Program to streamline Army IT buys

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Army Small Computer Program recently became the service's primary source for commercial information technology purchases and will soon launch the first phase of a three-part plan to streamline Army IT buys.

In March, then-Army Secretary Thomas White approved the Army Business Initiative Council's recommendation to give ASCP the commercial IT lead. In July, the program will kick off the initial phase of the plan, which is focused on purchases valued at $100,000 or more, said Olga Lawrence, ASCP assistant project manager.

ASCP will be providing periodic briefings to the Army Business Initiative Council throughout the first phase to identify the metrics being used and ensure that cost savings and better business practices are being achieved, Lawrence told FCW today at the ASCP IT conference.

Phase II will focus on purchases worth more than $25,000, and Phase III will offer an end-to-end e-commerce solution, Lawrence said. In the end-to-end vision, an Army credit card user would place an order, which would then be forwarded to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to pay the contractor directly.

Lawrence acknowledged that the Defense Department's EMall and other Army purchasing systems are already supposed to have that capability, but ASCP is new to the arena.

"We're plug and play, but we're not there yet," she said. "We're talking to vendors to be more proactive in that."

An integrated process team, led by ASCP, has been established to ensure stakeholders can contribute to the process as it develops. Other members of the team include:

* Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition, Logistics and Technology

* Army chief information officer

* Army National Guard

* Office of the Chief of Army Reserves

* Network Enterprise Technology Command (Netcom)

* Project Manager Enterprise Infostructure

* Information Systems Engineering Command, Technical Integration Center (ISEC-TIC)

* Information Technology, E-commerce, and Commercial Contracting Center (ITEC4)

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