TO BIC OR NOT TO BIC, THAT IS THE QUESTION
Bloomberg Government clarified recently that one-in-three IT dollars are placed through Best In Class (BIC) contracts for Information Technology Solutions. That’s a huge difference from their January report showing that BIC vehicles account for only 7% of sales overall. One big reason for the difference is the emphasis that the Office of Management and Budget, GSA, and others placed on using BIC’s specifically for IT acquisitions. Agencies were encouraged, directed, and generally made to use BIC vehicles as their preferred IT acquisition method. Other BIC vehicles, according to Bloomberg sources, may have some elements in them, such as LPTA provisions, that make them less desirous overall. The bottom line for contractors is to still have approximately three acquisition methods in mind when discussing a potential buy with a customer. If the solution is predominantly IT and the company has one or more BIC IT vehicles, that could definitely be of interest to the client. Outside of IT, though, the numbers show that a BIC vehicle may be something nice to have, but the absence of one need not be a show-stopper. Indeed, a contractor’s recommendation may be a major factor in how an agency chooses to acquire solutions such as professional services. As such, contractors should definitely be prepared to offer input. Promoting easy-to-use contract methods is an important part of building trust with a client. As GSA proceeds with planning its OASIS follow on, companies may want to pay close attention to how user-friendly it will be and what the new vehicle’s capacity will be to handle OASIS-like projects. The right solution is important, whether the acquisition is made through a BIC contract or another approach.