A group of public and private sector technology councils are suggesting ways the federal government could get better at buying IT.
A white paper published this week highlights six areas where the government can modernize or update the way in which it purchases services and technologies from private companies, crafting a number of ways feds could amend acquisition regulations.
“Our collective goal is to enable the government to reach, directly or indirectly, the full array of capabilities and solutions that exist in the private sector to deliver effective mission results,” the paper reads.
Among the suggestions are integrating an “innovation template” and “emerging technology provision” into contracts to give agencies flexibility when it comes to acquiring rapidly evolving tools.
The paper also calls for best value/cost-technical tradeoff to be the default evaluation technique used for services acquisitions except for the most basic, commoditized requirements, as well as to include “an alternative solution or strategy” that differs from RFP requirements as long as the solution meets the contract’s desired outcome.
Another section focuses on enhancing the workforce, calling for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act to give OFPP statutory authority over the entire acquisition workforce, along with creating an Acquisition Excellence Council that would redesign the federal acquisition training system.
“The Federal government today has a tremendous opportunity — through the adoption of a common set of guiding principles for the federal marketplace—to ensure that it has access to the best ideas and solutions that all of industry has to offer,” the paper reads. “Regardless of where or how a company may approach the federal market, these principles form the core of a sound, competitive, open, and effective acquisition process.”
The paper was a combined effort from the Professional Services Council, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the California Technology Council and the Technology Councils of North America.
Read the full paper below.