FCW: The growing importance of GWACs

“Leaders from the technical, policy and procurement worlds convened at the center in 1992 to explore new, faster ways for NASA scientists to get their hands on the latest computers. The goal was to create a procurement method that would allow NASA to make critical purchases in a matter of months by reducing the red tape that delayed the acquisition of emerging technologies.

NASA leaders eventually requested procurement authorities from the General Services Administration so that they could establish pre-competed indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts, which allowed them to negotiate their own prices and pre-qualify sellers. The program became known as NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP), and it served as the pilot project for an experimental approach at the time: the governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC)…”

“Although its foundation is intact, SEWP continues to evolve and to serve as both a precedent and a trailblazer for other GWACs. Changes include switching from time-consuming paper-based updates of technology offerings to electronic updates that are typically executed in less than an hour and emphasizing support for agencywide initiatives rather than focusing on individual procurement actions…”

“’While GWACs are difficult for startups to navigate, the model does help lead to federal work, can serve as a stamp of approval and opens door to make the procurement process more efficient in the long term,’ said Alec Longarzo, director of federal business development at technology services firm Dcode. ‘GWACs require a large resource investment and, in many instances, help from external consultants and partners. Small businesses can’t always throw large teams at these vehicles and impact other aspects of their business as a result.’…”

“Some experts also point to growing competition within GSA, noting that the agency oversees a suite of GWACs and its own $45 billion consolidated Multiple Award Schedule Contract that is the largest of its kind.

Still, GWACs continue to find new success each year, and GSA officials see GWACs as key facilitators in achieving the Biden administration’s priorities, particularly those focused on increasing investments in small woman- and veteran-owned companies and those located in disadvantaged communities…” Read the full article here.

Source: The growing importance of GWACs – By Chris Riotta, October 18, 2021. FCW.

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