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GSA works through details for its planned eCommerce platform and recently launched a new interactive cloud adoption site. All this and more in Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for May 24, 2019.

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GSA Digs Into Details for Planned eCommerce Portal

The General Services Administration (GSA) is working through the intricate details of its planned e-commerce platform and expects to have a pilot in place by the end of the year. GSA detailed plans for standing up a marketplace model pilot by the end of 2019 and recommended that the micropurchase threshold — the maximum agencies can spend without going to a competitive procurement — be raised to $25,000. GSA administrator Emily Murphy said the project is a key part of the agency’s move to transform into a more efficient, customer-focused agency. “DHS is watching this closely,” said Nina Ferraro, deputy chief procurement officer at the Department of Homeland Security. “We’re excited, but have questions about training, oversight and costs.”

As Federal AI Spending Nears $1B, More Agencies Consider Use Cases

Talk of artificial intelligence (AI) has led to increased spending and put several Trump administration directives in motion, but only a handful of agencies have gotten into the early stages of AI adoption. However, a second wave of agencies may soon launch their own AI tools if they can overcome some common hurdles. Yet for all the excitement around AI, the report points to four challenges agencies and the administration will need to overcome for more widespread adoption. First, agencies need to develop a business case for AI, not develop a solution in search of a problem. The second and third challenges center focus on building a data analytics culture at agencies, and developing AI competency within the federal workforce.

GSA Sets Cloud Hub, Plans Major Acquisition Conference

The General Services Administration (GSA) is bringing back a large-scale conference for federal buyers and vendors, but the agency’s leader Emily Murphy promises it won’t be a “return to Expo.” To underscore and explain the importance of all the agency’s transformation efforts, Murphy said GSA will bring together procurement experts and federal customers in a large conference. The agency will convene the FAST 2020 (Federal Acquisition Service Training) conference next April 14-16 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The agency is also pushing forward with centralized cloud resources. The new interactive cloud adoption site that makes resources more convenient for its customers, which is the agency’s guiding principle, according to its top official.

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Federal Acquisition Service Fixed IT Pricing Problems Found in 2016 Audit

The General Services Administration’s (GSA) procurement arm has fully met the recommendations of a 2016 audit that found widespread problems in how the agency handled pricing for IT products, GSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) says in a new report. The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), which procures goods and services for agencies across the government, has fixed how it priced identical items offered by multiple suppliers through IT Schedule 70, the OIG report says.

GSA Official Lays Out Benefits of Agency’s Cloud Adoption

General Services Administration (GSA) Senior Solution Architect Richard Bright hailed several benefits of the agency’s migration to cloud services at the Alfresco Government Summit conference this week, including resulting service improvements and an uptick in workforce culture. “We were a traditional IT organization before we started out our journey, so we had segregation of goals,” Bright said. “Into the cloud, we looked at that as an opportunity to integrate. … The synergy from bringing people together really resulted in rapid innovation.” Bright said one of the ways he’s measured the successes of cloud adoption has been through the quality of end-point delivery to customers.

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