WASHINGTON (05/02/2000) - Beyond offering World Wide Web-based training to all employees, NASA's training services contract illustrates the cooperative nature of its Consolidated Contracting Initiative.
When NASA's training office was looking to award a contract, CCI project officials suggested trying a shared solution for the whole agency that would be written and awarded by a single NASA center, said Ron Crider, NASA's CCI project administrator.
As a result, Ames Research Center in California wrote the contract with an agencywide view, taking into account each center's particular requirements, Crider said. "This is the way we should be buying things in government" to make the most of the taxpayers' money, he said.
NASA launched CCI in November 1996 as a Web-based tool to allow any NASA center to order from agencywide or governmentwide contracts worth more than $100,000, Crider said.
CCI is designed to meet users' needs faster, minimize contract duplication and improve cooperation with other agencies.
It also makes vendors' lives easier and opens more contracts to small businesses because it cuts down on their bid and proposal costs, Crider said.
"They don't have to go all over the nation selling themselves to each center," he said. "It allows us to accomplish consolidation without sacrificing small- business participation."
CCI (ec.msfc.nasa.gov/hq/cci/first.html) has a stock of about 110 contracts, and 72 of those are with small, disadvantaged or women-owned businesses, Crider said. Categories include research and development, space vehicles and information technology services.
"This is only the beginning for us," Crider said. He also imagines having a standard format for listing available contracts governmentwide.
CCI is one of several NASA initiatives designed to improve the jobs of procurement officials and program managers by using technology to share resources and requirements. NASA is developing a virtual procurement office that will provide contract managers with tools to create, modify, manage and post a contract online. Eventually, officials hope it will make the agency's procurement process fully paperless.