FedScoop: OMB should lead category management efforts to improve contract data, GAO says

“Efforts to improve contract data must be led by the Office of Management and Budget, if its category management initiative is to improve, according to the Government Accountability Office.”

“GAO found OMB‘s category management initiative focused too much on how to buy things — at the expense of helping agencies determine what goods and services they actually need — when it assessed data for 28 agencies, reviewed guidance for four and interviewed officials.”

“The category management initiative saved $27.3 billion in three years by having agencies use existing contracts to buy similar products and services like those in the IT Category, but billions more could be saved if OMB pursues governmentwide solutions to data challenges.”

“’Agency officials told GAO that data challenges—particularly challenges in collecting, analyzing, and sharing data on their spending and the prices they pay—have hindered implementation of the category management initiative,’ reads GAO’s congressional report released Monday. ‘OMB is aware of these government-wide challenges and has directed agencies to take certain steps on their own to address them.’”

“But the Federal Data Strategy’s 2020 Action Plan tapped OMB to lead on category management issues, in part by establishing a committee to improve coordination of data policies, governance and resources…” Read the full article here.

Source: OMB should lead category management efforts to improve contract data, GAO says – By Dave Nyczepir, December 1, 2020. FedScoop.

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