- U.S. CIO Tony Scott is calling on the federal government to consolidate computer purchasing into fewer contracts and to standardize the configurations of the computers it buys.
- Last year, the government awarded more than 10,000 contracts and delivery orders for common laptops and desktops.
- Lack of standardization reduces buying power and creates inefficiencies, says the Office of Management and Budget.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, federal agencies spent about $1.1 billion on laptop and desktop computers during the 12 months ending September 30, 2014. About one-third of the computer orders were procured through government-wide acquisition contracts. The remainder were distributed across more than 2,400 additional contracts. Laptop prices ranged from about $450 to $1,300 for the same configuration, a price variance of nearly 300%, according to the memo.
“Instead of the government banding together as the world’s largest buyer to negotiate better prices and terms, too often it buys like thousands of small businesses, making smaller awards for the same IT products across multiple agencies and sometimes within a single organization,” said Scott.
Civilian agencies have been told to use one of three purchasing contracts to buy laptops and desktops in the future. The Office of Management and Budget said this is just one of the policies it plans to issue regarding the acquisition of common IT goods and services.