The General Services Administration (GSA) has renamed its Office of Integrated Technology Service to the Office of Information Technology Category (ITC), to better reflect the agency’s focus on category management. In a new blog post, ITC Assistant Commissioner Mary Davie said the rebranding is to focus the agency more on providing acquisition expertise to agencies. “Helping agencies find the best solutions using our technological and acquisition expertise regardless of where they reside, rather than advocating for any specific GSA contract solution,” wrote Davie. “Yes, you read this correctly. Our ITC experts will recommend a non-GSA contract if it’s the best-fit solution for an agency.)”
The Governing Institute and KPMG have created a new handbook full of advice from modernization experts on how the public sector can apply lessons from the private sector to improve its procurement performance. Much of the paper looks at the drawbacks of the legacy technology system public procurement organizations across the country use, and how contemporary solutions can help drive value. The handbook is available after free registration.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council has proposed a new rule to “promote the acquisition of sustainable products, services, and construction methods in order to reduce energy and water consumption, reliance on natural resources, and enhance pollution prevention.” The rule asks agencies to ensure “that environmental performance and sustainability factors are included to the maximum extent practicable for all applicable procurements.” It implements the Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade executive order signed by President Barack Obama in 2015, and the bio-based product acquisition provisions the 2014 Farm Bill.
Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said in his final speech that the Department of Defense (DoD) has made great progress in reining costs and schedule slippage, despite public perception. Kendall pointed to the fact that cost growth in major weapons systems is now at a 30-year low, and pushed back against some of the reforms put forth by Congress. “The Hill has a very imperfect tool to try to improve acquisition results, and it’s a blunt instrument,” Kendall said. “It can change things like organizational structures and set very firm requirements for how we do business. Those are not good tools to achieve the results the Hill is after, but they keep trying. As often as not, what they do doesn’t help. What it does do is create more bureaucracy and regulation, because we have to implement everything that gets put into statute and demonstrate compliance. It adds and adds and adds to the body of regulation that’s a burden to our system.”
The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) has awarded a 10-year ValuePoint Cloud Solutions Master Agreement to CenturyLink, which will offer city and state governments cloud and managed services solutions. The ValuePoint program allows participating municipalities and states to leverage their collective buying power to land a better contract. The program is led by the State of Utah, but includes a wide variety of government organizations from across the United States.
Rolls-Royce, the United Kingdom-based company which aside from cars makes a number of parts and systems for aerospace, defense and other agencies, has agreed to pay the U.S. nearly $170 million as part of an $800 million global resolution into a long-running scheme to bribe government officials in exchange for government contracts. The agreement reaches across the Atlantic and even down to Brazil. “For more than a decade, Rolls-Royce repeatedly resorted to bribes to secure contracts and get a competitive edge in countries throughout the world,” said Chief Andrew Weissmann of the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has dismissed a protest brought by York Telecom Company of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) request for proposal. The Court rule that York did not bring the protest in a timely manner, before the solicitation period closed, as required. It also noted that NASA responded to similar questions three times, and provided those answers in updated versions of the solicitation.