Rule would make using SmartBuy mandatory

A proposed rule would require agencies to buy commercial software under SmartBuy’s enterprise software licensing agreements. If they don’t, they would have to justify why.

The proposed rule, which the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council published Oct. 31 in the Federal Register, would “ensure SmartBuy is considered during acquisition planning, and [it] prescribes the policies and procedures for using SmartBuy enterprise agreements.”

The Office of Management and Budget created SmartBuy in 2003 to take advantage of the government’s volume purchasing power. So far, the General Services Administration, which runs the program, has signed 10 vendors to enterprise software licensing contracts and 10 to the data-at-rest SmartBuy contract.

If approved, the rule would require contracting officers to seek software and software services under a SmartBuy agreement, provided that the deal represented the best value to the government.

Before contracting officers could buy software or services outside SmartBuy, they would have to get approval from their senior procurement executive and chief information officer, and send a copy of that approval to GSA’s deputy associate administrator of technology strategy.

Public comments on the proposed rule are due by Dec. 31.

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