By Kay Ely, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category
In June, I hosted several officials from the U.S. Air Force here at GSA for an official signing ceremony. My team and their counterparts at the Air Force have worked diligently together over the past several months to better understand the Air Force’s IT products needs as their current contract solution approaches its sunset in November 2019.
Our two agencies have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This MOU sets forth guiding principles for a strategic partnership that allows GSA’s IT Hardware Category Team and IT Schedule 70 to establish a multiple-award blanket purchase agreement (BPA) on behalf of the Air Force. This BPA will replace the Air Force NETCENTS-2 IT Products IDIQ contract.
The IT Products BPA is expected to be available to all federal government agencies, as well as state, local, and tribal entities, consistent with GSA’s Cooperative Purchasing program.
Partnering for Better Solutions
This MOU allows us to consolidate knowledge and buying power to shape our acquisition strategy, making sure that we’re helping the federal government effectively acquire IT goods. The solution we develop will streamline the Air Force’s acquisition process — and, the federal government’s, more broadly — as well as reduce contract duplication, while saving time, resources, and taxpayer dollars. This solution also:
- Ensures Air Force receives Trade Agreements Act (TAA)-compliant products
- Mitigates risk of grey-market items
- Incorporates enhanced supply chain risk management (SCRM) processes from GSA-vetted industry partners
Answering the Call to Increase Savings
Partnerships like this directly address the call to action presented in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA). PMA Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal 7 on category management specifically directs agencies to “leverage common contracts and best practices to drive savings and efficiencies.”
We Appreciate our Partners
I would like to thank the Air Force for the confidence they placed in us as we formally acknowledged this agreement.
We value our continuing partnership with the Air Force and their commitment to using GSA. We are looking forward to working together to build a world-class solution for purchasing IT products efficiently, securely, and at competitive prices.