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GSA plans new governmentwide software contracts

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The General Services Administration plans to create a slate of new blanket purchase agreements with large commercial software publishers to be used governmentwide, according to solicitation documents issued Thursday.

The new contracts will allow agencies to use software from a collection of large publishers based on standard rates negotiated by GSA rather than negotiating purchases themselves.

Officials from GSA’s SmartBUY program and a cadre of software advisers from across the government are seeking input from major publishers as they put the BPAs together, the sources sought document said.

“This initiative focuses on individual large publishers, because the majority of federal [commercial off the shelf] software spend is directed at a small number of publishers,” the document said. “The complexity of both the distribution channels and product offerings by these large publishers also provides an opportunity to capture value for the government and publisher alike.” 

GSA’s goals for the BPAs include reducing the overall cost of government software, improving cross-agency sharing, aligning software terms and conditions across agencies and moving more government software to an “only pay for what [you] use” model, the agency said.

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