Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency Page: 49 of 73
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activities that could be better coordinated to use limited resources more
efficiently. For example, each agency has its own laboratory capability for
determining seafood species and uses different methodologies for creating
standards for species identification. The result is that neither the
laboratories nor the data developed in them are shared.
A Strategic Approach to
Spending Can Be Used to
Reduce Input Costs and
We have recommended that agencies take a strategic approach to
spending that involves a range of activities-from using "spend analysis"
to develop a better picture of what an agency is spending on goods and
services, to taking an organization-wide approach for procuring goods and
services.79 We found that private sector companies have adopted these
activities to help leverage their buying power, reduce costs, and better
manage suppliers of goods and services. By strategically managing costs,
government can improve efficiency in the same way as private sector
organizations examined in our prior work. 80
"Spend analysis" is a tool that provides information about how much is
being spent for goods and services, identifies buyers and suppliers, and
helps identify opportunities to leverage buying power to save money and
improve performance. To obtain this information, organizations use a
number of practices involving automating, extracting, supplementing,
organizing, and analyzing procurement data. Organizations then use these
data to institute a series of structural, process, and role changes aimed at
moving away from a fragmented procurement process to a more efficient
and effective process in which managers make decisions on an
Spend analysis allows for the creation of lower-cost consolidated
contracts at the local, regional, or global level. As part of a strategic
procurement effort, spend analysis allows companies to monitor trends in
small and minority-owned business supplier participation to try to address
the proper balance between small and minority business utilization, in
addition to pursuing equally important corporate financial savings goals
for strategic sourcing.
79GAO, Best Practices: Using Spend Analysis to Help Agencies Take a More Strategic
Approach to Procurement, GAO-04-870 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 16, 2004).
80Between 2000 and 2003, prior GAO work studied procurement best practices of 11
companies- Bausch & Lomb; Brunswick Corporation; ChevronTexaco; Delta Air Lines;
Dell; Dun & Bradstreet Corporation; Electronic Data Systems Corporation; Exxon Mobil
Corporation; Hasbro, Inc.; International Business Machines; and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
GAO-10-394 Streamlining Government
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency, report, May 7, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302236/m1/49/: accessed May 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.