Air Force forms IT-buying council

The new Air Force Information Technology Commodity Council will help change how the service buys and maintains hardware and software, Air Force officials said.

In upcoming months, the service's group will study pricing, purchasing, and supplier and technology trends so the Air Force can manage IT from acquisition to operation — even to giveaway or destruction, officials said.

Vendors "are radically reducing purchasing costs over and over again, year after year," said Lt. Col. Thomas Gaylord, Air Force IT Commodity Council deputy director, who spoke Aug. 26 at the Air Force IT Conference in Montgomery, Ala. The service wants to do that, too, he said.

Industry uses commodity councils to determine if it appropriately manages goods and services. Members of the new Air Force group want to understand what IT the Air Force owns and needs, said Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, a Washington, D.C.-based industry group.

"The Air Force IT Commodity Council gets at [the question of,] 'Do you have sound management of your assets?' " he said.

The Defense Department and the services must clearly communicate where and how they spend IT dollars, said Air Force chief information officer John Gilligan.

This is especially true with the Air Force's proposed fiscal 2004 budget of $6 billion, which is a 10 percent increase from fiscal 2003, Gilligan said. The IT Commodity Council will determine where the service spends IT money and what drives those purchases, he said.

The Air Force launched the council July 21, after five months of planning, Gaylord said. Gilligan and Charles Williams, the service's head of contracting, lead the new group.

The service requires standards for system architecture and IT purchasing, Gaylord said, and the council fulfills the Air Force's needs.

"The Air Force IT Commodity Council is about how we acquire and manage IT across the entire product life cycle — not just acquisition," he said.

Government and industry should not acquire IT just so they can buy IT, Allen said. They should purchase IT that easily fits into their existing infrastructure — or with that in mind, he said.

"I look at the establishment of the Air Force IT Commodity Council as a step to understand what IT the service uses and needs," Allen said.

Congress wants DOD to better explain how it buys and manages information technology, said John Stenbit, assistant secretary of Defense for networks and information integration and CIO.

DOD will break its IT budget into two categories — warfighting and business — beginning in 2005, Stenbit said. Congress considers IT to be one group covering everything from spy plane radars and communications satellites to payroll and accounting management systems.

The Air Force partitioned war-fighting and IT funding for fiscal 2004 because of Congress' perception that DOD was not spending its IT dollars efficiently, Gilligan said. The service created a budget exhibit to easily show where it will spend them, he said.

***

Tracking buys

The new Air Force Information Technology Commodity Council will be based at the Air Force's Standard Systems Group at Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, Ala. The new, 24-person group consists of 10 major command representatives. Seven are from the standard systems group, six are from the air staff and one is a functional representative.

The group will study five topics to help the service transform its hardware and software acquisitions.

Those topic areas are:

Desktop/notebook PCs: How are they contracted, bought and maintained, and how should the Air Force streamline their future purchases?

Pricing: How does the service acquire good products from reliable companies at fair prices?

Acquisition: How does the Air Force start a consistent, servicewide purchasing strategy?

Suppliers: Who are they? Whom does the service use? Whom should it use?

Technology: What are the trends?

***

Who is the Air Force IT Commodity Council?

The new, 24-person group consists of 10 major command representatives. Seven are from the standard systems group, six are from the air staff and one is a functional representative.

Air Force major command leaders chose the 10 people to support the service's functional and user requirements; standard systems group personnel were selected for their functional, planning and technical expertise; and the air staff and functional representatives were picked for their communication and leadership abilities.

The group meets periodically via face-to-face meetings, telephone conference calls and video-conferencing. The Air Force portal also includes a council Web site so representatives can discuss issues, post documents and plan meetings.

NEXT STORY: Iraq shows IT work needed

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.