OMB issues infrastructure metrics RFQ

The Office of Management and Budget, through the General Services Administration, will hire a contractor to establish baseline metrics for three areas of the Infrastructure Optimization Initiative Line of Business consolidation effort.

Those metrics will help the IOI Executive Steering Committee determine what common approaches to take to reduce the cost and improve the overall effectiveness of desktop/seat management, data centers and data networks and telecommunications.

In a request for quotations issued last month under GSA's Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services (MOBIS) Federal Supply Schedule, officials are asking for vendors to provide support services under a firm fixed price, one-year with four one-year options blanket purchase agreement contract. Bids are due March 21.

The RFQ stated an OMB-sponsored working group analyzed the $22 billion agencies spend on IT infrastructure development, operation and maintenance. The examination determined that:
  • Federal spending as a percent of total IT, $65 billion, appeared to be higher than industry spending.
  • There is no systematic, governmentwide comprehensive optimization process even though every agency has some type of initiative under way.
  • Optimization experience from others suggests potential savings of about 20 percent, while retaining or increasing service levels.
  • There was no way to accurately access the current state of infrastructure costs throughout the government.

OMB is asking the vendor to identify and collect metrics in all three areas ? desktop management, data centers and data networks and telecommunications ? through a tool the contractor provides, or to provide a crosswalk between the government's metrics collection tool and the methodology to determine the measures.

Vendors also have the option to collect agency specific data for all three areas under the BPA.

The metrics will measure agencies "against cost efficiency and service level" standards throughout the five year contract.

"[T]he contractor shall provide performance benchmarks for industry for the three infrastructure areas?" the RFQ stated. "The contractor shall provide processes and tools to assist government in collecting data, shall perform rigorous analysis to compare performance data of government agencies to industry peer performance data and shall provide reports."

OMB expects the contractor to establish a baseline for desktop management in fiscal 2007, and the other two areas in 2008, the RFQ stated.

"The processes and tools developed for desktop/seat management and support performance measurement will provide a foundation for IOI implementation of performance measurement for the other two areas," the RFQ stated. "The objective of the IT Optimization Initiative is to ensure the support of departments' core missions by making IT commodity infrastructure operations more cost effective. This will allow departments to expend fewer resources supporting their commodity IT infrastructure (at current or improved services levels), and redirect resultant savings (dollars and labor) back to mission-focused activities."

Once the working group finalizes the metrics, OMB will consider different governmentwide approaches, including the aggregation of hardware, software and service centers around areas such as help desks and data centers. The RFQ stated the task force also said the bringing together service offerings through the use of managed service providers, federal shared service centers or using intra-agency service standards, or the use of enterprise agreements for hardware or services similar to the SmartBuy program for software could be beneficial.

Jason Miller is assistant managing editor of Government Computer News, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

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