OMB wants 'all solutions' to help drive down federal IT costs

With the government spending nearly $65 billion a year on IT products and services, federal officials urged a gathering of mostly industry executives to offer innovative ideas as the administration begins work on developing the new IT infrastructure line of business.

'We want the best that you can throw at this, because there's a lot of money involved,' Tim Young, associate administrator of E-government IT at the Office of Management and Budget, said today.

Young and officials from both OMB and the General Services Administration, speaking at a practitioner's day on the IT infrastructure LOB, said the government is seeking all ideas on how it can drive down costs while increasing performance.

'All solutions are on the table, this isn't just a matter of consolidation,' said Dick Burk, OMB chief architect.

Today's event was the final gathering on the three new LOBs proposed in the president's fiscal 2007 budget. The other two'geospatial, and budget formulation and execution'were discussed in separate meetings Tuesday.

The IT infrastructure would focus on consolidation opportunities by defining common specific performance measures for services levels and costs, identifying best practices and developing guidelines for transition plans within or across agencies for activities such as Internet Protocol Version 6.

As was the theme in Tuesday's events, the panelists said many of the details about the new LOB remain undetermined and rely heavily on the responses to a request for information GSA released earlier this month. Officials could not say if any procurement vehicles would result from the information gathered.

Although careful to describe his thoughts as preliminary, Thomas Brady, assistant commissioner with GSA's Office of Professional Services and managing partner for the IT Infrastructure LOB, said two major GSA procurement vehicles'Alliant and Networx'could potentially play significant roles.

Networx is GSA's $20 billion telecommunications procurement and Alliant is a 10-year, two-part contract that will let all government agencies buy IT solutions and complex integration services.

Brady speculated that both contracts 'could be part of the implementation strategy' when the LOB is finalized.

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