America’s weapons seem to always cost more than the Pentagon expects or the American taxpayer hopes. For much of the last decade the Air Force in particular has been the poster boy for soaring costs, badly managed programs and the odd bit of corruption or incompetence. Tanker, F-35, Space-based Infrared System, NPOESS, Light Air Support planes for Afghanistan. The list is long and depressing.
This article was originally published by our colleagues on AOL Defense.
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I have been trying out the General Services Administration’s new portal for Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts, or GWACs.
There is a lot of useful information here, but the user experience remains uneven and in my experience, there are available tools that could improve the ability to analyze the data.
The new GSA web site says:
A Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) is a pre-competed, multiple-award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract that agencies can use to buy total IT solutions.
The GWAC program has taken their data to the next level by creating an interactive tool that allows GWAC stakeholders to view and segment GWAC information to make better decisions.
Users have the ability to:
The GWAC Dashboard is compatible with Internet Explorer 8 and 9 using Flash Player 14.4.X. If you are using any other version, you may experience usability issues.
Explore GWAC data by contract family, federal agency, and industry partner
Build customized reports and download them to your computer
The Users Guide contains the footnote:
The Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) Dashboards are intended for informational purposes. The data contained within may not be fully accurate.
The contacts page says:
Request for accessible dashboard content may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That may be important to some users, since they, like I experienced, may not be able to download the complete data set. That’s what happened to me, so I contacted the GSA contact, but did not get a response so I downloaded each agency separately and merged them into one spreadsheet 19,168 rows and 18 rows. I also created a data dictionary spreadsheet. Keep reading →
The U.S. General Services Administration announced today the availability of a new online dashboard tracking historical information about Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC), including task-order data. The dashboard is designed to assist federal agencies with spending analysis, evaluation of past GWAC performance, and IT acquisition planning.
“Over the past several years we’ve received feedback from our federal agency customers and our small business partners indicating that they need access to GSA’s GWAC task-order data,” said GSA Federal Acquisition Service Acting Commissioner Mary A. Davie. Keep reading →
When the EADS and BAE announced merger plans earlier this year, it spurred a flurry of speculation about how the rest of the aerospace and defense industry would respond. Now in the aftermath of the merger being called off, speculation continues about the outlook of defense merger and acquisition (M&A) activity – and specifically what impact that will have on government and suppliers.
While the Department of Defense has indicated its reluctance to sanction M&As among the US primes (particularly when mergers lead to monopoly situations), at sub-tier levels, M&A activity has been occurring at a robust pace and promises to continue-at least in the near future. Keep reading →
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif) is proposing legislation that would provide sweeping reforms in the way technology is managed and acquired at federal agencies in an effort to eliminate duplication and waste.
The provisions would grant significantly more power to federal chief information officers to control the technology that agencies acquire. Keep reading →
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) released a second “Myth-Busting” memo Monday addressing misconceptions about acquisition processes.
In the memo, Acting Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy Lesley A. Field states that federal agencies have taken significant additional steps to improve communications between federal agencies and the vendor community since the first “Myth-Busting” memo was released last year. OFPP has issued the second memorandum to continue that process. Keep reading →
The federal government’s record for acquiring major information technology projects has rarely earned high marks.
However, a new report from the Government Accountability Office identified seven occasions were agency IT acquisition investments were deemed successful. Keep reading →
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has found an innovative way to address a shortage of trained acquisition professionals, growing contracting complexities and a need to curb waste, fraud and abuse for itself and other federal agencies.
Since September 2008, the VA has operated its own Acquisition Academy – a school built from the ground up to train a new generation of procurement officers to handle the agency’s $16 billion annual procurement budget. Keep reading →