Acquisition

SEWP explores strategic sourcing for PCs

Laptops

The White House has selected NASA's government-wide acquisition contracting organization to head up an effort to apply federal strategic sourcing initiative principles to buying laptops and desktop computers.

At the direction of the Office of Management and Budget, an FSSI Workstations Commodity Team was established at NASA's Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) Program Office to develop a framework and strategy to address multiple interagency contracts for IT workstations, with an eye to better manage spending, reduce costs and increase value by applying strategic sourcing principles.

SEWP said in a May 21 Fed Biz Opps notice that the OMB specifically directed the team to develop a way to quickly compare contracting vehicles that offer similar devices and services. OMB also wants SEWP to identify and refine a set of computer configurations that would best fit federal buyers and to identify a set of spending best practices.

SEWP added that it had gathered and analyzed feedback from 22 federal agencies on how to define the common configurations for standard desktops, laptops and upgrades. The team had defined base models and upgrade options using the feedback, with each specifications based on the most popular among agencies. Departments providing feedback included Commerce, Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and the General Services Administration.

Feedback from industry on the common configurations and specifications is "critical" for the team, said SEWP. Specific terms, conditions and contract clauses are of particular interest. The FedBizOpps notice also asked about extending warranty periods beyond three years and if a six-month technology refresh cycle could be used to save money.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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