GSA to let agencies negotiate some SmartBuy deals

The General Services Administration in some instances is handing over to individual agencies its executive authority to make enterprise software licensing deals for the federal government.

Tom Kireilis, program manager for the SmartBuy initiative, today said agencies with specific software needs that GSA is not in negotiations for could initiate a governmentwide license.

"Agencies could act as a broker for and bring in other agencies with the same software need," Kireilis said at a breakfast hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association in Bethesda, Md. "This could be very helpful for smaller agencies."

Kireilis said the Defense Department is working on one such agreement. He would not mention the vendor or the type of software because the negotiations are still in a sensitive stage.

GSA also will start restructuring the Federal Supply Service's IT schedule for software vendors to include a tiered pricing model. Kireilis said the more agencies buy, the more they will save.

"Some FSS vendors already offer tiered discounts, and we are just extending it," he said. "This idea was an obvious way to achieve greater savings."

The key to getting this done, Kireilis said, is for the government to guarantee the software vendor a certain level of sales based on current agency use. Without that, the vendor would have little incentive, he said.

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