NASA kicks off SEWP V planning

Wednesday - 5/16/2012, 5:05am EDT

Jason Miller, executive editor, Federal News Radio

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NASA is about to reach the $10 billion mark in sales under its SEWP IV governmentwide acquisition contract. With nearly every agency using the popular technology product-focused contract, the space agency has begun planning for the next iteration of the vehicle.

"The SEWP IV contract ends in 2014 and it takes about two years to do a full competition so we are getting started in our market research phase for SEWP V," said Joanne Woytek, SEWP program manager. "We announced we were making 60 slots available to meet with vendors on Monday [April 30] and by Tuesday all the slots were filled."

Woytek said these meetings are just the beginning of the process and venders will have plenty of other opportunities to give NASA feedback on its plans for SEWP V.

"We seem to have gotten a nice cross section of vendors, some current ones and some we've never heard of," she said. "I don't want to put too much emphasis on those meetings. It's the first step of a many step process."

Woytek said NASA is trying to answer several questions about the next version of SEWP, including how are small businesses working in the IT world, what new technology could be ready by 2014 and is NASA operating in the best way to ensure the contract has the latest and greatest IT?

She would not offer any timelines for SEWP V except to say the acquisition process is just beginning and NASA knows it has to get the next contract in place by 2014.

NASA will have to submit a business case to the Office of Management and Budget for GWAC approval. They also will have to put the business case on the OMB MAX website for other agencies to comment on it.

In the meantime, Woytek said NASA will continue to use innovative ways to reach its customers for feedback, including Web 2.0 tools and an interactive portal for comments and questions.

As for SEWP IV, Woytek said fiscal 2011 was a banner year.

She said the budget challenges agencies are facing are starting to affect SEWP's sales for 2012.

"My gut feeling is people are buying less of the little things and consolidating more buy because the average dollar amount is going up this year per order," Woytek said. "We also are working with agencies at higher levels, such as CIOs or the agency's procurement chief. We are trying to figure out how can we help them out."

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