NIH revamps acquisition center's image

Agency's IT acquisition center has shed its assisted-acquisition services and will instead focus on GWACs

The National Institutes of Health’s acquisition center is taking a new approach to contracting as it begins launching its latest governmentwide information technology contract.

NIH’s Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) has shed its assisted-acquisition services and will no longer offer agencies insight and expertise into contract and buying choices. Instead, it is in the initial stages of launching a 10-year, $20 billion Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) governmentwide acquisition contract. Officials released a draft request for proposals Aug. 4.

“We had to make a decision about being an assisted-acquisition services shop and a GWAC,” said Rob Coen, deputy program manager at NITAAC. “We chose to be the best GWAC.”

"You’re going to see a different NITAAC in the future,” he added.

NIH hasn't promoted CIO-SP3 as much as some agencies promote their GWACs because it has gained enough business without additional marketing, he said. 

The latest CIO-SP3 contract will help agencies adopt health IT and match their IT systems to the Federal Health Architecture.

But experts say customers need acquisition expertise at all stages of the process, and agencies that offer GWACs, including NITAAC, will have to think hard about the value they can bring.

“Merely handling the paperwork isn't a differentiator in providing accessible GWACs," said Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at FedSources.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.