OMB issues SmartBuy guidance

The Office of Management and Budget plans to move ahead with SmartBuy, and has issued a new memo to agencies to prepare them for the enterprise licensing initiative.

According to the memo from Karen Evans, OMB's e-government and information technology administrator, agencies must submit a list of their calendar year 2003 software acquisitions to OMB and the General Services Administration by April 15.

The lists must start with 10 potential SmartBuy categories set out by OMB, and include the name of the software, number of units purchased, lowest and highest price paid, average price paid and total cost for the year.

GSA officials will use the information to negotiate software contracts, according to the memo. When GSA officials are close to awarding a SmartBuy deal, they will alert agencies to postpone further purchases until the deal is final.

The SmartBuy Program Office will publish a request for information related to five software areas by May 31, according to the memo. Office officials intend to pursue SmartBuy deals in human resources systems, financial management systems, grant systems, office automation software and analytical tools, and intends to initiate the deals in those areas by October 1.

The memo comes on the heels of the first SmartBuy agreement to be signed, with Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI), a maker of geographical information systems. That contract, finalized last month, came several months after the first contracts had initially been promised in the fall of 2003.

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