WASHINGTON – The President’s nominee for the federal government’s top procurement position faced the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday, vowing to strengthen the federal contracting system.
Joseph Jordan, nominated to lead the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), expressed his intention, if confirmed, to cut costs and get better results; hire responsible and small business contractors; strengthening the acquisition workforce; and improving acquisition planning.
“Fiscal discipline is good policy no matter the dollar amount, but, in a weak economy, when we are looking to significantly reduce the deficit, and with $536 billion at stake, fiscal discipline is a must,” Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., said. “The OFPP, in other words, needs to double down on its oversight of contract spending to make sure we don’t purchase goods or services we don’t really need and to ensure that we get the most for the taxpayer money we do spend.”
Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Maine, said: “Seldom has a nominee for Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy come before this Committee at a more critical time. OFPP plays a central role in shaping the policies and practices federal agencies use to acquire the goods and services they need to carry out their missions.
“The flouting of acquisition rules by the General Services Administration in connection with a lavish 2010 conference underscores the importance of adherence to these rules as protection against the waste of taxpayer dollars. Ultimately, however, it is OFPP that has the obligation to ensure – across the government – that the federal acquisition system promotes economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in order to deliver the best value to taxpayers. OFPP must take action to ensure such blatant violations of contract law and regulation will not be tolerated – particularly as we face an increasing national debt burden.”
OFPP is charged with overseeing procurement policies across the government and promoting effective, cost efficient spending on contracts. Last year the federal government spent over $536 billion on contracts for everything from office supplies to advanced weapons systems to information technology.
The Committee has long been concerned about procurement policy – particularly regarding replenishment of the procurement workforce, assurance that government contractors do not perform “inherently governmental” work, cost controls, contractors as responsible business partners, and information technology.
Jordan currently serves as a senior adviser at OMB. From 2009 to 2011 he was the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development at the Small Business Administration. Before joining the Administration, he was at the consulting firm McKinsey and Company.