A plan to reduce costly services contracts at the Transportation Department has been delayed, a Jan. 15 report from the DOT office of inspector general says. The Office of Management and Budget began a governmentwide initiative (.pdf) in November 2011 to cut spending on management support services – including program management and acquisition planning – which cost the federal government about $40 billion annually.
Lack of a consistent definition of what constitutes "information technology" spending across the federal government continues to hamper oversight efforts, finds the Government Accountability Office. For example, in the most recent budget cycle, Energy officials decided that supercomputer projects no longer constitute an IT project, the GAO says, despite adding up to $368 million and accounting for nearly a quarter of departmental IT spending in fiscal 2012.
Agencies restrained spending on conferences and are using alternatives such as video conferencing to reduce costs, agency managers told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy has updated guidance for the use of "value engineering," a way contractors can present agencies with cheaper production in return for monetary incentives.
Federal improper payments declined to about 3.5 percent of all payments made by the government in fiscal 2013, a Dec. 20 Office of Management and Budget blog post says. In fiscal 2012 the rate was about 3.75 percent, OMB says and back in fiscal 2009 the rate came in at 5.4 percent.
The Office of Management and Budget issued Dec. 26 final guidance meant to streamline management and oversight of federal grants.
Four agencies paid millions of dollars in fees in fiscal 2012 to hold reverse auctions that saw just a single bid or included only one bidder. The Government Accountability Office reviewed the experiences of the departments of Homeland Security, the Interior, Veterans Affairs and the Army, which held a total of 19,688 reverse auctions in fiscal 2012.
The General Services Administration plans to reduce costs of agency office supply purchasing by including businesses that don't have a GSA Multiple Award Schedule, among other changes to its current strategic sourcing plan, a Dec. 2 GSA statement says.
Federal agencies reported $3.8 billion in cost savings related to real property in recent years, but their decisions about what counted as savings were inconsistent and sometimes dubious, the Government Accountability Office says.
Federal agency budget officials say they would be a struggle to meet the Office of Management and Budget's guidance to propose a 10 percent from their fiscal 2015 budget submission, finds a Nov. 20 survey from the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis and Grant Thornton.