Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for the office of information technology category at the General Services Administration, has met with more than 50 representatives from IT services companies to discuss government contracting issues.
Davie wrote in a blog post published Tuesday industry members want government acquisition and program personnel to be more accessible and respond more frequently to inquiries on contract requirements and timelines.
“I’ve heard many times from government reps that they don’t have time or don’t know how to handle sharing with multiple companies since sharing has to be handled equitably,” said Davie.
She added there are various ways to share information equitably and that government agencies should establish relationships and host regular forums to communicate with industry and potential partners.
One industry representative told Davie that the U.S. Navy‘s SeaPort-e procurement system provides enough information and transparency to help vendors analyze customers’ needs.
Davie noted that government-wide category management efforts aim to give agencies and industry a single platform that provides information on agencies’ needs across categories.
She also learned that government personnel provide long and “prescriptive” request for proposals instead of simplified statements of objectives, which makes it harder for companies to offer required products and services.
Other issues discussed at the meeting include the need to stop issuing government requests for information that could be repetitive, costly and time consuming; the impact of procurement delays on industry budgets; and ways to decrease contract award protests.