GSA and partners say: Put the 2.0 into Acquisition 101

Project organizers plan to use promising ideas in upcoming GSA procurements.

A new government/industry project is taking suggestions on improving the acquisition process with emerging technology, in particular Web 2.0 and social-media tools. The General Services Administration intends to test the promising ideas in pilot contracts, according to the project's Web site, which went live today.

The Better Buy Project is a joint program between the American Council for Technology/Industry Advisory Council’s Acquisition Management Shared Interest Group (SIG), the National Academy for Public Administration, and GSA.

Project organizers today launched BetterBuyProject.com where people can offer their suggestions on using collaboration and social media to make the federal acquisition process more transparent and participatory. Organizers are primarily looking at the pre-contract-award stage of the process, or the activities that take place before the government signs a contract, according to the documents.

The ultimate goal of the project is improve the federal procurement process and to reduce fraud and waste, said Esther Burgess, a core project member and chairwoman of IAC's acquisition management SIG.

The project's organizers want more people to know about the upcoming needs the government is trying to fulfill, so the government will end up with a qualified pool of contractors to compete for the contract. Also, they want the public to get timely data on upcoming and ongoing acquisitions to promote fair and high-quality competitions.

They also want to find ways for the government to engage in open conversations with the private sector on topics, such as best practices, emerging technology, and market conditions, that may improve how well the government understands the options industry presents.

"I'm really looking forward to experimenting and testing those ideas together," Mary Davie, core project member and GSA's Federal Acquisition Service assistant commissioner for assisted acquisition services, wrote today in a message to GovLoop Acquisition 2.0 members.

The project’s Web site is BetterBuyProject.com.

About the Author

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

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