Back in 2013, we surveyed federal procurement professionals to discover ways we might improve their acquisition efforts. A recurring theme was the need for a single destination that had all the tools and resources required for a successful acquisition within a category. That need sparked the development of the Acquisition Gateway, which launched just over a year ago.
GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service has a unique role in the government marketplace. As the only agency mandated to provide acquisition services to our government partners, our contracts are the most heavily used. We maintain a substantial amount of acquisition data and a repository of purchasing information and market research resources. However, our greatest asset is undoubtedly the accumulated experience and knowledge of our staff. The Gateway delivers all of it at a single online location, making it easily accessible to all government buyers.
A year after our modest launch with three category hallways and a handful of governmentwide contracts, the Acquisition Gateway has matured into a tool that assists acquisition professionals by giving them what they need to buy smarter and faster. We’ve added loads of valuable content and resources to the Gateway, while maintaining and improving our usability—and kept it open for business all the while.
The Gateway is becoming the hub of an acquisition professional’s daily activities, with the category hallways as the home for all the content within the Gateway.The information provided there helps program offices draft better requirements and helps contracting officers negotiate better deals for the government by providing transparency into actual prices-paid data. Best practices, decision support tools, and templates make it easier to find existing governmentwide contracts and acquisition solutions and systems, reducing duplication.
The category hallways currently on the Acquisition Gateway are:
- Administrative Support
- Professional Services
- Talent Development
- Small Package Delivery
- Employee Relocation
- IT Hardware
- Cleaning Supplies and Chemicals
- IT Software
- Motor Vehicles
- IT Security
- Tools and Hardware
- IT Services
- Workplace Environment
- Card Services
Now that all 17 category hallways are live, our focus is shifting to improving the navigability, interactivity, and actionability of all the tools and resources already on the Gateway, as well as adding new ones.
In fact, anyone looking at the Acquisition Gateway a few months ago would have noticed the hallways tiles taking up a lot of space on the homepage. We’ve since moved them to a list running down on the left side of the page, making room for something new: Project Center.
Project Center is our go-to hub for acquisition professionals. Think of it as your personal work center — a place where you can name your projects and build acquisition packages using resources from across the Gateway. Upload information from your desktop to add to resources you’ve pinned from the Gateway to each project. Create and manage your tasks to stay on track with each acquisition. Even mark events posted on the Gateway that you want to attend.
Next week, we’ll explore a few more of the resources on the Gateway that can help you gain insight into the full federal acquisition landscape.