Agencies getting tougher on contractors?

President Obama’s call for a tighter budget means agencies need to get tougher on the deals they make with contractors.

That sentiment has been echoed by a number of administration officials.

Jeff Zients, federal chief performance office and deputy director in the Office of Management and Budget, announced earlier this year that agencies had begun a downward trend in contract spending, which helped OMB deliver on this year’s spending goals.

Online Chat: DJ Kachman, the Veterans Affairs Department’s director of mobile and security technology transformation lead, on April 10, at 1 p.m.

Zients has called on all agencies to cut their spending on management support service contracts by 15 percent, which will save the government more than $6 billion, he said.

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Meanwhile, several agencies are cutting more than just management support service contracts and reshaping their entire procurement environments.

For example, Hilda Arellano, a counselor at the U.S. Agency for International Development said that keeping contractors responsible and on-task has helped translate into contract savings. The agency’s senior-level suspension and debarment task team will also help catch contractor performance problems early on, she added.