Amazon and USAF partner up on e-commerce program, DoD awards over $2 billion in year-end contracts, and acquisition leaders are looking to new techniques for IT modernization. All this and more in Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for October 5, 2018.
The U.S. Air Force and Amazon have partnered on a pilot program that allows contracting officers to make small procurements on the company’s e-commerce portal through the use of government purchase cards. The pilot program comes as the General Services Administration works to implement its e-commerce program in accordance with the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. “The Air Force is striving to learn from several models of e-commerce in order to enhance the Air Force’s mission in terms of pricing, user ability, or governance and feed those lessons learned into GSA’s efforts,” Capt. Hope Cronin, a spokesperson for the military branch, said in a statement to Bloomberg Government.
The General Services Administration (GSA) announced this week that it awarded its 10-year, $2.5 billion NewPay cloud contract for payroll, leave management, and work scheduling to two industry teams. The 10-year NewPay blanket purchase agreement (BPA) is a software-as-a-service solution for which federal agencies can place task orders. A team comprised of Carahsoft Technology Corporation, Immix Technology and Deloitte Consulting LLP was awarded a blanket purchase agreement for its software-as-a-service solution “Kronos and SAP.” And a team made up of Grant Thornton, The Arcanum Group Inc. and CGI Federal was also awarded a BPA for its SaaS solution “Infor.”
The Department of Defense (DoD) handed out $7.54 billion in contracts on the last working day of the fiscal year. An annual event, this year saw various defense offices spending the last of their coffers and awarding long-term contracts for the next year, as well as involved 114 different contract announcements, with values ranging from $1.05 billion to $7.12 million.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) wants to make sure agencies understand the added challenges of cyber security for internet of things so it is producing a new guidance document. A draft of the proposal opened for public comments last week and will remain open for 30 days. James St. Pierre, deputy director of NIST’s IT laboratory, said it’s the first in a series of documents that will consider cyber security alongside privacy.
New acquisition techniques can help contracting professionals and federal IT leaders work together to bring new technology into government in a fast and efficient manner, acquisition leaders said during FCW’s Accelerate GOV conference last week. “When people tell me that procurement is slow, my immediate reaction is, why? Why do you think it’s slow? Tell me what’s slow. And that’s when people start to stutter a little bit” said Soraya Correa, chief procurement officer at the Department of Homeland Security. “Let me tell you a little secret: the procurement process isn’t really that slow. On the 30th of September, we will have obligated $15 billion dollars that were appropriated to us in late March, but didn’t really get handed to us until about May,” Correa said. She continued to share some of the tools her team uses to cut down the time to acquisition. Chief among her advice to attendees was the use of oral presentations and technical demonstrations.
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