The General Services Administration has adjusted some components of its IT Schedule 70 contract, the federal government’s largest IT purchasing vehicle, to give agencies a more efficient way to buy software services, the agency announced April 16.

Three special item numbers on the contract, which more narrowly define IT services the government wants to purchase, were updated to help agencies better comply with policy and purchase new technology.

“Now our offerings align better with the way software is sold commercially," Bill Zielinski, acting assistant commissioner of GSA’s Office of Information Technology Category, wrote in a blog post. “Now it’s easier for our customers to get what they need, including transferring software licenses among federal entities.”

The three changes adjusted language related to term software, perpetual software license and software maintenance service contracts.

The updates better define term software as distinguished from software-as-a-service, include identification tags and transferability rights for perpetual software licenses, add utilization limitations across all three special item numbers and define commercial supplier agreements to include enterprise user license agreements and terms of service agreements.

Cloud-based, as-a-service models have altered the IT market in the public and private sectors, where contracts are based on when a customer needs a particular service rather than a single, blanket purchase.

The alterations come amidst sweeping contract reform efforts at GSA, which aim to transform the 24 schedules federal agencies use to buy services and consolidate them into a single contract schedule.

Industry representatives cautioned that even as the consolidation moved all special item numbers under one umbrella, some work would still need to be done to refine and update the language to better reflect modern purchasing needs.

“We are dedicated to aligning what we offer with what the current marketplace’s demands, as technology changes rapidly." Zielinski wrote. “We work to improve the federal government’s ability to serve our ultimate stakeholder, the U.S. taxpayer.”

Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.

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