GSA pushes for larger market share
- By Mark Rockwell
- Jul 25, 2013
Even though Government Services Administration leaders want the agency to be the go-to supplier of IT products and services, they realize GSA can't be all things to all agencies and contractors.
Efforts such as the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services contract bill and the Federal Strategic Sourcing Solution Initiative are helping consolidate federal contracting, said Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for the Office of Integrated Technology Services at Deltek's Federal Marketview 2013 on Thursday. But, she said, "not everything is solved by a common solution."
A version of this story originally appeared on FCW.com.
Davie said her boss, recently confirmed GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini, is pushing for a bigger share of the federal IT budget. "He wanted to know why it's only 25 percent," she said. Tangherlini has said he wants to capture 90 percent of federal procurement spending within 10 years, as federal agencies look to consolidate and streamline spending on their IT needs.
Tangherlini has been meeting face-to-face with as many federal agency heads as he can, pushing to get them to sign on to GSA's centralized acquisition vehicles.
OASIS, set for release by the end of July, is one of those vehicles. The task order contrct aims to meet cross-government demands for professional services, complementing GSA's Multiple Award Schedules program and provide agencies with more flexible full-service options. It is expected to be the next-generation contract designed to address agencies' needs for management and consulting, professional engineering, logistics and finance.
While OASIS and mobile services purchasing agreements can bring down costs and consolidate a sprawling cast of similar contracts, Davie said in some cases her agency won't be able to address specific needs or obtain the best price. That doesn't mean, she said, that agencies shouldn't use GSA's agreements. But they also need to determine what best suits their specific needs.
"Agencies see wireless BPAs [blanket purchase agreements] and say they can do better on price," said Davie. Basing an assessment only on price, however, might be too limited a view to squeeze the most value out of agreements. The price arrived at through an agency's individual contract might not include features that the BPA does. Ultimately, the lower price could lead to higher costs in the long term, or the sacrifice of useful capabilities.
The upcoming OASIS release, said Davie, is another contracting vehicle that might not be satisfying to all. "We won't make everyone happy" with OASIS but, she added, the bulk of those who use it will find it suits them.
Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.
Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.
Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.
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