Federal Spending Soars on GSA's IT Schedule

Spending under the General Services Administration's information technology schedule nearly doubled in the first half of fiscal 2001, according to GSA officials.

Federal agencies purchased $8.5 billion of IT products and services through the schedule during the first half, which ended March 31, compared to just over $9 billion in all of 2000, said Darlena McKnew, a program analyst in GSA's IT Acquisition Center.

Of the $8.5 billion in 2001, about $5 billion were services, she told participants at a GSA schedule seminar held July 18 by Aronson Fetridge & Weigle, a Rockville, Md., accounting and management consulting firm.

Sales on GSA's various schedules has grown 300 percent over the past five years, McKnew said.

The agency has stepped up marketing efforts and is increasing it use of electronic commerce tools, especially the GSA Advantage site, she said. "We are no longer the mandatory supplier for the government, but we are trying to be the preferred supplier," McKnew said.

The overall government IT market stands at about $40 billion, said Kevin Plexico, executive vice president of the market research firm Input Inc. of Chantilly, Va. But some segments are growing faster than others.

Plexico said e-learning should have a 34 percent growth rate between 2000 and 2005. Other hot segments include knowledge management, e-commerce, enterprise resource planning and outsourcing, he said.

The growth of the IT schedule has been fueled in part by the addition of services, which were allowed through various pieces of reform legislation in 1994, 1995 and 1996, said Hope Lane, who heads Aronson, Fetridge & Weigle's government practice.

The growth curve is starting to level off, but that is because some services are moving from the IT schedule to other schedules that are more appropriate, she said.

Services on the IT schedule include projects like network management, systems analysis, systems development and operations and maintenance.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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