Federal Agencies Will Buy in Bulk

Monday, 19 Sep 2011 10:22 AM

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The federal government is launching a two-prong attack on office-supply spending: A number of federal agencies will begin buying in bulk while also assessing their supplies, The Washington Post’s blog the Federal Eye reported.
The White House hopes the effort will result in $600 million in savings over the next four years.

 “One of the things we’ve discovered is that agencies don’t have a clue what they have,” Dan Gordon, the Obama administration's top federal contracting official, told the Post. “They don’t realize how many cellphones and BlackBerrys they have.”

Some agencies and military branches have separate wireless phone contracts for different employees and one government agency had nearly one printer for each employee.

The departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, and the Social Security Administration will start buying printers, copiers, and scanners from 11 companies.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Deputy Director Jeffrey Zients told the Post that a similar agreement signed last year covering some 60 agencies and parts of the military should result in $200 million in savings.

Government spending on such contracts more than doubled during the George W. Bush presidency and President Barack Obama has been trying to reverse the trend, the Post reported.

OMB reports that government contracting costs have dropped $15 billion between 2009 and 2010. Next up: A look at various wireless contracts that cost the federal government $1.2 billion a year, the Post reported.

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