Mobile Category Management Policy


Category Management Policy 16-2: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Mobile Devices and Services

Each year the Federal Government spends approximately $1 billion on mobile devices and service contracts1. Almost all of that spending is paid to four carriers, yet the Federal Government manages over 1,200 separate agreements and buys more than 200 unique service plans for voice, data, and text capability. Since the inception of the Office of Management and Budget’s PortfolioStat2 and the publication of the Digital Government Strategy3 in 2012, agencies have made progress in mobile service management, such as the creation of contract inventories and the establishment of a shared services contract vehicle under the General Services Administration (GSA). However, as highlighted in a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO),4 agencies continue to buy more services than needed, often fail to share minutes and data or optimize their calling plans, and struggle to manage their inventories across numerous agreements. The Government must do more to reduce the high level of fragmentation and duplication of mobile contracts and simplify the Federal marketplace for these services. This memorandum is the third in a series of policies directing covered agencies5 to improve their Information Technology (IT) commodity management practices.

The recent passage of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA)6 and the Government’s adoption of category management7 further motivates improvements in the management of mobile device and service contracts. FITARA significantly increases the power of covered agency CIOs to consolidate mobile services across their enterprise and develop appropriate strategies to meet agency needs in a cost effective manner. To improve agencies’ mobile service inventories and move to a government-wide strategy for our common mobile service needs, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that covered agencies must take the following actions:8

1) report agency usage and eliminate unnecessary inventory and service within 90 days;

2) reduce the number of contracts for mobile services and transition to a government-wide solution or solutions; and

3) modify demand management practices to optimize plan pricing and device refresh schedules.