NASA SEWP lowers fees for agencies

NASA’s SEWP will have the lowest fees of any governmentwide acquisition contract when it launches its fifth iteration next month, making it an even more attractive vehicle for agencies when they are buying IT products, including networking and computer equipment.

NASA will charge agencies less than 0.4 percent to use SEWP V beginning Nov. 1. The fee for SEWP IV, which continues through the end of this month, stands at 0.45 percent.

“I’m just doing what I have to do to balance my budget,” SEWP Program Manager Joanne Woytek told Tom Temin on the Federal Drive. “If I make too much money, I lower the fee.”

The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs buy the most technology through SEWP. The average order is about $120,000, Woytek said, adding that she didn’t think the fee mattered a lot for most purchases.

“It would be a bigger deal if we were playing in the services area, where we’re dealing with huge dollar amounts on a per-order basis,” she said. She refers agencies in need of services to GWACs run by the National Institutes of Health and the General Services Administration.

That said, agencies are consolidating their technology purchases, leading to bigger order amounts, she said.

“We have everything from $5 orders to something in the $100-million range now,” she said.

SEWP administrators review their budget semi-annually and adjust the fee as needed, Woytek said in an email. It last altered its fee in fiscal 2011, shaving off 0.05 percent. It has never raised its fees.

GSA charges agencies 0.75 percent to use its GWACs. GSA officials have mentioned the possibility of lowering fees on the agency’s contracts as well, but have not done so yet.

The National Institutes of Health charges either 0.75 percent or 1 percent to use its GWACs, depending on the program, but it caps the fee at $150,000.

When SEWP V launches next month, it will include more vendors than SEWP IV. A new, fifth category will be set aside for HUB Zone companies. Firms in two of five categories have been announced. Woytek said she expects to reveal the rest of the names this week.

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