Improving Acquisition

GSA understands that in today’s expansive government procurement marketplace, federal agencies need our expertise and guidance. This agency's goal is to provide best-in-class contract vehicles and help our partners evaluate and select the most effective and cost-efficient options from the vast range of contracts, products, and services available to them.

Here are a few of the innovations GSA is offering as we work toward improving federal acquisition:

Category Management

There are currently an estimated 500 federal departments and agencies, all of which have purchasing needs. Today, there is no universal strategy or system for coordinating those purchases. The current landscape is fragmented with many individual acquisitions occurring within agencies and across various, often duplicative, contract vehicles. For example, two different agencies bought the same tool chest; one for $40 and the other for $119. Both of these prices were judged to be fair, but because the agencies were operating independently without adequate guidelines, one agency essentially wasted $79.

Category management attempts to address this issue through a coordinated, strategic approach to purchasing. That means organizing the spending into product or service categories, such as IT Hardware, Office Supplies or Professional Services, and then managing each of those categories as a strategic business unit in order to meet the government’s needs.

By acting as one to make purchases, and not as separate buyers, agencies minimize the number of procurement transactions, save money, and reduce duplication. GSA is ideally suited to provide contracting solutions for shared requirements, thereby allowing acquisition professionals across government to focus on their agencies’ core missions.

Common Acquisition Platform

The Common Acquisition Platform (CAP) is an IT strategy and tool that supports category management. CAP is a shared-services technology platform that will assist customers through every step of the full acquisition process. CAP will provide buyers with access and insights into transactional data from across government and reduce the need for maintaining redundant and duplicative acquisition systems and tools.

GSA has a unique position in the government marketplace as a repository of purchasing information and expertise related to best practices, buying behaviors, and prices paid. Through CAP, GSA plans to make this information and expertise easily accessible online for all government buyers, simplifying the purchasing process. We will help buyers navigate the universe of purchasing options, with the intention of driving down prices, reducing price variability, and executing best value purchases.

Learn more about CAP

Prices Paid Portal

An informed buyer makes better purchases. GSA has effectively used transactional data acquired through our Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative contracts to drive prices down. With this model in hand, GSA is in the process of  building an online portal that will enable buyers to see what their government peers have already paid for the goods and services they are considering procuring.  Equipped with prices-paid information, government buyers will be able to better negotiate and purchase from an informed perspective, which will save taxpayer dollars.

Last Reviewed 2016-07-22