GSA details process for SmartBuy waivers

An interagency advisory team will determine whether agencies get waivers to buy software outside the SmartBuy program when an enterprise agreement is imminent, the General Services Administration said today.

In a memo posted on the CIO Council’s Web site, GSA detailed the process an agency must follow to get a waiver.

But the memo made it clear that appeals should not be a usual occurrence.

“Request for waivers are discouraged, but for compelling reasons they will be considered and granted,” the memo said.

CIOs and senior procurement executives may request a waiver only if there is a serious impact on agency operations or cost if the software is not purchased immediately.

Waivers should be sent to GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy’s deputy associate administrator Mary Mitchell, the memo said.

Once GSA receives an appeal, representatives from the CIO, Federal Acquisition, Chief Financial Officers, Small Agency CIO councils and the SmartBuy project management office will decide whether to grant the waiver.

GSA said agencies should request a waiver after the CIO or senior procurement executive has been notified by the SmartBuy program office that a contract is imminent, or if they are renewing enterprisewide deals already in place with vendors ESRI of Redlands, Calif., Manugistics Inc. of Rockville, Md., and Novell Inc. of Provo, Utah.

Agencies also will have to transition to SmartBuy or request a waiver when exercising contract option years or negotiating a new contract that predates a SmartBuy deal, the memo said.

The memo included a clause agencies should add to their contracts.

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