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Category Management Leadership Council (CMLC)


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Category Management Leadership Council (CMLC)


​The business practice of buying common goods and services as an enterprise to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency, and deliver more value and savings from the Government's acquisition programs.

Alternate Definition

The CMLC is the governing body that makes important decisions and sets the direction of the government's category management initiative. The Administrator of Federal Procurement Policy chairs the Council and voting members are the largest buying agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Alternate Definition Source

OMB M-19-13, Category Management: Making Smarter Use of Common Contract Solutions and Practices

General Information

As shown in the Figure below, the CMLC is comprised of interdisciplinary representatives from the largest buying agencies, including the Departments of Defense (Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, and the Defense Logistics Agency), Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Small Business Administration (SBA), AbilityOne, Government-wide Category Managers (CMXs) and a representative from the Unified Shared Services Management Office in GSA participate as non-voting members along with other appropriate individuals identified by the Administrator. The CMLC is responsible for core implementation and execution functions, which include: 

  • approving Government-wide strategies for core categories and certain subcategories, as appropriate; 
  • approving overarching criteria used to identify Best in Class (BIC) contract vehicles and any changes made to such criteria; 
  • making recommendations to OMB on recommendations by a CMX to designate BIC contract sourcing solutions and on proposed mandatory directives addressing agency migrations and exceptions to use of such solutions; 
  • providing advice to OMB on category management strategies, such as demand management practices, supplier/vendor management practices, or practices to increase small business participation in common contract solutions that should be reflected in Government-wide guidance; 
  • assessing, on at least an annual basis, the performance of Government-wide strategies and solutions, including small business participation and adherence to requirements for mandatory use of AbilityOne Non-Profit Agencies and Federal Prison Industries (FPI); and 
  • approving any changes to the Government-wide category structure and governance.

Category managers are experts in their assigned category (e.g. Information Technology (IT)).  They develop the government-wide strategy to drive improved performance and act as change agents for the category.

Category Team--Level 1.  Responsible for the development and execution of category strategies for a specific Tier 1 category (e.g. IT).
Category Team--Level 2.  Responsible for the development and execution of category strategies for a specific Tier 2 category (e.g. IT software within the IT category).
Commodity Teams.  Traditional strategic sourcing working group formed when the category management process identifies the need for a new acquisition solution.

GSA – In addition to GSA’s general leadership role in the acquisition and management of goods and services across the Government, the Agency also serves as the Government-wide Category Management Program Management Office (GWCM PMO) for category management. 

Background.  In May 2005, OMB Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) released a memorandum announcing the introduction of strategic sourcing as a Government-wide requirement for all Federal agencies.  Between 2005 and 2012, OMB released additional memos on strategic sourcing, reiterating its importance and sharing success stories.  With additional OMB guidance in December 2012, the Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council (since renamed the Category Management Leadership Council (CMLC)) was established and Strategic Sourcing Accountable Officials (now CM Accountable Officials (CMAO)) were assigned to help agencies optimize performance, minimize price, and increase the value of each dollar spent.

The ten common spend categories with FY2019 obligations and the agency lead for that category are shown in Figure 1 and the data table below.ten common spending categories

Data table for Figure 1: Ten common spend categories, Dollars (in Billions), Source GAO-21-40
Facilities and construction Professional services Information technology Medical Transportation and logistics services Industrial products and services Security and protection Human capital Office management Travel
GSA GSA GSA Dept of Defense and Veterans Affairs Dept of Defense GSA Dept of Homeland Security Office of Personnel Management GSA GSA
$98.9 $83.1 $68.1 $44.8 $31.9 $12.1 $5.9 $5.5 $2.3 $1.5