GSA looks to streamline acquisition for federal buyers

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In a step it hopes will help ease agency acquisition of everything from IT systems to pencils, the General Services Administration is adding a feature to its schedule programs called Order Level Materials, which was the subject of a recent rulemaking process.

The move will let agencies get products and services along with the associated items they need to make use of them at the order level, Mark Lee, assistant commissioner in the agency's Federal Acquisition Service's Office of Policy and Compliance, wrote a July 3 blog post.

Before the new rule, GSA said, agencies might have had to go through several contracting actions to get secondary services a total system solution or product might need before it could actually be implemented or put into use.

"This ability to include OLMs in Schedule orders was long-sought by both customer agencies and industry partners and quickly became a priority for GSA's regulatory reform task force," said Lee wrote.

OLM, according to Lee, evens out the consistency between the GSA's schedules programs and other indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts, reducing potentially duplicative contracting tracks.

GSA began refreshing solicitations and issuing modifications to existing contracts and contractors back in June to prepare for OLM's introduction, he said.  GSA also created a special item number for OLMs.

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, 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 or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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