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Posted by on Nov 12, 2015

Contracting Light Bulb

Contracting Light Bulb

Our acquisition community takes a lot of hits for failures in the information technology arena. We all know there are many more reasons for those failures than the competency of the acquisition workforce. One culprit to point to is the lack of tools and guidance available to those charged with contracting for IT goods and services.

Recently I attended the Federal IT Acquisition Summit (FIAS) held in Washington DC. I came away with an understanding that there are some excellent existing contracts out there for contracting officers to take advantage of rather than reinventing the wheel with new contracts. Training sessions covered:

  • NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP V)
  • NIH’s three Chief Information Officers (CIO) contracts (CIO-SP3 for services, CIO-SP3 Small Business for services with small businesses, and CIO-CS for commodities)
  • GSA’s Alliant contract

During an afternoon session, there was kind of a “light bulb” moment when many in the audience were, I think, wondering the same thing: “Where’s the tool to help contracting officers figure out what existing contracts are available (there are Multi-Agency Contracts (MACs) out there too) and which is most appropriate for their needs?”

I’m envisioning something like this:

And then if the government could provide the data, I’d add in a column for ordering agencies to rate their experience with the contract vehicle — how well did it end up meeting their needs?

What do you think? Does it make sense for the government to gather some good old fashioned market research on these GWACs and MACs that have so much potential to save time and dollars, as well as improve the quality of procurements?

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