Agencies attest share-in-savings contracts are possible

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Defense Department are among 15 agencies taking a closer look at the share-in-savings contracting method.

EPA will award a task order this summer for telecommunications audit support, where the agency will share with a contractor the revenue gained from reimbursements of calls agency employees didn't make but the agency was charged for by phone companies.

The agency also is working with the Transportation Department to develop a request for information to turn a fee-based paper process to track movement of hazardous waste into an online process, said Judy Davis, EPA's director of acquisition management.

'In today's climate where there is little budget resources, we are looking for creative ways to get the job done,' Davis said during a breakfast sponsored by the Bethesda, Md., chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. 'We are looking for specific applications that will aid the agency in meeting its mission. Industry needs to bring us their ideas instead of the usual dog-and-pony shows.'

The Navy will use the share-in-savings technique for its Navy-Marine Corps Intranet software testing lab (Click for April 28 story).

James Clausen, a project manager in DOD's CIO Office of Commercial Policies and Oversight, said the Navy will open the lab in June. A vendor will operate the lab to test software for security and interoperability compatibility to NMCI network.

The vendor, which hasn't been announced yet, will perform the testing at no cost to the government and share the fees with the Navy. The center is at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command's IT Center in New Orleans.

'There is a six-month backlog to get software tested and the evaluation is more erratic than the Navy would like,' Clausen said. 'This will help make things run more smoothly.'

DOD also is considering a share-in-savings contract to upgrade the hardware, software and IT infrastructure for 275 Defense commissaries around the world. Clausen said the agency will release an RFI this year with baseline costs to gain more information from industry.

'Share-in-savings is gaining traction in the department,' he said. 'There are at least two other candidates the department is considering, including one in the enterprise software initiative area.'

Ken Buck, the director of the General Services Administration's share-in-savings office, said he is more convinced than ever that this method is taking hold.

'Agencies are realizing this will work for consolidation and fee generating initiatives,' he said. 'We've worked hard to make the process less nebulous and more collaborative.'

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