Acquisition

GSA opens acquisition gateway to the public

GSA's acquisition gateway, as shown in an agency-produced demonstration video

GSA's acquisition gateway, as shown in an agency-produced demonstration video.

The General Services Administration opened its government-facing Acquisition Gateway portal to public users on Feb. 5, allowing contractors and industry acquisition professionals similar access to the aggregated acquisition data that federal acquisition workers now have.

"The public will have access to as much of the Acquisition Gateway as possible and will experience the same user-centric design as federal users," Tom Sharpe, commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, said in a Feb. 2 statement. "The gateway will enable that access while protecting the integrity of critical federal data and the security of private information supplied by contractors and others."

GSA previewed the site for reporters and users in a Jan. 28 teleconference, providing a working run-through of some of its capabilities.  The gateway provides information on pricing, best practices covering acquisition and models on how to implement those practices -- all with an eye to helping federal program officers draft better requirements and federal contracting officers negotiate better contracts.

The portal incorporates user-centric features like "thumbs-up" (or -down) feedback on information; a "solution finder" that lets users enter what they're looking for and get a refined set of solutions tailored to those needs; a function that allows federal contracting personnel to "follow" more experienced workers through acquisitions; and the ability to create communities of users with similar challenges.

GSA officials had said previously that, when the gateway was opened to the public, certain proprietary information that could be used competitively by vendors would be masked in public views. It said its Freedom of Information Act Division, Office of General Counsel, and senior procurement executives from each agency that provided content for the gateway reviewed and confirmed that said content was appropriate for public posting.

 "Although the Acquisition Gateway's primary stakeholder is the federal user, publicity about the tool garnered attention from citizens, the media, industry, government contractors, third-party consultants, and state and local governments," Laura Stanton, acting director of strategy management for GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, said in the same Feb. 5 GSA statement.

Contracts, community feeds, the eBuy Open  and the Prices Paid Portal that includes data on prices agencies are paying for commonly acquired items won't be visible to the public.

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.


Featured

  • FCW Perspectives
    human machine interface

    Your agency isn’t ready for AI

    To truly take advantage, government must retool both its data and its infrastructure.

  • Cybersecurity
    secure network (bluebay/Shutterstock.com)

    Federal CISO floats potential for new supply chain regs

    The federal government's top IT security chief and canvassed industry for feedback on how to shape new rules of the road for federal acquisition and procurement.

  • People
    DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, shown here at her Nov. 8, 2017, confirmation hearing. DHS Photo by Jetta Disco

    DHS chief Nielsen resigns

    Kirstjen Nielsen, the first Homeland Security secretary with a background in cybersecurity, is being replaced on an acting basis by the Customs and Border Protection chief. Her last day is April 10.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.