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GSA’s 18F Unveils Experiment to Buy Code via ‘Micro-Purchase’ Authority

source codeThe General Services Administration‘s 18F unit will conduct a federal acquisition experiment that builds on its “micro-purchase” authority to contract or buy code for its open source projects.

V. David Zvenyach wrote in an entry posted Tuesday that 18F aims to determine if the micro-purchase authority can provide a sustainable way for nontraditional contractors and small businesses to enter the government marketplace.

“Our hypothesis is that vendors can ship great code under the micro-purchase threshold, and we see opportunity to use procurement authority in new and productive ways,” he said.

The experiment could also prove that open source projects can boost the ability of agencies to contract digital services, Zvenyach added.

18F plans to open an issue in GitHub on Oct. 26 with an opening “bid” of $3,499 and provide 10 working days for the winning “bidder” to submit a code that meets the identified acceptance criteria.

Zvenyach noted that only companies registered on SAM.gov are eligible to participate in the initial experiment, while future iterations could be open to nonregistered companies.

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