EPA planning $200M agile contract

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The Environmental Protection Agency is planning a $200 million contracting vehicle dedicated to agile services.

Through the agile service blanket purchase agreement, EPA will vet and pool agile vendors under a single vehicle to place task orders for its needs in mobile application development, web application development, commercial off-the-shelf product customization or update, and new system development. EPA anticipates orders under the vehicle will be capped off at $2 million. 

The agency will host an industry day July 27 to solicit the feedback of potential bidders on the BPA.

“EPA has a number of large systems that are in need of new solutions, as well as a continuing need for new applications for data management, including new mobile applications and web-based applications to support work across the Agency,” according to a special notice from the agency.

It continues: “This requirement is meant to help EPA develop, implement, and maintain IT products and services that will provide the most value for EPA and its stakeholders by using methods that support modular, iterative, and flexible development practices using Agile methodologies…”

EPA’s agile BPA — a hat tip to the General Services Administration’s 18F, which created a similar agile BPA for agencies’s use governmentwide — signals a concerted departure from the lengthy and often-inefficient waterfall procurement of IT products and services.

[Read more: 18F awards first agile task order — building a FedRAMP dashboard]

“Currently, many Agency IT software development vehicles are built to support waterfall development processes,” the notice says. “As such, procurements do not create competition for development services or access to market prices. EPA anticipates that Agile methodologies will bring cost saving and efficiencies to the Agency by following modern application development best practices, methods, and technology.” 

Former EPA Chief Technology Officer Greg Godbout first hinted at the creation of the BPA a year ago in an interview with FedScoop. He said then that consultants would guide program offices buying through that vehicle.

“They’re experts in letting you buy at the speed of need,” Godbout said last July.

FedScoop reached out to EPA for comment on the BPA. 

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18F, Agencies, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Government IT News, Innovation, Procurement