Joanne Woytek, the head of the NASA Scientific and Engineering Workstation Products governmentwide acquisition contract, wrote on my Facebook wall – wow, what a way to communicate this message! -- that an official from the General Services Administration (not Administrator Martha Johnson) plans to meet next week with Dan Gordon, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, to request that Gordon deauthorize the governmentwide Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners contract run by the National Institutes of Health.
Woytek believes that if CIOSP is put out of business, GSA’s next step will be to put SEWP out of business as well.
I am a big fan of GSA and its own governmentwide vehicles, including the schedules, but I strongly believe GSA’s effort to put competing governmentwide contracts out of business is seriously mistaken.
The basic reason is simple: Competition among contract vehicles (including the default alternative of using one’s own contract shop) promotes customer service and innovation, just like competition in other markets. When GSA last monopolized governmentwide vehicles, up through the early 1990s, it provided poor customer service, poor pricing and little innovation. GSA’s loss of its monopoly during the Clinton administration was actually the best thing that ever happened to the agency – they came up with new contract vehicles, much faster service, and other innovations and in the process ended up doing much more business than before. Read Full Article.