Federal CIO Kundra Reinforces IT Procurement Neutrality - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud // Cloud Storage
News
1/7/2011
03:50 PM
50%
50%

Federal CIO Kundra Reinforces IT Procurement Neutrality

A memo from the OMB comes a day after Google won an injunction preventing the Department of Interior from awarding a contract to Microsoft due to alleged unfair technology acquisition practices.

Top 20 Government Cloud Service Providers
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 20 Government Cloud Service Providers

U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra reminded agencies of their obligation to use neutrality when procuring technology for federal use in a memo the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Friday.

The memo -- posted on the CIO.gov Web site -- comes a day after Google won a temporary order preventing the Department of Interior from awarding an estimated $59 million contract to Microsoft and deploying the software giant's cloud-based email and collaboration services. The move stems from a lawsuit Google and reseller Onix Networks filed in late October charging Interior with failing to follow federal procurement guidelines in its search for a hosted collaboration suite last year.

It's unclear whether Kundra's memo -- in which he reminds agencies that vendor neutrality "helps ensure that federal investments in IT are merit-based, improve the performance of our government and create value for the American people" -- was spurred by the lawsuit, but its timing is certainly curious.

In the memo, Kundra directed agencies to follow policies laid out by the Federal Acquisition Regulation and OMB to analyze all viable options before making technology decisions based on merit. Daniel Gordon, administrator for federal procurement policy, and U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator are listed as memo co-authors.

"This means selecting suitable IT on a case-by-case basis to meet the particular operational needs of the agency by considering factors such as performance, cost, security, interoperability, ability to share or re-use, and availability of quality support," according to the memo.

The Google case against Interior is not the first time the company has cried foul over what it considers unfair procurement practices by the U.S. government, but it is the first time Google has taken legal action.

In October, the state of California awarded Microsoft and CSC a more than $50 million, three-year contract to help the state migrate from in-house email to two hosted systems, one of which is based on Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite.

The state worked for more than a year to secure the contract, a process that involved accusations by Google that it was unfairly prevented from even competing for the business. In a Los Angeles Times report, Google spokesman Andrew Kovacs said that Google bowed out of the competitive process before fully taking it on because the state demanded requirements that were impossible for the search company to meet.

SEE ALSO:

Google Wins Injunction Against Microsoft Government Contract

California Agencies Favor Microsoft For Email

CSC, Microsoft BPOS Win California Email Migration Contract

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll