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CA DGS Holds Webcast for IT Procurement Reform

The California Department of General Services (DGS) held a webcast on August 11th to go over their plan for IT procurement reform. The meeting was held as a way for DGS to explain changes going forward with IT procurement as a result of Governor Schwarzenegger signing a budget deal the week of July 21st. The main two topics of the meeting were to address timeliness and the procurement process in general.

As it relates to timeliness, the goal of both California as a whole and DGS is to speed the procurement cycle up. In recent years, mutli-million dollar procurements within the State have taken as long as 3-5 years to procure. Going forward, it is a goal of the DGS to cut that time down to 22-26 months. Likewise, procurements for "complex IT systems" have taken on average 29.7 months in the past. However, it is now a goal of the DGS to cut that time down to 9.3 months.

As far as announcements on the procurement process in general go, the news is that looking ahead, there will be quite a few more RFIs. The Governor's proposal will require that an RFI stage is included in all potential procurements, before any attempt to release a formal solicitation is made. The reason for this is simple: CA wants to verify that vendors are capable of providing solutions before they spend the time and money to create an RFP.

Both of these concepts seemed to go over very well with those in attendance either in person or through the webcast. Only time will tell how successful CA is with shortening the procurement process, but if they can pull it off, it will surely be beneficial to both the State and the vendor community as well.

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