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Improving the Way the Government Buys IT

White House, October 16, 2015: “Today, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the first in a series of information technology (IT) directives to improve how the Federal Government buys and manages one of the most common IT purchases made every year – basic laptops and desktops.  From the start, this Administration has optimized IT spending to save taxpayers’ money by driving value and cost savings in Federal IT investments, and by delivering better services to American citizens. Through a combination of policy guidance and oversight, the Administration is committed to integrating modern technology solutions to enhance mission and service delivery. These efforts, ranging from the implementation and expansion of PortfolioStat, institution of the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, consolidation of commodity IT, migration to shared services, and the launch Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), have saved the Federal Government at least $2.7 billion since 2012. Still, there’s much work to get done. In Fiscal Year 2014, agencies purchased basic laptops and desktops using thousands of contract and delivery orders, resulting in reduced buying power, duplication of contracts, and little transparency into the prices that agencies were paying for similar computers. OMB asked a group of interagency experts, led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to identify ways to reduce waste in this area.  As a result of this work, OMB is directing agencies to take the following immediate steps:

  1. Reduce the number of contracts for laptops and desktops by prohibiting new awards and limiting purchasing to a small number of high-performing – or best-in-class – contracts;
  2. Standardize laptop and desktop configurations for common requirements; and
  3. Develop and modify demand management and business practices to optimize price and performance…”

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