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Civilian Agencies Council

Focuses on the acquisition policies and strategies of the civilian agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Energy and others.

IRS Discusses Fourth Quarter Spending & Category Management with PSC

By PSC Staff | September 17, 2018

At the September 7 PSC Government Affairs Committee meeting, IRS Deputy Chief Procurement Officer Harrison Smith and Special Assistant Mitchell Winans engaged with PSC members about several acquisition initiatives impacting the market including fourth quarter spending, Category Management and 2019 activities.

Harrison indicated that an analysis of IRS fourth quarter spending indicate that an increasing amount of IRS spending is happening in the fourth quarter. In 2015, 28-30% of IRS spending was in the fourth quarter. Last year, over 40% of their spending was in the fourth quarter and 19% of their spend was in September 2017. Last year, the IRS had about 12,000 transactions. The IRS is looking at reversing these trends with better acquisition planning and increased training among the 294 people in the procurement workforce. The IRS is proud that the IRS Strategic Plan includes an acquisition section. The IRS is looking to shift from low impact to higher impact transactions.

The IRS does not have Other Transaction Authority (OTA), but they are working with the Section 809 panel and looking at increasing their use of FAR 13.5 – Simplified Procures for Certain Commercial Items. The IRS is interested in having an “Emerging Technology Day” to better engage with industry as part of their modernization plans. The IRS has a Joint Innovation Lab that Harrison views as an information technology sandbox for technology pilots.

Harrison also noted the IRS’ workforce diversity. Whereas the agency had more than 500 employees eligible for retirement just six years ago, now only 35%—or less than 300 employees—are eligible to retire. Additionally, he discussed the IRS has use of Procurement Innovation Teams (PITs) – “tiger teams” – for four procurements, with additional candidates being considered.

Contact PSC
Krista Sweet
Vice President, Civilian Agencies