Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Dan Warn, VP at BravoSolution.
Last year Congress passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), designed to expand the amount of federal spending data available to the public. The federal government is now under tremendous pressure to improve spending transparency, cut costs and be more efficient than ever. For many agencies, attaining these goals might feel like a considerable undertaking, however, it’s also an opportunity to look for a better, more strategic approach to procurement.
To make sourcing easier, the US General Services Administration offers contract vehicles to help agencies streamline the sourcing process and drive the value they need from procurement. Federal agencies looking to do business with IT vendors can turn to the GSA IT 70 (commonly referred to as Schedule 70). This acquisition vehicle gives the federal government unprecedented, direct access to innovative solutions from more than 5,000 certified industry partners. The platform brings several advantages for federal agencies:
- Easy Facilitation: Schedule 70 streamlines the procurement process, giving agencies the ability to search for a product or part by number, request and accept quotes and facilitate the acquisition all through the GSA eBuy platform.
- Best in Class Pricing: As part of the schedule, regular audits are done across the platform to ensure agencies have access to the same prices as the private industry and know they’re getting the best value for their money. This also saves time because agencies don’t need to go through the process of checking the prices and terms each supplier offers and can conduct this research in one fell swoop.
- Less Hassle: All the terms, conditions and prices are pre-negotiated, which eliminates a good chunk of the headache that comes with contract negotiations.
- Open Competition: Being able to put things up for competition easily encourages agencies to be full and open, where all qualified parties are eligible to compete for business. Schedule 70 provides everything the government needs for facilitation of a transparent and equal acquisition process.
- More Opportunities: Allowing vendors to do business directly with the federal government not only opens doors for the solution providers, but also gives government agencies more options when it comes to purchasing procurement technology.
With the DATA Act in place, government agencies must revamp their approach to spend management. Collecting and analyzing spend data is the first step to transforming the purchasing process, as it essentially provides a baseline for transparency, collaboration and getting leadership buy-in. By having this understanding of their spend, it will be easier for agencies to be transparent, cut costs and create new efficiencies.
The federal government needs a clearer picture of where its money is going, but budget cuts are forcing government procurement teams to do more with less, rarely enabling them with the tools required to do their jobs effectively. With the GSA IT 70, public sector procurement professionals have more options for innovative solutions at their fingertips, helping them make confident decisions and drive organizational growth, making procurement the hero.