Editor's Note: Wallflower no more

Steve LeSueur

It was at least six years ago that Ken Buck of the General Services Administration began touting the virtues of share-in-savings contracting as a tool for federal IT acquisitions. The concept has been popular among the states, allowing governments to build systems with little upfront expense. The contractors get paid from the money saved or from new revenue generated once the new system is in place.

But in the federal market, the share-in-savings concept has been like a nerd at the high school prom. Sure, he's there, but no one is dancing with him.

That might change now.

A proposed procurement rule outlining how and when agencies can use share-in-savings contracts has been issued, and more importantly, GSA has created a contract vehicle that agencies can use to develop share-in-savings projects.

Accenture Ltd., Computer Sciences Corp., CGI Group Inc., IBM Corp., Science Applications International Corp. and SRA International Inc. won spots on GSA's $500 million blanket purchase agreement. Now they'll compete for task orders.

Interest is high. "My phone has been ringing off the hook," said Buck, director of GSA's share-in-savings program office. "Many government agencies are stepping forward. It appears they were waiting for the guidance [in the proposed rule] and the BPAs."

Read Staff Writer Gail Repsher Emery's front-page story to understand the enthusiasm now greeting share-in-savings contracting and the challenges that lie ahead.

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