Federal Procurement System Word Association

As we approach the end of July here is a word association blog post regarding the federal procurement system. The word associations below are based on observations, comments and feedback we have received from throughout the procurement community. The word associations are intended to spark a Myth-Busters discussion regarding the strategic direction of the federal marketplace and in particular, GSA’s Federal Supply Schedule program. Over the course of the second half of the year the Coalition will be focusing on the issues highlighted below in our continuing efforts to bring common sense to government procurement.

  1. Mandatory use strategic sourcing = Closing the federal market.
  2. Standardized Labor Categories for Professional Services = Low Cost Technically Acceptable by other means!
  3. Federal Supply Schedule Value Proposition = Achieving best market pricing at time of a government buy (task/delivery order) through streamlined access to the commercial marketplace
  4. Schedules Modernization = An opportunity to put commercial back in commercial item contracting!
  5. Government Unique Terms = Limits the government to obtaining the “best” of the worst commercial pricing.
  6. The Price Reduction Clause = Outdated restriction on commercial competition! Is it really the federal government’s economic policy to, as a term of a federal contract, limit a commercial firm’s ability to compete in the private, commercial marketplace?
  7. Government-wide Blanket Purchase Agreements = Vertical Contract Duplication.
  8. Prices paid data = Incomplete without contract terms and conditions.
  9. Commoditization of services = The end of best value.
  10. Other Direct Costs = An opportunity for GSA to reduce costly contract duplication.
  11. Criticism of Federal Supply Schedule Pricing = A red herring. See number 3 above.
  12. Better Buying Power 2.0 = The importance of thinking and providing the tools to do so effectively.
  13. Contract Duplication = Increases costs and reduces effective competition
  14. Cost reimbursement via the schedules = Why not?
  15. The FY 2013 Fourth Quarter = Pre-existing contract vehicles are more important than ever.
  16. GSA’s market share goals = See number 3 above.
  17. Data = Not a free good.
  18. New schedule terms and conditions = The Paperwork Reduction Act
  19. The Acquisition Workforce = A best value investment.
  20. Oversight = A time for balance.

I welcome your feedback as to whether I have accurately captured the pulse from the procurement community. I am also interested in hearing whether these items are the right ones to focus on in ensuring common sense solutions that promote sound business opportunities that deliver best value to customer agencies and the American people.

Roger Waldron


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