Earlier in the month, the Obama administration finally appointed a new Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget. The selectee, Daniel Gordon, appears to be a Washington insider with an eye to cost cutting (his background is the generally non-partisan GAO). He lacks, however, significant direct procurement and sourcing experience. The Obama administration has charged Gordon with finding 7% savings across Federal spending in the next two fiscal years. According to a Government Executive article on the subject, he will also be tasked with cutting "by 10 percent sole-source, cost-reimbursement, and time and materials contracts". As a tax-payer, I'm ecstatic about these goals. I just hope Gordon not only has the right team and ideas to pull it off, but that the OMB can push through its recommendations across Federal agencies and departments.
What will Gordon's role and charter at the OMB actually entail? I previously wrote on the subject that the Administrator's responsibility is, in theory, to "provide the same type of centralized structure and processes as a private sector company with decentralized buying but a centralized organization that creates policy and structure. The website for the OFFP suggests that the organization 'plays a central role in shaping the policies and practices federal agencies use to acquire the goods and services they need to carry out their responsibilities ... [providing] overall direction for government-wide procurement policies, regulations and procedures and to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in acquisition processes'."
Of course Gordon still needs to be confirmed. Let's just hope the Legislative branch moves quickly in confirming someone who, as taxpayers, we clearly need to get started on the business of Federal cost reduction right away. If you're curious about what needs to happen on a more granular level across other agencies, departments and appointees as well, it's worth reading an open letter to President Obama that I co-penned on the subject a number of weeks back.