Air Force and GSA Sign MOU for IT Products BPAs

Posted by Kay Ely
on September 5, 2018

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.

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

From Left: Mary Davie, Deputy Commissioner, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service; William E. Marion II, Deputy Chief, Information Dominance and Deputy Chief Information Officer, USAF; Kay T. Ely, Assistant Commissioner, GSA’s Office of Information Technology Category; Mr. Richard W. Lombardi, Deputy Under Secretary of the USAF; Brigadier General Cameron G. Holt, USAF
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Speeding up the Fast Track – Coming in First for Customer Service

Posted by
on December 5, 2011

In April, President Obama issued Executive Order 13571, “Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service”, requiring agencies to create and publish customer service plans. In line with that directive, GSA recently published its own customer service plan.

As we implement our plan, I want to share some of the ways in which we at ITS are already improving customer service. As I see it, we are on an exciting ongoing journey that directly involves our customer agencies and industry partners. Making this journey as easy and fast as possible will require three things:

  • a passion for delivering results and value
  • a willingness to take on new perspectives, and
  • frequent, open, and honest communication.

Delivering Results and Value to Customers

ITS is the federal government’s largest and most experienced IT acquisition partner. Our unique relationship with other government agencies and industry partners gives us the opportunity to create value for both our customers and for taxpayers. We work closely with most federal agencies and the best vendors in government IT, so we can share, reuse, and leverage best practices.

We help agencies identify and aggregate their shared needs, providing value that isn’t available through in-house procurement. Our partnership with GSA’s Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS) means that agencies can get support across the entire acquisition lifecycle to ensure that requirements are met on time, within budget, and with reduced risk.

We also reduce acquisition risk by setting up flexible, innovative contract vehicles, and working hand-in-glove with agencies and industry to define and meet requirements. This past year we solicited direct agency and industry involvement in our new cloud offerings, future telecommunications contracts, our new IT commodity program, and USAccess (HSPD-12). This collaboration has already shown positive results, including the release of the RFQ for our upcoming FSSI Wireless program.

Adopting a Different Perspective

Sometimes the best way to move forward is to see things from a different angle. By taking on our customers’ perspective, we at GSA are able to pave the way for industry to seamlessly deliver and implement IT solutions for government. Industry then has incentives to point out where GSA can improve and to share their commercial customer service best practices.

Customers also benefit from thinking big—when your agency identifies a need for a new method or procurement process, think about how other agencies could participate in a shared solution. Come talk to us. You may be surprised at what we can do, or what we already have in the works.

Increasing and Expanding Communication

To develop this broader perspective, we’re reaching out with new ways to engage customers and industry. Our efforts dovetail with President Obama’s direction to advance customer service through innovative technology.

Over the past six months, we’ve done this in a variety of ways, such as posting draft RFIs and RFQs on the BetterBuy wiki to solicit input on our FSSI Wireless and Network Services 2020 programs. We have employed two-way communications channels, such as our Twitter account, this blog, and community websites, enhancing industry’s and customers’ access to ITS and to each other. We are also overhauling our web presence to better explain our offerings and make it easier to find information. Together, these initiatives should make our initial conversations with customers more productive and meaningful.

As we create and update these tools and channels, please use them and tell us what you think. We are asking you to give us your honest assessment before, during, and after we work together. We always want to know what we could be doing better so that we remain the government’s trusted go-to resource for all of their IT and telecommunications needs.

Let me know how we’re doing by leaving a comment here or reaching me on Twitter.

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