GSA releases RFI for strategic sourcing wireless initiative

The General Services Administration released a request for information for wireless cellular services and equipment under the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative.

Through its statement of objectives, GSA hopes to gain industry perspective on buying cell phones, personal digital assistants and cellular network cards, as well as services such as broadband and WiFi through a volume-purchase program.

The Office of Management and Budget directed agencies in May of 2005 to begin buying five commodities, including cell phones and IT hardware, through a strategic sourcing program beginning Oct. 1. GSA and the Treasury Department launched the Strategic Sourcing Initiative in November to coordinate the effort across the government.

This RFI is the first one asking for industry input on how they would support all federal agencies with these products and services. The goal is to establish a common procurement vehicle, lower the total cost associated with wireless services, and utilize business intelligence to better support overall decision making and performance management.

"From the analysis, [the SSI wireless team] discovered the challenges agencies are experiencing with inaccurate wireless inventories, incorrect billing and a multitude of service plans that are confusing and unmanageable," the RFI said.

The notice added that the objective of the RFI is to reduce costs through economies of scale and more efficient management and control of agency inventories.

If GSA goes forward with a contract, it would be for one base year and four, one-year options, the notice said.

Jason Miller is assistant managing editor of Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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