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OMB Policy Revamps Mobile Device Buying

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A policy released today by the Office of Management and Budget aims to smooth the federal process of buying and managing mobile devices and services.

Today’s memorandum, announced by U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott and U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung, aims to slash fragmentation and duplication of 1,200-plus mobile agreements and 200-plus service plans managed by the federal government. Roughly $1 billion is spent annually on mobile devices and services, the officials wrote.

Since 2009, the government has saved more than $2.1 billion through prior IT policies and by adopting category management principles, Rung and Scott wrote. The new policy will help rid 700 duplicative professional services contracts, saving the government almost $4 million over the next five years, “with sustained annual savings of $1.3 million thereafter.”

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The new framework is one of various technology initiatives to streamline and revamp federal acquisition. It uses “an enterprisewide model that leverages economies of scale and builds on already-existing practices within the federal government to maximize efficiencies and realize greater savings,” Scott and Rung wrote.

As example, they cited the Energy Department, which has saved close to $14 million this year alone by awarding new contracts for mobile devices and services through the General Services Administration’s governmentwide mobile strategic sourcing solution.

“The policy released today further leverages the federal government’s vast buying power by directing agencies to report all mobile service usage and pricing data to a centrally managed system, eliminating unnecessary inventory and services, and using government- or agencywide solutions, if appropriate,” according to the OMB officials.

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