GSA gets 55 percent of IT buys

For the first year ever, federal agencies bought more than half of their computer systems in fiscal 2002 through the General Services Administration's schedule system, according to the market research firm Input.

Agencies in 2002 bought about 55 percent of their information technology equipment buys through the GSA system, Input found. IT purchases via the schedules have grown by almost 100 percent since 1998.

The finding is part of a larger Input forecast of the federal IT market, including equipment in addition to software and outsourcing services. Input expects growth in federal IT spending to increase by about 8 percent a year, from $13.8 billion in 2003 to more than $20 billion 2008.

GSA's schedules are pre-competed, governmentwide contracts, which means agencies can purchase from them without having to hold their own full and open competitions.

"The schedules are a very good thing," said Larry Allen, executive director of the Coalition for Government Procurement. "The program has significantly reduced procurement lead times. They've reduced agency overhead. Agencies need to focus all of their resources on their core missions. Having the GSA Schedule means they are free to do that."

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