New OFPP Memo: a Beacon of Opportunity for Technology Companies that do Business with Government

Tomas OKeefe_65x85Tomas O’Keefe, Senior Analyst, Market Intelligence

The new OpportunitiesOffice of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) head, Anne Rung, released a memo focusing on updates to federal acquisition policy. It’s no secret both agencies and vendors have struggled with overly long solicitations and proposals, complicated contractual language, and unique government requirements. The OFPP memo outlines specific actions that agencies are expected to adopt in the coming year in an effort to improve acquisition and transparency across the board. This falls in step with a new trend brought to the forefront by the Obama administration that aligns with the Digital Services Playbook, modernizing IT infrastructure and how the government purchases IT.

The memo entitled “Transforming the Marketplace: Simplifying Federal Procurement to Improve Performance, Drive Innovation, and Increase Savings,” highlights three areas that agencies will focus on in FY15:

1. Category management
2. Acquisition workforce development
3. Enhancing vendor relationships

Category management could shift price-list management to a more enterprise-level approach and improve the visibility of contractual relationships that exist within the department. Ideally, this means program offices will be able to identify contracts that already exist within their department that they could leverage to purchase the products they need.

Acquisition workforce development will leverage the knowledge and skills of key acquisition executives to share details on the most efficient way to purchase types of technology, simplifying the Federal Acquisition Regulations along the way.

Enhancing vendor relationships is the most intriguing area for technology companies that sell to government. Agencies need to talk to industry not only to understand new technology developments, but also to benefit from lessons learned from contractors working with other government agencies. OFPP plans to hire a vendor manager to represent the interests of commercial IT vendors to federal departments in the hopes of improving relationships. Additionally, vendor management offices are popping up at more and more federal locations, representing critical avenues for contractors to gain traction at new agencies.

It’s important to understand that while change in government doesn’t happen overnight, agencies are becoming increasingly receptive to more modern and responsive ways to buy technology. There are also signs that agencies are going to become increasingly open to conversations with vendors about new and emerging technologies. This means as a COTS vendor, you’re going to have more channels to share your technologies with government, but you’re going to need help knowing which groups in government have a need for your products. Reach out to the Market Intelligence team and we’ll help you identify innovators at federal agencies who want to work with you and have a pressing need for your products.

About Tomas O'Keefe
Tom O'Keefe has over 10 years of market research experience as an Analyst and Consultant in the federal space. He also earned an MA in Political Science from George Mason University. He has covered both civilian and defense agencies and has presented to clients ranging from junior-level associates to executives from some of the largest Systems Integrators and contractors in the federal marketplace.

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