Air Force launches plan for centralized purchasing


The Air Force begins this month to revamp how its bases will buy goods and services in the coming years, forcing them to go to one of five regional centers instead of letting contracts themselves.

The plan, the basics of which Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne approved in August, is supposed to save the Air Force $1 billion per year on everything from office supplies to landscaping.

It is part of a Pentagon-wide shift toward centralized purchasing as mandated by the Office of Management and Budget’s 2005 strategic sourcing initiative.

Base-level contracting squadrons and similar organizations will be scaled back and replaced by new installation acquisition squadrons. The change will involve some shift in personnel from bases to the regional centers, according to an e-mail from Patrick Rhode, chief of the Air Force’s procurement transformation division. But those details have not been worked out. He said there will be a net reduction of about 200 positions related to installation acquisition by 2012, when implementation of the plan will be completed.


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