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Reducing Duplication and Driving Savings in Mobile Devices through Category Management

Today, OMB released for public comment a draft policy to improve how the Government buys and manages mobile services and devices.

Since 2009, we’ve realized nearly $2 billion in savings by driving smarter buying practices through the Administration’s Category Management initiative. For personal computers (PCs), for example, we’ve seen prices drop by as much as 50%. And just this past December, we generated more than $4 million in estimated annual savings by consolidating the Government’s many software contracts into two government-wide software agreements.

We are making significant progress. And Category Management is working.

To realize even bigger savings, better efficiencies, and further improved performance, today we released for public comment the third in a series of Category Management directives. The purpose of this directive is to improve how the Government buys and manages mobile services and devices. Each year the Federal Government spends approximately $1 billion on mobile devices and service contracts through more than 1,200 separate agreements. This draft policy directs agencies to implement specific actions to reduce duplication, improve pricing, and better leverage the Government’s vast buying power.

Specifically, it directs agencies to:

  • Report all mobile service usage and pricing data to a centrally managed system;
  • Eliminate unnecessary inventory and service; and
  • Use government- or agency-wide solutions, if appropriate.

By helping reduce fragmentation and duplication of mobile contracts, and simplifying the Federal marketplace for mobile services, the policy released today is estimated to save the Federal Government up to $230 million annually, and collectively with the workstations and software licensing memos, will help drive greater efficiencies in the $10 billion spent each year on PCs, software licenses, and mobile devices.

Further, by requiring agencies to report all mobile service usage and pricing data and maximize the use of government- or agency-wide solutions, this policy will help agencies determine which services and devices will best suit the delivery of their missions, better position them to leverage the Government’s vast buying power, and help develop at least one government-wide solution that incorporates the various requirements of Federal agencies domestic and abroad.

The public can submit comment on the proposed guidance by clicking HERE.


Anne Rung is the U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer.

Tony Scott is the U.S. Chief Information Officer.