GSA preps system for pre-RFP government-industry collaboration

The General Services Administration will release an online collaborative platform so federal agency acquisition officials and industry members can communicate to shape procurements in their early stages, according to a senior GSA official.

“It would be a special platform for government and contractors,” David McClure, associate administrator for the GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, said May 4 at a TechAmerica conference. “It is desperately needed.”

The goal is to improve the procurement process by allowing for crowdsourcing of ideas from industry to help structure a procurement so it can be most effective in meeting an agency’s requirements, he said.

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In 2010, the GSA experimented with a collaborative online wiki platform to allow vendors to comment on the pending BetterBuy cloud services acquisition vehicle. The goal of that project was to get feedback from industry on how to best structure a procurement.

The new platform would provide a similar capability, allowing vendors to provide input to agencies on a pending procurement before a request for proposals is issued, McClure said. In the pre-RFP stage, the formal procurement process has not been initiated yet.

The GSA is considering several possible applications that might serve as the platform, including IdeaScale, which has been used in several federal innovation contests, McClure said.

The GSA hopes to have the platform in place this summer, and it may initially start with just GSA or a limited number of agencies, McClure added.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Fri, May 6, 2011 RT

crowd sourceing should include the quality assurance and contract admin plans for the managment of the contract

Fri, May 6, 2011 RT

It is important to involve industry in the preRFP stage - but it is also important for the govt team to be involved and begin thier contract adminn plan as soon as possible. No contract can succeed without the cooperation of the feds - too often feds just throw money at a problem and don't address the need to administer the contract which includes technical direction of facilitating the contractor work.

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