Small Businesses: Join the Discussion
and Participate in Improving the Federal Acquisition Process
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
does that matter you ask?
In 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?
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.
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