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OMB Releases Draft Policy Slashing Mobile Contracts

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Federal agencies could soon be forced to cut down their mobile device and service contracts.

The Office of Management and Budget released a draft policy Tuesday directing agencies to reduce their contracts wherever possible by entering into governmentwide or agencywide buying agreements, and by entering their purchasing information into one centrally managed system. 

OMB's policy would also require agency chief information officers to consolidate minute and data requirements into a single contract per carrier, using a governmentwide acquisition vehicle, by Sep. 30, 2018, the draft said.

Consolidating agreements would reduce federal spending by $230 million per year, OMB estimated. A central database of purchasing data would also help other agencies benchmark their spending and allow them to browse other agencies' agreements, OMB said.

The administration announced the move in a blog post by U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung and federal CIO Tony Scott.

The federal government spends about $1 billion on mobile devices and contracts each year, spread across about 1,200 separate agreements, according to OMB.

Agency CIOs are required to come up with short-term transition plans by August 2016. By October 2016, an interagency group led by representatives from OMB, the Defense and Homeland Security departments must develop at least one governmentwide acquisition solution to be awarded by 2018, the policy said.

Federal News Radio reported on contract consolidation policy policy in January when it obtained a copy of the draft.

In October, OMB told agencies to reduce their laptop and desktop contracts by limiting their purchases for those items.

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