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Small Businesses: Join the Discussion and Participate in Improving the Federal Acquisition Process [Better Buy Project]

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Saturday, March 27, 2010
Small Businesses: Join the Discussion and Participate in Improving the Federal Acquisition Process

In addition to being a darned nice person and an ultra sharp government official, our friend Mary Davie (@marydavie if you follow her on Twitter) is leading a charge to improve government acquisitions. This would be the Better Buy Project you may have heard about. I mean it makes complete sense for Mary to be doing this especially when you realize she is GSA Assistant Commissioner responsible for the Office of Assisted Acquisition Services.

Why does that matter you ask?

GSA logoIn fiscal year 2009, the Office of Assisted Acquisition Services was responsible for obligating $3.9B with $1B of that to small businesses. While the Department of Defense represents AAS' largest customer, they do business with nearly every Civilian agency as well. Large civilian customers include VA, EPA, Agriculture, GSA, DHS, USAID and FDIC.

Have your attention now?

The Better Buy Project is a discussion group with the goal of identifying ways of improving the first phase of the acquisition process, known as the "pre-award phase."  Here, the goal is to draw on the broader acquisition community, both inside and outside the government, to identify best practices and innovative ideas.

Mary contacted me the other day to let me know the first phase of the BetterBuy Pilots (Market Research and Requirements Definition) is live and that small businesses should ensure they take advantage of this opportunity to help potentially shape the future of the acquisition process. GSA is using the term "pilot(s)", because they are trying this out on two different requirements. The first is data.gov. GSA is seeking input on a requirement to provide a data repository for data.gov. The data.gov pilot was ready to launch on March 25, 2010. The second is called "Clearpath". For this one, GSA is looking for input on the technical infrastructure for our Clearpath hosting, and developing the approach for a future acquisition. GSA will launch Clearpath in a few weeks.

The entire point of this exercise is to test out how GSA can use collaboration and social media to make the federal acquisition process more efficient and effective. This wiki, along with a new twitter account to update status, is what GSA is testing out in phase one.

So take some time to visit the Better Buy Project website and the new wiki, and help out Mary and the hard working folks at GSA as they try to effect changes to benefit everyone impacted by government acquisitions.

Keep up the good work Mary!

Peace!
 
Guy Timberlake
Chief Visionary and Chief Executive Officer

Tags:  acquisition  better buy  clearpath  data.gov  gsa  mary davie 

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