GSA BEST PRACTICES TAKE THE LEAD – CAN OTHER PARTS OF THE AGENCY FOLLOW?
The General Services Administration got some deservedly good ink last week over its deal with the Department of Homeland Security to implement new CDM solutions via its Alliant contract. This shows what the agency is capable of when it works as a trusted business advisor that can innovate and customize acquisitions for customers. Similarly, although some in industry groan, the IT Schedule is developing easy-to-find solutions for a host of priority IT issues. This should attract customers who may have assumed that they needed to look elsewhere for state of the art solutions. These are examples that the entire agency should follow. GSA works best when it works to facilitate acquisitions between customers and quality contractors. There is a tendency, though, for some in the agency to still look at industry as the enemy. Increased reporting requirements and outright mistrust discourage the very contractors the agency must have to be successful from working with it. Any federal agency certainly needs to ensure the wise expenditure of public funds. Innovation and partnership, though, usually work better than if you presume to see each contractor’s face on the post office wall.