of 2007), the driving principle behind GSA’s internal
strategic sourcing initiative is development of a process by which the agency controls costs and monitors spending on the goods and services it consumes. A fully implemented strategic sourcing plan for GSA will result in:
; Streamlined purchasing operations, potentially freeing up Full Time
Equivalents (FTEs) to perform other mission critical functions;
; Ability to manage spend to meet socio-economic goals;
; Regions and service offices better understanding how and where they are
; Leveraging spend to gain cost savings; and,
; Improving the performance of the agency as a whole.
GSA’s internal strategic sourcing program has 5 identified goals:
1. Better Spend Management – This will lead to a reduction in erroneous
purchases, improved purchasing planning, and an improved ability to
2. Direct Cost Savings – We will determine if existing methods or vehicles
are getting volume discounts, and reduce erroneous purchases.
3. Reduced Administration/overhead costs – By reducing the number of
vehicles available for use we will reduce costs associated with maintaining
those vehicles. Further, better spend planning will help avoid last minute,
4. Socio-Economic Goals (Agency-Wide) – GSA is a leader in doing
business with small businesses. New contracts should be developed to
assist regions/services in meeting or exceeding their small business goals.
5. Better Quality Purchasing Data – Better data will assist in managing office
budgets and understanding our own purchasing trends.
While my office is responsible for developing and maintaining the broad vision for the agency’s strategic sourcing initiative, we need your help to participate in
agency-wide working groups on commodities, services and further development of the strategic vision for the program. We are forming teams for each commodity or service identified. The teams will initially gather and analyze GSA spend data on the identified commodities. Teams will then carefully review the market for the identified items, available multiple award vehicles, and other means that can enhance the efficiency of the purchasing of the identified commodity. Some of you may have seen this already in work on a copiers solution led by OCFO and the cleaning up of GSA’s wireless contracts by OCIO,
our first two cases. For overnight delivery services, GSA will be transitioning off its current contract with FedEx to the new FSSI vehicle with FedEx. This should result in more savings for the agency.
Look for more information on this subject as we move forward internally. If you have any interest in participating in the initiative, please contact Michael Berkholtz, of my staff, at 202-208-1806 or email@example.com.
From the Desk of the Editor by Judy Steele
I recently was fortunate enough to attend the NCMA Contract Management Conference and found it, as always, to be a very rewarding experience. For those of us who get ―lost in the trenches,‖ it’s a great opportunity to get out and
mingle with our fellow acquisition professionals in government and private industry and share the struggles they are dealing with and find out what are this year’s ―buzz‖ topics. This year’s conference was keynoted by GSA’s new
Administrator, Lurita Doan, and the new OFPP Administrator, Paul Denett, so this was a great opportunity to hear them address what they consider to be the key issues facing them. Mrs. Doan, coming from a business background, is actively championing small businesses. As you can see from this month’s Small Business Corner, she has been front and center at many recent GSA small business conferences. Paul Denett continued his long time advocacy for honoring the acquisition profession by encouraging everyone to nominate a hard working co-worker for one of the many acquisition awards available; for example, he challenged everyone in the audience to nominate someone in their office for the Elmer B. Staats Award. At GSA, I’d like to challenge you to nominate someone in your office for the Ida M. Ustad Award—see the enclosed article on
the most recent winner. I’d also like to challenge everyone to continue to
enhance their professional experience by attending the GSA sponsored Federal Acquisition Conference (FACE), to be held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., June 19-20, 2007. There will be more information on FACE in the Spring 2007 newsletter.
Many topics in this month’s newsletter were addressed at the NCMA conference. Strategic Sourcing, the topic of our CAO Corner, was a break-out topic at the conference and widely discussed throughout the two days. A big surprise at the conference was the announcement that the JWOD Program was changing their name to AbilityOne. The lunch speaker for the first day of the conference was a JWOD success story, Belinda Porras, whose emotional telling of her life story clearly illustrated the role JWOD can play in so many lives. If you are a JWOD supporter, or know someone who is, check out the opportunity to be recognized through the E.R. ―Dick‖ Alley Career Achievement Award.
We hope you will find this issue of the ―Forum‖ to be helpful. Please forward any
comments, suggestions and articles for the newsletter to the Editor, Judy Steele, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ―Forum‖ is here to meet the needs of the GSA
acquisition community and we can’t do that without your input!
GSAM Rewrite Update
OCAO continues to perform a comprehensive review and rewrite of the GSA Acquisition Manual (GSAM). [The GSAM incorporates the GSA Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) as well as internal agency acquisition policy.] Teams of GSA employees throughout Central Office, National Capital Region (NCR) and the other regions are participating in the GSAM rewrite project. The teams are updating the GSAM for FAR changes through Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-09 (April 19, 2006.) Once this is completed, OCAO’s FAR analyst will be
responsible for its ongoing maintenance.
The teams are conducting a thorough review of each GSAM Part to determine if revisions are necessary, eliminating unnecessary or redundant parts and information, and writing agency regulations that implement or supplement the FAR. The teams are incorporating other existing policies and procedures, such as GSA Acquisition Letters, PBS and FAS Acquisition Letters, directives (for example, the FSS Handbook 2901.2A), and pertinent paragraphs of the GSA Delegations of Authority Manual, MV and V orders. They are also incorporating and deposing of the numerous comments received in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) about the rewrite which was published February 15, 2006.
The GSAM rewrite has an ambitious plan for completion by December 2008 in order to provide updated policies and procedures to our contracting offices as quickly as possible. The teams are making remarkable progress; so far, they are in the process of rewriting 15 GSAM parts. Along with the GSAM rewrite, the team members continue to perform their regular tasks and job functions. Their dedication and commitment to this project is commendable.
As each GSAM part or subpart is rewritten, OCAO will solicit comments through the directive clearance red border process. As a result, the clearance officers will be receiving many proposed directives in the future. The work of the team members, reviewers and clearance officers is imperative to the success of this project and is very important to GSA and our customers. The Chief Acquisition Officer, Emily Murphy, and her entire staff, appreciates all the hard work being put into this project by all of the participants. For more information, contact Beverly Cromer at email@example.com or 202-501-1448.
GSA Contracting Officer Warrant Program by Rachael Lerum
OFPP Letter 05-01 established uniform core training requirements for the civilian and defense acquisition workforce by prescribing the training requirements of the Department of Defense (DoD). As a result, on October 24, 2006, the Office of National and Regional Acquisition Development issued Acquisition Letter V 06-
06 on Transitional Guidance in regards to the GSA Contracting Officer Warrant Program (COWP). This transitional guidance reflects major COWP changes to the GSAM. Changes to the COWP include replacing current GSA core training curriculum for all 1102 Contracting Officers with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) curriculum.