Session 2: Laws & Regulations Impacting the Acquisition of EPPs - Federal Acquisition
Wednesday, July 16, 1997
2:45 - 4:00 pm
- Linda Mesaros, Office of Management & Budget
- Sharon Holcombe, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Lee Salviski, OFEE
Speaker 1: Linda Messaros, OMB
Ms. Messaros serves as Deputy Associate
Administrator for Procurement Innovations at the OFPP/Office of Management
and Budget. In this position,she is involved in various OFPP initiatives
including being the co-leader of the government-wide performance-based
service contracting effort, co-author of OFPP Guide to Best Practices
for Contract Administration, author of the OFPP Best Practices Guide for
Performance-Based Service Contracting and active in the electronic commerce,
small business, and multiple award task order contracting areas.
What OMB Has Done:
- Executive Order - slow progress
in meeting RCRA was reason for EO.
Enhanced visibility and attention. Created awakening in area of recycled products. Expanded focus to energy efficiency and environmental preferability.
- FAR - We reviewed FAR and incorporate
environmental purchasing to
effect a large behavioral change. In August, 1997 new language (rule) in FAR coming out.
- Circulars - Government-wide
management directors. Changed them to
reflect use of environmentally preferable products.
- Education and Training - Recognize an ignorance among personnel as to the importance of purchasing environmental products. Must educate at many different levels. Put together "Best Practices Guide of Greening Procurement", including information on how to green procurement and lessons learned. Distributed to a number of relevant audiences.
Procurement executives need to pay more attention to Environmental purchasing.
Put together speakers series that includes Fran McPoland. Also looking
into developing ways to identify environmentally preferable products,
e.g. placing logos by products that are environmentally preferable. Doing
this because recognize that contracting people are not environmental experts
and, therefore, need information that is clear and easy to work with and
that does not slow down the process. Also moving from paper based systems
to electronic systems, e.g. Internet, Arnet, CBD net, etc. and providing
Switch in purchasing at the Federal level from procurement to programs people as a result of use of credit cards. Represents big change. OMB hopes that by making EPP a FAR rule and through education and training, can bring EPP into the mainstream of the Federal procurement process.
Speaker 2: Sharon Holcombe, U.S. Department of Agriculture
What is USDA? USDA is a large decentralized organization of 100,000
employees and 22,000 buildings consisting of airports, loading docks,
national forests, etc. It's decentralized in terms of both its administrative
structure as well as geographically.
Outside of EPP, USDA already very involved in environmental issues. Their
mission is related to environment and natural resource conservation (water,
soil, etc.). They engage in environmental education, exhibits, sustainable
agriculture, world community development and business assistance,
developing and marketing of new uses of food and fiber products, e.g. fuel
from organic oil. They have a forest products lab, e.g. use of forest products
for interior structural panels.
What has it done relating to EPP?
Focused on "simple basics" (e.g. recycling collection and education of employees). Participated in buy recycled trade fair in '92. Developed educational newsletter that served as a recycling guide to camp sites and fire camps. Early programs very successful.
1995 - first EO began to develop concrete plan of action and accomplishments to not only support recycling, but energy efficiency and environmental preferability.
Identified a number of barriers:
- Identifying who are the correct people to hear the message (programs, requisition, procurement) and how to reach them.
- Cost and budgetary concerns
- No integrated, connected communications system, i.e. no way of reaching everyone easily
- "Another thing to do" people problem
- Largest barrier: rapid transition to program personnel as primary buyers through credit card. Loss of control of procurement process.
Overcame barriers by:
- Developing an internal supplement to FAR. Added environmentally preferable items to reach procurement people
- Developing communications materials, both hard copy and Internet, targeted to procurement personnel
- Working on ways to reach credit card audiences (14,000). One idea is to incorporate policy statement and other information into the micro-purchase self-study course materials that all purchases must take and past test before get issued a credit card Including environmental product information in USDA marketing book
- Believe biggest barrier is absence of procurement reporting system which is exacerbated by credit card. Makes monitoring very difficult.