SSG revamps IT acquisition

One of the Air Force's major procurement shops plans next week to begin a process of replacing its existing information technology products and services contracts with a series of blanket purchase agreements.

As part of a strategy known as Information Technology Tools 2, the Air Force Standard Systems Group has developed a five-year "product-based framework" that gradually will replace its various indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts. SSG contracts include Desktop V, Unified Local-Area Network Architecture II and Air Force Workstations.

Underpinning SSG's new approach are five product groups—computer systems, networking, software and applications, peripheral equipment and services—which cover a broad range of commercial IT products and services.

Within each of the five product groups, SSG has identified supplier market categories that mirror the commercial marketplace and provide buyers with a logical grouping from which to choose, such as handhelds, portables, local-area networks, security, printers, messaging and engineering support.

SSG's main goal is to avoid forcing the market "by creating a strategy that doesn't match industry's product categories," according to an SSG document released last week.

Multiple BPAs are planned for each supplier category, according to the SSG document. SSG plans to release invitations for the first round of BPAs covering desktops, portables and peripherals next week. In addition, SSG envisions an initial availability of approximately 15 to 20 supplier market categories and plans to replace vehicles covering these categories every two to three years, according to the document.

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