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FCW : March 15, 2015
“SEWP is the leader in the GWAC space,” said Erica McCann, director of federal procurement at the Information Technology Indus- try Council’s IT Alliance for the Public Sector. SEWP’s top manage- ment “has a refreshingly nongov- ernmental take” on IT acquisition, she added, and instead of acting like a large federal bureaucracy, SEWP behaves more like a small business that is determined to get and keep its customers’ business, making it a standout for federal users. SEWP Program Manager Joanne Woytek said other GWACs, such as the General Services Adminis- tration’s Alliant and the National Institutes of Health IT Acquisition and Assessment Center’s contracts, tend to be more services-oriented. Nevertheless, SEWP does have some overlap with the other GWACs, and all the programs share a common goal of reducing the thousands of agency-specific contracts that can bog down federal operations. “All three agencies are more concerned with the con- tinued proliferation of non-GWAC contracts and the even larger use of open market purchasing than about GWAC competition,” Woytek said. “We each have our own strengths and provide the government with a well-established set of options that agencies can select from based on their particular needs.” A contentious market After two decades of successful service, however, SEWP faces some challenges as the federal IT market and the federal acquisition world change dramatically. “The key challenge is the intro- duction of the SEWP V contracts,” Woytek said. “We will more than double in size in terms of number of contracts.” SEWP V will have more competition, important con- tract-tracking options and other improvements, but the agency will have to retool its internal processes to manage the new contracts, she added. Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council, said that as the SEWP V contracts take shape, vendors are feeling the effects of agencies’ budget constraints. Because agencies have less money to spend, it is imperative for technology resellers and manufacturers to be included in large GWACs and other IDIQ contracts so they can show off their wares in as many places as possible. That’s not easy or inexpensive, he added. Partly as a result of those pressures, bid protests have become a significant part of the federal acquisition process, March 15, 2015 FCW.COM 25 Because it behaves more like a small business that is determined to get and keep its customers’ business, “SEWP is the leader in the GWAC space.” ERICA McCANN, IT INDUSTRY COUNCIL SEWP IV (May 2007– April 2015) • Expanded into Linux and security • $17 billion in sales • One small-business set-aside competition, resulting in 14 awardees • One set-aside competition for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, resulting in six awardees • Two full and open competitions, resulting in 25 awardees SEWP V (May 2015– April 2025) • Increased focus on cloud- and product-based services • $30 billion, 10-year term anticipated • One small-business set-aside competition • One set-aside competition for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans • One set-aside competition for companies in Historically Underutilized Business Zones • Two full and open competitions • Awards scheduled to be announced in early April (as of Feb. 8) Source: NASA 0315fcw_024-026.indd 25 2/20/15 10:12 AM
March 30, 2015