White House Requires Agencies to Improve ‘Information Technology Commodity Management Practices’

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The White House issued a memorandum Thursday requiring agencies to take new steps to improve their “Information Technology commodity management practices.”

Annually, the Federal Government spends about $1 billion on mobile devices and services contract, with approximately half of that going to four carriers, the memo said. 

While agencies have made some progress in mobile service management, they must reduce the level of “fragmentation and duplication” of mobile contracts by simplifying the Federal marketplace for these services, according to the memo.

The Federal Government needs “visibility” into what it buys in order to adequately fulfill agency missions. As such, agencies must:

  • Report all mobile service usage and pricing data to the Acquisition Gateway to help other Federal agencies during the market research and award phases of any mobile contract acquisition.
  • Develop an enterprise-wide inventory and management strategy
  • Transition to government-wide acquisition strategies and create accountability

According to the memo, by September 30, 2018, agencies are required to consolidate all of their minute and data requirements to one contract per carrier utilizing a Government-wide acquisition strategy, which may include more than one ordering solution.

The memo opines that taking these steps will help agencies “immediately” reduce unnecessary mobile devices and services spending.

There is an exception to the requirement that agencies use an available Government-wide solution.

“In the event that covered agencies believe that any specific provision of this policy, such as contract re-negotiation and ramifications thereof, is counter to agency mission or not in the best interest of the Government under the particular circumstances, the agency may elect not to use the Government-wide solution, but must present a justification of an alternative procurement.”

Transitional Plans

Covered agency CIOs, in consultation with their Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, shall develop short transition plans to consolidate all of the agency’s voice, data, and text requirements to one contract per carrier utilizing a Government-wide acquisition strategy. These plans must be submitted to OMB by November 30, 2016.