Washington (CNN) - The Federal government is the world's largest purchaser but taxpayers don't get the most value for their buck as Uncle Sam isn't saving the way Aunt Thelma does with her regular trips to Costco-by buying in bulk.
The government's top purchaser is trying to change exactly that.
Federal agencies usually rely on hundreds of separate contracts for commonly used office supplies that vary in price, White House Budget Director Peter R. Orszag's said in a blog post Wednesday. Purchasing supplies through separate contracts does not leverage the government's buying power across all agencies, providing the cheapest prices, said Orszag.
While the federal government is the world's largest purchaser, its spending is traditionally fragmented across many agencies, Orszag added.
Washington (CNN) - Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag will announce Tuesday morning that the Obama administration is directing agencies to cut at least 5 percent from their budgets. This comes in addition to the president's pledge to freeze spending at most agencies over the next three years.
In excerpts provided by the OMB, Orszag will address the Center for American Progress, saying "...in the budget guidance for Fiscal Year 2012 issued to agencies this morning ...We are asking each agency to develop a list of their bottom 5 percent performing discretionary programs, as measured by their impact in furthering the agency's mission.
"In addition, to ensure that we can meet the president's insistence on a freeze for non-security agencies while funding priority areas, we are asking non-security agencies to specify how they would reduce their budgets by 5 percent - which will give us the ability to achieve the overall non-security freeze even while meeting inevitable new needs and priorities."
Orszag will also identify areas where the government believes there is significant duplication and waste. Orszag will say "as stewards of the American people's tax dollars, we cannot afford to waste money on programs that do not work, that are out-dated, or that are duplicative of one another."
Washington (CNN) – Two Obama administration sources told CNN Thursday that plans are in the works to shift Gene Sperling from a senior Treasury Department role to the No. 2 job at the Office of Management and Budget. But the No. 1 man at the OMB, Director Peter Orzag, sent word late in the day that he "has not offered the job to anyone."
That statement, delivered through Orzag deputy and lead spokesman Kenneth Baer, the OMB's assistant director for communications and strategic planning, reflected internal tensions over the prospect of Sperling moving to the OMB.
Sperling now serves as counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The job of deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget became vacant last month when
Robert Nabors left the No. 2 budget job to become a senior adviser to chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The Washington Post reported back then that Sperling was among the candidates to replace Nabors.
The two sources, who spoke to CNN on Thursday, said Sperling was the White House choice for the job, and was undergoing the vetting process. The OMB job requires Senate confirmation; Sperling's current Treasury position did not. A third source was somewhat less definitive, saying the shift was "probable," but not certain because the vetting process was not completed. All three sources are administration officials involved in economic policy who discussed the issue only on condition of anonymity because it is a personnel matter.
After seeing a brief CNN report on the issue, Baer contacted CNN and disputed the process was as far along as the other sources had suggested. "Director Orzag has talked with Gene about this job," Baer said. "He also has talked with other candidates. He has not offered the job to anyone … Nothing has been decided. No job has been offered."