recommended reading

GSA Announces Plan to Simplify Federal Contracting

Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

The General Services Administration’s contracting division is developing a new Web platform and business structure to bring more expertise to complicated acquisitions, the agency said on Wednesday.

The new initiative, called Category Management, will involve assigning a Federal Acquisition Service manager in charge of each of several acquisition categories, such as information technology, professional services and travel.

Those managers will help develop a Common Acquisition Platform with information about contract vehicles, historical prices and other data related to specific procurements, FAS Commissioner Thomas Sharpe said in a 1,000-word blog post.

The acquisition platform will eventually include several tools related to specific categories of government purchases, according to the blog post, including:

Procurement Optimizer: A comprehensive contract-comparison search engine that enhances competition for government acquisition

Market Intelligence Center: Category-centric market research materials that guide purchase decisions based on a category manager’s governmentwide expertise.

Clear View: Real-time data on pricing and purchasing, as well as assessment tools that help provide a big-picture view of government and individual agency spending behavior.

Collaborative Contracting Library: Resources to jump-start procurements with a central repository of exemplary contract work for complex buys compiled by community experts.

eMarketplace: An eCommerce transaction platform for simple purchases.

Category management is modeled on the buying practices of successful private sector organizations and is a follow on to the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative, Sharpe said.

There have been numerous calls from Congress to simplify government acquisition procedures, which are seen as overly complex and onerous, often delaying purchases for months or years. Technology purchases are sometimes delayed until the technology itself is out of date.

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, which passed the House in February, includes a pilot program for a governmentwide collaboration center that would assist agencies with especially complicated technology contracts. Similar legislation is awaiting action in the Senate.

(Image via Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.