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GSA plans future of fewer contracts, better flexibility and prices

Feb. 18, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services, says GSA is moving away from a decentralized system of national and local contracting vehicles.
Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services, says GSA is moving away from a decentralized system of national and local contracting vehicles. (GSA)

The General Services Administration is gradually moving toward a contracting system providing fewer contracts but paradoxically more options and flexibility for agencies, according to GSA officials.

Mary Davie, the assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services, said to the Federal Times at the Federal Networks Conference Feb. 18 the agency is moving away from a decentralized system of national and local contracting vehicles toward a more holistic and integrated system that streamlines the process for customer agencies.

“Too many choices is just too costly for industry; it’s too costly for government and it’s just confusing,” Davie said.

She said GSA will work to give agencies the options they need with fewer contracts and at lower prices and increase GSA’s market share. But while the agency will work to eliminate unneeded contracts there will still be some redundancy to help meet every agency’s buying habits.

“It’s more about mak(ing) it clearer and making it more efficient,” Davie said.

GSA has been pushing a number of new contracting options and services over the last year, including its strategic sourcing initiative and its blanket purchase agreements. The agency is also planning on releasing large, services-oriented contracts such as OASIS.

David Peters, the deputy director of the Mobility and Niche Programs Office at GSA, said at the conference its strategic sourcing initiative is part of its effort to improve agency bottom lines and transform contracting into a more efficient and integrated process.

He said through the strategic sourcing initiative customer agencies have access to data on prices and the management of commodities they can use to improve their own processes.

He said GSA wants to make sure that as agencies identify needs the agency has a flexible framework in place to meet those needs.

“The future is improved management. We define standards and identify best practices and we build from there,” Peters said.

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