Letters to the Editor

Guiding agencies As longtime information technology acquisition practitioners we agree with your Dec. 1 editorial "Agencies need guidance on BPAs."

Although federal users and vendors continue to seek the one simple all-purpose business panacea the fact remains that none of these (one simple or all-purpose) are possible. Furthermore as in the past agency "mistakes" (real or perceived) based on such simplistic notions can cause the abolishment of the whole concept.

That is why the Navy and Air Force have turned cautious in recent weeks. In buying and selling IT we're talking about the business of spending large and limited federal dollars. We don't expect it to be simple.

Our work with agencies on the optimum use of blanket purchase agreements has exposed a number of risk areas that if ignored could spell a short life for the Federal Supply Service BPA. Fortunately these risks can be countered by a number of best practices that can be employed to achieve the maximum BPA results.

These include such critical strategies as not cutting corners with requirements determinations and market surveys developing incentives for better price breaks and not using BPAs to modify FSS contract terms and conditions.

As with all business processes even streamlined ones it is necessary to develop and apply an appropriate strategy to achieve the desired results. Chip Mather and Ann CostelloAcquisition Solutions Inc.Chantilly Va.

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