GSA buying plan aims to make it easier for agencies to go mobile

The General Services Administration wants to make it easier – and less costly -- for federal agencies to purchase wireless services and devices, as part of the agency’s answer to a government mobile strategy being spearheaded by new federal CIO Steve VanRoekel.

GSA said it would soon issue a wireless blanket purchase agreement BPA to streamline the buying process for an array of mobile technologies, including service plans, standard cellular and smart phones, as well as tablets.

Awards to suppliers under the BPA are expected to be made in the 3rd quarter of the fiscal year, GSA said.

The BPA will offer a number of wireless infrastructure services, including messaging, wireless encryption and micro-cell services. It also will support mobile administration, including a single secure interface through which agencies can manage their inventory and expenses.

In a recent blog post, Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for the GSA’s Office of Integrated Technology Services, said the BPA is one of number of GSA programs designed to “overcome the government’s fragmented mobile purchasing” and will address what VanRoekel calls “the productivity gap between government’s traditional methods and mobile best practices,” Davie said.

The BPA will be released under the wireless Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI), a project to unify the acquisition of wireless devices. It will not include wireless applications beyond what is standard on current 2G/3G smart phones, including voice, text, e-mail, calendaring, mobile Web browsers and Global Positioning System receivers, GSA said.

Davie said GSA has been “at the mobile technology frontier for some time" and is “well on our way to reaching our goal of secure access through any device, anywhere, anytime.”

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