Interest grows in share-in-savings contracts

PHILADELPHIA - About 20 agencies have been working with the General Services Administration since January to identify projects that are good candidates for share-in-savings contracts, GSA Administrator Stephen Perry said Monday at the Management of Change conference.

"We read that as aggressive interest" in the contracting method, Perry said. With share-in-savings contracting, the vendor puts up some or all of the development funds and shares in the savings that result.

"This is for real. It's not a fad of the day," Perry said.

Management of Change, a government-industry IT conference, is sponsored by the American Council for Technology and the Industry Advisory Council.

Industry executives, meanwhile, expressed support for expanding use of the little-used contracting method, but said agency officials don't consider their needs often enough when developing share-in-savings proposals.

Bob Woods, president of Topside Consulting Group LLC in Vienna, Va., said agencies don't share information about their proposed share-in-savings projects with potential bidders early enough in the contracting process.

"Ninety days before start is not soon enough," he said.

Perry said federal officials want to address industry concerns.

"We really do need to hear from you, about what makes sense and doesn't make sense" for share in savings, he told industry attendees. He said some of the projects under consideration for share-in-savings contracting include the Office of Personnel Management's e-payroll project and the Army's financial systems consolidation initiative.

Karen Evans, administrator of information technology and e-government at the Office of Management and Budget, said she would like to see share in savings expand in the federal government because it's a useful contracting method, not because agencies can't afford to fund projects with their own money.

State governments, which have embraced share in savings more readily, did so because of budget shortfalls, not because they necessarily wanted to do share-in-savings contracts, she said.

"I would like to not get in the same situation," Evans said.

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