Procurement

SEWP IV changes coming as SEWP V emerges

SEWP V logo, courtesy of NASA.

Even though the fifth iteration of NASA's massive government-wide contracting vehicle will probably be unleashed in April, the current version of SEWP will deliver some important tweaks in March aimed at giving buyers more insight into their spending.

Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) Program Manager Joanne Woytek told FCW in a Jan. 9 email that March will bring important updates to the SEWP IV government-wide acquisition contracting (GWAC) vehicle's processes and programs. The updates will provide more information to government customers about details included in the GWAC's quotes, including data on supply-chain risk based on level of authorization and pertinent product-level information such as Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool compliance.

Those revisions, Woytek said, will give CIOs and other agency decision makers more information and control over what their agencies purchase.

The planned March changes to SEWP IV also include pricing structure changes, as well as a small usage fee reduction.

"As we semi-annually review current and projected budgets, it was determined that all of the updates would allow us to change to a 0.39 percent fee built into the product prices," she said. The current fee is .45 percent.

Another update is to move the SEWP fee into the price of the products, which will reduce what customers need to worry about and make the entire process streamlined, she said. "We will continue to tell the customer what the fee is for … but they will no longer need to separately order, track and pay for the fee," she said.

She added that SEWP IV always had the option for contract holders to include the fee in their product price, but until March it was optional -- meaning that sometimes the fee was separated and sometimes not. The change will simplify and standardize the process, she said.

At the same time, protests have prompted NASA to re-evaluate the dozens of contracts it awarded under the next generation of SEWP, the $20 billion SEWP V contracting vehicle.

Those protests came after the agency announced two flights of awards on Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, awarding 73 contracts across three company-size categories for hardware, software and related services. Protests started almost as soon as the contracts were announced, with 17 companies filing across various categories.

"The government is diligently working on a corrective action and we plan on having selections, awards and start-up by the time SEWP IV is currently slated to end on April 30," Woytek said.

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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