February 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm #154471
Recently, I've talked to a number of people that run GWACs - a lot of discussion has turned to when should you use a GWAC and why people weren't using them more in times when there is a growing work backlog for acquisition professionals.
Then recently, I talked to a rising acquisition leader who said they rarely use GWACs in their agencies for a variety of reasons:
-Lack of awareness
-Perception amongst some contract specialist that using GWACs make them seem less necessary to their agency
-Special needs that are unique (which we discussed if there is truly any special needs)
So in your agency, why do you or don't use GWACs?
February 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm #154479
My two cents: Most contract specialists, including me, can't exactly explain what a GWAC is and does versus other contract vehicles. We know contract types inside and out, but contract vehicles, that's a different story.
February 29, 2012 at 3:04 am #154477
Hello: Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) are IDIQ contracts designed to streamline the acquisition of IT products, services and total solutions. What sets these contracts apart from other multiple award contracts is that only OMB authorized executive agents can award and administer these contracts. These contracts use FAR Subpart 16.505 ordering procedures which save time and money for acquisition professionals and end users. You can use any contract type when issuing task or delivery orders against these contracts. The NITAAC program through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has several GWACs that are used throughout the entire Federal government, including DOD, and they even have free training if you're interested. Information on NITAACs free training
March 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm #154475
It is the lack of awareness, combined with every organization having "unique" requirements that prevents their use. As a result, an agency, or organizations within agencies, created their own multi-award contracts (MACs) which further add confusion to the process and creates administrative waste for government and industry. This explosion of MACs has also diluted the significant leverage government has to negotiate lower prices, requiring industry and their government counterparts to keep track of dozens of MACs, many of which never see any business.
Contractdirectory.gov should be a user-friendly, searchable database of these vehicles across government, which helps 1102s and buying activities to see what is already out there, find out how to issue task orders of these existing vehicles, and lower acquisition lead times and save considerable amount of time and money.
It amazes me that many organizations do not actually know the inventories of these vehicles, what is being bought off them, contractors, etc. How is this possible?
March 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm #154473
Sterling and Jaime both make very good points. A lack of education and the proliferation of MACs have overshadowed the benefits of using GWACs, and I am very glad the current OFPP Administrators are trying to curtail these problems by requiring business cases be submitted for any new MACs. While agencies may have "unique" requirements and think they need their own vehicles, the truth is that the existing product and service GWACs are so broad in scope, and have such high ceilings, just about any IT requirement can be addressed. Take cloud computing, for example. Some think they need to wait for a new contract to purchase these services. The truth is, cloud services are available on GWACs right now. NITAAC offers free GWAC training to anyone interested so feel free to contact us.
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