U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize and improve the efficiency of technology acquisition. The legislation would boost innovation in the procurement process and increase opportunities for innovative small businesses that want to contract with the federal government. The bill would also help the federal government attract and retain qualified procurement professionals, and provide the tools and training they need for the federal procurement of advanced technologies.
“The federal government should be focused on recruiting and retaining skilled procurement specialists within our government agencies, not wasting federal dollars on outsourcing work to costly government contractors,” said Senator Ernst. “By redirecting efforts to acquire the properly equipped professionals and removing red-tape on high-tech small businesses, we will see a more effective and less costly implementation of our advanced technology goals.”
The AGILE (Advancing Government Innovation with Leading-Edge) Procurement Act would
- Require the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the General Services Administration to streamline the ability of the federal government to purchase commercial technology and provide specific training for information and communications technology acquisition.
- Provide a pilot program to bring more junior and mid-career professionals into federal procurement from other fields, including veterans, military spouses, and private sector procurement professionals.
- Create a working group to reduce barriers to government contracting for small businesses.
- Allow the Department of Defense pilot contracting program to incentivize employee stock ownership plans, which are expected to help businesses grow while sharing company equity with their employees, to be expanded for government-wide use.
The legislation is supported by the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, the Information Technology Industry Council, GovEvolve, HUBZone Contractors National Council, Women’s Procurement Circle and Women Veterans Business Coalition.