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Digital Modernization

GSA Planning Government-Wide Blanket Purchase Agreement for Commercial Cloud

Ascend BPA

GSA Planning Government-Wide Blanket Purchase Agreement for Commercial Cloud

The General Services Administration plans to create a new blanket purchase agreement that will make it easier for government agencies to acquire commercial cloud products and services.

Sonny Hashmi, commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, said that the forthcoming Ascend BPA is intended to reduce procurement complexities for agencies and administrative burdens for cloud service providers, FCW reported Wednesday.

According to a request for information that the agency published in November 2021, Ascend awards will be issued in phases based on three pools: infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and cloud professional services.

“The idea of this multi-purpose, multi-award BPA will be to allow agencies to acquire and implement secure commercial cloud service offerings and ultimately to deliver solutions that they need,” Hashmi said during FCW’s Cloud Summit.

Ascend will establish minimum requirements like security, data ownership, and common terms and conditions, the commissioner said.

Hashmi, a 2021 Wash100 winner, said that while the government already has several ways to procure cloud offerings, the GSA wants to make Ascend the best option for both acquisition and maintenance.

He added that Ascend will be optimized for payment by consumption as well as include tools for monitoring government spending and cloud usage.

The commissioner said that agencies will always still be able to go the fixed-price route to cloud procurement. The purpose of the Ascend BPA is to address the “pain points” associated with straightforward purchases, Hashmi added.

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