It’s Time for a Federal Supply Chain Officer

This post, by Raj Sharma, originally appeared on Public Spend Forum.

When it comes to public sector procurement, the federal government is the big kahuna, over $500-billion-a-year large. Yet, when it comes to managing this massive amount of taxpayer dollars, there’s really no one in charge to direct how best the feds can spend and manage this money. Yes, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy exists and includes a Senate-appointed position, but OFPP does not have the scope or the influence to really have much control. As I recommended in the book Governing to Win‘s chapter titled “Nine Recommendations to Improve Federal Government Purchasing and Supply Chain Management,” the current scope of the office limits the office’s ability to make the broader changes required to streamline and efficiently manage government purchasing and supply chains.

Congress or the White House should move aggressively to expand the scope of OFPP and create a new position of Chief Supply Chain Office (CSCO), similar to the position of federal CIO that was created by President Obama in 2009. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy should be renamed the Office of Federal Supply Chain Management. The CSCO should head the new office and focus on gaining visibility, improving coordination, and reducing costs across the largest and most critical government supply chains. The CSCO should also coordinate new initiatives, and facilitate the sharing of best practices. The CSCO should also be empowered to and coordinate management and collaboration with government’s largest and most strategic suppliers.

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