Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator Steven Kelman is fond of saying that the procurement world as we know it is no more. If the recent termination of the WAAS contract by the Federal Aviation Administration or the GSA/Sprint battle over FTS 2000 prices weren't enough, last week's award of the Transportation Department's Information Technology Omnibus Procurement gives even more credence to a new world order in federal procurement.

ITOP, a $1.13 billion multiple-award task-order contract, covers nearly every aspect of information resources management-related services and is open to federal agencies throughout government. DOT awarded 20 contracts to companies that will compete for business within three functional areas.

Despite its size and breadth, ITOP took only four months to award. Compare this with the year it took to award the very successful Defense Enterprise Integration Services contract, which was considered an aggressive timetable when it was awarded in November 1993. We won't name the countless other contracts - for both products and services - that took more than a year to award.

It is far too early to say the ITOP contract will be a DEIS-like success. For one thing, the heavy reliance on past performance for doling out task orders is sure to become a point of contention. But clearly, contractors should be thankful that the administration's streamlining efforts are working.

We can continue to argue the merits of the administration's various procurement reform efforts, but shorter award time lines save the government and industry time and money.


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