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
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
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 December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
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.