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FCW : July 30, 2013
Trending of federal employees surveyed by Market Connections say they use tablet PCs, a doubling in popularity since 2012 60% 8 July 30, 2013 FCW.COM Hoping to get federal users even lower prices on common of ce supplies and IT commodities, the General Services Administration has launched an online reverse-auction platform. Of cials said the ReverseAuctions. GSA.gov site will deliver increased savings for agencies on the most commonly purchased of ce products, equipment and services. The reverse- auction structure is designed to spur sellers to compete for business by low- ering their prices. The new platform could also reduce agencies' acquisition processing time and costs and improve the transparency and collection of data. Beyond of ce supplies and com- puter equipment, agencies can use the platform to conduct reverse auctions for simple services such as warranties, training and installation through select GSA schedules and blanket purchase agreements. Additionally, the plat- form will allow agencies to set aside auctions for small and disadvantaged businesses, thereby increasing oppor- tunities for those companies to bid on government business. --- Mark Rockwell GSA launches reverse-auction platform Congress wants to know what is hold- ing up a $70 million Energy Depart- ment data center consolidation deal with Lockheed Martin. The Of ce of Management and Bud- get had put the energy savings per- formance contract (ESPC) on hold in March for reasons OMB declined to specify. On June 27, how- ever, a DOE of cial testi ed before the House Science, Space and Technology Com- mittee's Energy and Oversight subcommittees that the con- tinued hold is a DOE decision. A letter signed by five lawmakers on July 10 seeks to end the confusion by directing Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Bur- well to clarify their positions on the deal. Among other things, the letter asks what role OMB plays in approv- ing ESPC projects and whether data center ESPC projects are consistent with existing statutory authority. The questions come as several agen- cies are exploring the use of ESPCs to optimize their data centers, but all eyes --- industry and federal --- are focused squarely on the proof-of-concept deal between DOE and Lockheed Martin. OMB declined to comment to FCW. However, Kathleen Hogan, DOE's deputy assistant secretary for energy ef ciency, told lawmakers, "This is a Department of Energy decision. The contract is under review at DOE." Lawmakers alluded to the savings taxpayers might achieve if ESPCs prove to be successful vehicles for the optimization of data centers, which consume 100 times more energy than an of ce building of equivalent size. Although ESPCs have saved the federal government billions of dol- lars, such contracts have never focused strictly on IT space. A government expert familiar with the project told FCW that DOE might be treading cautiously because OMB of cials believe the deal represents a misuse or overstep of ESPC statutes or because they believe a disproportion- ate amount of the savings comes from operations and maintenance rather than energy consumption. --- Frank Konkel DOE data center deal still at an impasse Kathleen Hogan
July 15, 2013
August 15, 2013