Mobile Category Management Policy

Transition to Government-wide Acquisition Strategies and Create Accountability

Transition to Government-wide Acquisition Strategies and Create Accountability

Consolidate Agency Requirements. To fully leverage the Government’s buying power, improvements must be made at both the agency level and government wide. Agencies will be able to select the right size of service and drive down costs simultaneously by pooling resources and minimizing the risk of overage charges. Therefore, effective immediately, except as provided in this policy, all covered agencies should not issue solicitations for new contract awards or exercise new option periods for mobile device and services, and should look to the existing government-wide GSA wireless solution11 to help in that consolidation effort. Furthermore, by September 30, 2018, and except as provided in this policy, covered agency CIOs are required to use their authority to consolidate all of the agency’s minute and data requirements to one contract per carrier utilizing a government-wide acquisition strategy, which may include more than one ordering solution (see below).

Define Government-wide Requirements. Taking the steps above will help agencies immediately reduce unnecessary mobile services spending, and will better position them for leveraging the Government’s vast buying power. To that end, subject matter experts representing all covered agencies must help shape future buying strategies and practices; therefore, the Category Management Leadership Council12 established the Mobile Services Category Team (MSCT) to serve as the Category Lead for mobile services moving forward. The MSCT is led by OMB, GSA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security, and is comprised of mobile services subject matter experts. The MSCT will:

  • develop a strategy no later than October 31, 2016, for at least one next generation government-wide acquisition solution, to be awarded prior to May 31, 2018. The strategy must include threshold discounts at the contract level based on volume to maximize savings for agencies. The MSCT must also:

    • seek input from all covered agency CIOs to define requirements for the next generation government-wide wireless solution to ensure sufficient flexibility is included in the offering to meet domestic and international mission requirements;
    • engage users, including contracting officers, program managers, security officers, and technology officers, to evaluate the performance and value (including associated procurement transaction costs) of the current and next generation government-wide wireless solution on a regular basis and address concerns as needed in accordance with OFPP guidance;13
    • evaluate vendor performance and pricing and make recommendations to OMB on an annual basis to improve how the Federal Government buys and manages its government-wide mobile services contract;
    • ensure that Section 508 monitoring mechanisms are incorporated into acquisition strategies; and
    • provide mobile service usage and pricing data to the IDC on a quarterly basis to evaluate pricing, fees, and performance of the current and next generation contracts.

Exception for agency-wide, mandatory use vehicles: Covered agencies may continue the use of mobile services agreements that are mandatory for agency-wide use through the end of the current base or option period, as applicable. When a government-wide solution is available, the covered agency shall analyze terms, conditions, pricing, performance, fees, and savings under the agency agreement relative to the approved agreements, document findings, and provide this information to the MSCT for approval no less than 6 months prior to the exercise of each option. Eighteen (18) months prior to any re-competition of these solutions, the covered agency must submit a transition plan to the MSCT that outlines how the agency will transition to the government-wide agreement. To qualify for an exemption, covered agencies are required to implement category management principles in the administration of those vehicles and must, at a minimum:

  • receive quarterly usage reports and demonstrate how the reports have allowed the agency to consolidate requirements;
  • measure and report rates of compliance by bureau, and monitor and address noncompliant spend outside of the mandated vehicle;
  • collect and provide, upon request to OMB, the agency’s mandatory use policy and critical contract data, including terms and conditions, and maintain prices paid;
  • appoint an agency category lead for mobile devices and services, who will also actively participate in the MSCT; and
  • comply with additional guidance identified by OMB to ensure that the agency-wide vehicle continues to deliver the maximum benefit to the agency and that best practices and pricing are shared widely among the acquisition and IT community.

Agencies that cannot meet these requirements must transition to a government-wide solution or solutions by September 30, 2018.

Transition Plans: Covered agency CIOs, in consultation with their Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, shall develop short transition plans to meet these objectives and submit to OMB by August 31, 2016. The transition plan should also outline situations where agencies are unable to consolidate its mobile infrastructure, such as in remote locations, and the extent to which the existing GSA wireless solution will be used as a step toward this consolidation. These plans will be collected through the IDC managed by OMB’s Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer. Specific instructions for transition plans will be initially posted in MAX at this URL: (Note that MAX is an internal community for Federal users, and is not intended for public access).