GSA to phase out GWAC programs

Agency might also merge GWACs into the schedules program

The era of governmentwide acquisition contracts might be coming to a close at the General Services Administration.

Speaking at the Washington Technology Top 100 conference today, Ed O’Hare, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, said the only GWACs GSA will continue supporting are Alliant and Alliant Small Business or vehicles targeted to companies in specific socioeconomic categories, such as minority-owned businesses.

For the long term, GSA will likely merge the GWAC program with the schedules. “But that will take years, not months,” he added.

O’Hare said the merger of the procurement programs became a possibility after GSA combined the Federal Supply Service, which managed the schedules, and the Federal Technology Service, which managed GSA’s stable of GWAC contracts.

Phasing out GWACs was partly a response to criticism and a growing sense that there were too many GWACs, he said.

“We know that each GWAC is time-consuming and expensive to respond to,” he said.

GWACs that are expiring, such as Millennia Lite, will not be renewed. Instead, Alliant and Alliant Small Business will fill the void, O’Hare said. Those contracts have a $50 billion ceiling over 10 years, meaning they will still be in use through 2018.

O’Hare was part of a panel at the annual Top 100 conference. Moderated by Bill Gormley, president and chief executive officer of the Washington Management Group, the panel focused on whether the Obama administration is creating a new federal market.

Mike Fox, senior vice president of corporate strategic development at SRA International, voiced support for agency-specific multiple-award contracts.

“Those have real value because they are designed to meet specific agency needs,” he said. “But we don’t need GWACs with 50 or 60 winners. Then it looks just like a schedule.”

Lesley Field, deputy administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, also spoke about procurement reforms at the conference.

About the Author

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

Reader Comments

Mon, Jun 29, 2009 Not too suprised Utah

This must be a TASTE of the CHANGE WE WERE PROMISED!! It seems a little BITTER I think

Thu, Jun 25, 2009 M Reston, VA

Wow! I sure would like clarification from Mr. O'Hare on this one. He is quoted as saying the only GWACs GSA will support are the only GSA GWACs that are not expiring anyway. Yet this article gives the impression GWACs are going away. As for the SRA official's comment, I am not impressed. When it comes to buying IT services there are very few agency specific needs. Where they exist the ordering contract officer can build them into a GSA GWAC task order requirement. What those other vehicles do is limit competition and keep agency contract offices’ rice bowls intact. From a taxpayer's perspective, the recent proliferation of Agency-specific IDIQs simply runs up costs. GSA! Throw us a bone! What did Ed really mean?

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