Acquisition

SEWP preps for year-end surge

shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930 

The latest annual federal agency IT spending wave is on the horizon and one of the government's biggest technology shopping bazaars is getting ready for the 25th time.

Created in 1993 with Office of Management and Budget authorization, NASA SEWP is the federal government's first government-wide acquisition contract. Originally called the Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement, the program's name was broadened to Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement in 2007. The vehicle is now on its fifth iteration, SEWP V.

Joanne Woytek has overseen SEWP since becoming the vehicle's program manager in1999. "Until then, the program was small enough that we could manage it as a committee," she told FCW.

Woytek has also been one of SEWP's guiding forces, pushing to keep the contract's reputation for customer service tied to a broad array of relevant IT products and services.

The summer months, particularly August and September, are the contract's busiest, as the federal government's fiscal year comes to an end.

"Typically about 50 percent of orders come through in August and September, with about 38 percent in September alone," Woytek said.

The GWAC extends business hours in August and runs weekend support operations through September, she said. SEWP also provides last-minute customer support until midnight on Sept. 30, the final spending day for the fiscal year.

Woytek said she expects a 10 percent bump in SEWP usage this fiscal year, attributing the expected increase to agencies moving from open market or internal contracts to SEWP's existing contracts.

SEWP staffers that aren't normally involved directly with customer service or order processing typically lend a hand in those areas during the August and September crunch.And SEWP, Woytek said, has become a busier place overall. The GWAC plans to add 20 more employees in the coming months, a roughly 25 percent jump in the contract's supporting staff.

Woytek said the additional personnel are needed because of increased usage of the contract over the years. With the new staff, she said the goal is to increase procurement support provided through the SEWP website and applications and to support the existing staff's increasing workloads.

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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