In a Government-wide Multiple Award IDIQ contract vehicle, a vehicle is created for use across the Government, with an intended use of purchasing goods or services to support the procuring customer’s mission while reducing costs and streamlining administrative requirements. The Government takes advantage of streamlining defined acquisition and administrative requirements, as well as benefiting from improved prices based on increased purchasing power. Further enhancing this experience for the Government is the category management approach to buying/spending. Category management allows the Government to analyze spending to increase savings, establish best value procurements, and develop and build upon existing Government efficiencies by removing redundancies within the contracting efforts while continuing to provide opportunities to meet acquisitions goals such as those established around socio-economic categories and small businesses.
Another benefit of using a Government-wide Multiple Award IDIQ vehicle is the ability to leverage economies of scale from a wholistic, Government-wide perspective to increase accessibility and offerings. While an agency or department may only set a one-time or infrequent requirement for a service, the combined efforts of multiple agencies and departments, as well as the potential use for a centralized administrative or acquisition office, provide the combined knowledge, expertise, and buying power of the Government. These vehicles are frequently able to reduce the acquisition timeline by months or years, based on the reduction in administrative burden to both the Government and vendors as many task order level items have been identified and addressed at the vehicle level. The ability to create synergies with dedicated processes and procedures improve accuracy, accountability, and through-put in the acquisition process. These Government-wide contract vehicles are frequently drawn together around a common set of products or services (e.g., forming a vehicle around technology solutions, which may include both products and services).
While Government-wide vehicles frequently facilitate a streamlined and compressed schedule, it is important to know that using one of these vehicles requires some preparation. For agencies and acquisition offices intending to use Government-wide Multi-Award IDIQs, vehicle-specific training and a Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) for the agency/department/unit’s contracting personnel are required. DPAs are granted on an individual basis.
Post-award, reporting and administrative requirements may look different, and more streamlined, when using these Government-wide contract vehicles over an agency-specific contract.
Best-in-Class/Category Management/Spend Under Management
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) identifies contract solutions with a Best-in-Class (BIC) designation when they:
- Allow acquisition experts to take advantage of pre-vetted, Government-wide contract solutions
- Support a Government-wide migration to solutions that are mature and market-proven
- Assist in the optimization of spend, within the Government-wide category management framework
- Increase the transactional data available for agency level and Government-wide analysis of buying behavior1
Vehicles with BIC designations include, but are not limited to: HCaTS, MAS, STARS, and OASIS.
Category Management is a method of looking at procurements at the enterprise level. For the Government, it elevates and standardizes procurements to a Government-wide level and implements goals to:
- Deliver more savings, value, and efficiency for Federal agencies
- Eliminate unnecessary contract redundancies
- Meet the Government’s small business goals2
The Federal Government identified 10 categories based on the Product Service Codes (PSCs), as all Government procurements are aligned to a PSC. The 10 categories identified for category management are:
- Facilities and Construction
- Professional Services
- Industrial Products and Services
- Information Technology (IT)
- Office Management
- Human Capital
- Security and Protection
- Transportation & Logistics Services
There are additional categories for Defense-specific spending. Aligning procurements and analyzing spending around these set categories allows the Government to improve and build more strategic roadmaps around spending, saving, and implementing existing tools, products, and services. This identification and analysis helps to eliminate duplicative spending and allows agencies to better focus resources on new and emerging needs.
BIC vehicles are identified as Tier 3 solutions for Spend Under Management (SUM). SUM refers to a Government agency/organization’s spending that is “actively managed according to category management principles”4. SUM identifies 4 tiers of solutions from Tier 0 through Tier 3, Tier 3 being the most mature solution level. Tiers 0-3 are as follows5
- TIER 0 – Spend is not aligned to Category Management Principals
- TIER 1 – Mandatory-use agency-wide solutions
- TIER 2 – Multi-agency solutions (e.g., GSA MAS Contract)
- TIER 3 – BIC Government-wide solutions (e.g., OASIS, HCaTS, STARS)
BIC solutions are most advantageous to the Government in terms of pricing and solution details. The key for all tiers is working toward the active management of Government funds and managing these funds within the category management principles.
For information on contract vehicles held by IT Concepts please refer to: https://www.useitc.com/solutions/#contract-vehicles.