Acquisition

GSA unveils prices-paid tool for Alliant

The General Services Administration is banking on a new tool to sharpen federal IT buyers' shopping skills when they're using the agency's $50 billion Alliant governmentwide acquisition contract.

GSA released the "prices paid" tool on Jan. 26 for Alliant and Alliant Small Business, the agency's customizable enterprise IT contracting vehicle for agencies' long-term planning of large-scale program requirements.

Developed by GSA's Center for GWAC Programs, the tool is based on pricing and task-order information gleaned from agencies' past spending and provides a variety of research and analysis capabilities for agency CIOs, chief financial officers and chief acquisition officers.

Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services in GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, wrote in a blog post that the tool taps into the data from almost 1,000 task orders issued by IT procurement officials using Alliant.

"The information derived from this usage will help the CIO, CFO and CAO community as well as support contracting officers and the 1,218 Delegation of Procurement Authority holders," Davie wrote.

The tool includes dashboards and reports that can help agencies conduct market research, develop better cost estimates, analyze price data and see total IT dollars spent under Alliant.

"This tool provides users with a breakdown of pricing data by federal agency, company, contract family, labor categories and contract type," Davie said.

GSA officials have said that sharing such detailed data across government is essential to reducing costs and increasing efficiencies.

"The prices-paid data is a tool and one data point that buyers can use along with gathering additional context on a negotiated requirement and associated terms and conditions to fully understand how prices were reached," Davie wrote. "This data point can be invaluable in assisting contracting professionals to develop acquisition strategies and evaluating acquisition options."

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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