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FCW : November 15, 2012
24 November 15, 2012 FCW.COM Agencies have been living under at and even decreasing budgets for sev- eral years. Accordingly, the Obama administration has been pressuring agencies to find savings in overall contract spending and speci cally in contracts for professional and tech- nical services and program manage- ment support. Congress, which has not passed a budget since scal 2010, recently resorted to a continuing reso- lution to keep the government operat- ing for the rst half of scal 2013. And sequestration is set to take a $1.2 tril- lion chunk from government spending over the next decade. In times like these, of cials need to nd innovative ways to survive, which has boosted the role the General Services Admin- istration s Of ce of Strategic Pro- grams can play in tackling those contracting challenges. "There are moments in every community s life where you have some fundamental choices to make, and those fundamental choices will drive you to either much greater success or frankly not help your success at all," said Mark Day, director of the Of ce of Strategic Programs. Day left his position as chief technol- ogy of cer at the Department of Hous- ing and Urban Development to come to GSA a year ago. He is responsible for setting the policy tone at GSA and, by extension, the other agencies that buy through GSA, said Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners. Day s "role has done nothing but go up" in importance, Allen said. Allen and others are con dent that Day is up to the challenge. For starters, he has worked in both the government and the private sector, and he has expe- rience in both the CTO and CIO com- munities, which means he knows his way around policy and technology. In the private sector, he worked on intel- lectual property issues and developed a career path for IT professionals who serve the government. He also teaches IT and systems management at George Mason University. "Taking all that together, I think I have a pretty good idea of what our customers face day in and day out," Day said. Allen agreed, saying Day has walked the walk. "He can navigate the waters he needs to sail in easily with his back- ground," Allen said. "On a personal level, Mark is an affable guy and easy to work with. He is smart, but not in an off-putting way." And he can provide leadership for government agencies as they look for ways to save money and become more ef cient. "Agencies increasingly need to have both speed and cost savings," Day said. Fortunately, he added, agencies are willing to change, which happens when they no longer have the budget to keep doing things the old way or when an experience in their personal lives opens their eyes to technology- related innovations and opportunities. Both factors are now in play, Day said, and have pushed the Of ce of Strategic Programs to study cloud com- puting and advance governmentwide acquisition contracts. Being strategic about savings Through GWACs, agencies can get lower prices by pooling their purchases for a wide array of products and serv- ices, including systems design, soft- ware engineering and information assurance. In scal 2012, agencies obli- gated nearly $2.8 billion through GSA s ve GWACs --- up from $2.3 billion in scal 2011, according to GSA s gures. The GWACs align with the Federal GSA'S MARK DAY: BY MATTHEW WEIGELT Helping agencies boost savings and ef ciency "I think I have a pretty good idea of what our customers face day in and day out."
October 30, 2012
November 30, 2012