DOD developing strategies to buy services better

The Defense Department is developing four or five pilot programs to change the way acquisition officials buy services.

Dominic Cipicchio, deputy director for Defense procurement, yesterday said the test programs are part of a two-pronged approach laid out last February to receive better discounts from vendors for volume purchases as well as to improve coordination among the military services.

Cipicchio said DOD will create acquisition strategies for each of the pilots, which may include IT support, administrative and management services.

For the first part of the effort, DOD asked Defense agencies to analyze how they spend money on service acquisitions, he said.

'We are very decentralized in our approach, and we needed a more strategic look at this,' said Cipicchio, who spoke yesterday at a Coalition for Government Procurement conference in Arlington, Va. 'We looked at what services we were buying, who bought them, for how much and tried to analyze the data to find areas that could be coordinated better.'

DOD officials will spend the next year developing the plans. Cipicchio said department brass hopes to get the pilots started in early fiscal 2005.

The General Services Administration also is doing similar work. It is analyzing how services are bought across government. Cipicchio said DOD and GSA will coordinate approaches in the areas that make the most sense.

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