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Acting Commerce Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank Announces Computer Contract Expected to Save Taxpayers $20-25M

As the president said when he launched the Campaign to Cut Waste in June 2011, “No amount of waste is acceptable, not when it’s your money. Just as families are living within their means, government should, too, so we can invest in the things that we know will create good jobs and grow the economy.” As part of those ongoing efforts to make government more accountable to the American people and cut wasteful spending, I am happy to report today that the Commerce Department has awarded a contract for computers that is expected to save taxpayers $20-25 million over the next five years.

Through the contract with Intelligent Decisions Inc., we will reduce our cost for desktops and laptops by 40 percent. The contract leverages the large volume of computers that Commerce purchases each year and standardizes specifications to achieve significant cost reductions. Making wise spending decisions like this will enable Commerce to focus resources on its primary mission, which is supporting innovation, helping American businesses create jobs, and driving U.S. competitiveness around the world.

Intelligent Decisions Inc., is a small business reseller offering products manufactured by Dell Inc. By awarding this contract to a small business, the Commerce Department will increase its small business participation for computer purchases by over thirty percent. Intelligent Decisions Inc.  will be providing valuable services to Commerce, including helping to better monitor its inventory of computers, improving delivery time, and loading custom images onto computers. Through the new contract, Commerce will be able to do the following:

  • Reduce the thousands of employee hours required to award hundreds of separate contracts for computers;
  • Reduce IT complexity and longer term support and maintenance costs by standardizing PC specifications across the Department; and
  • Streamline the computer ordering process.

Thanks to the diligent work of the Census Bureau’s acquisition team, this contract maximizes the Department’s buying power by aggregating the purchasing power of all the Commerce Bureaus to drive down costs. And, through smart contracting strategies such as strategic sourcing and better management of our information technology devices, we can make a difference to our bottom line. 

The Commerce Department achieved more than $50M in administrative savings in FY11, including $42M in savings through negotiating stronger pricing with vendors and reducing the size of contracts. Savings are also being achieved in fleet, travel, printing, and other key areas including shutting down wireless devices that aren’t being used and reducing use of desktop printers. Commerce is already well on its way to achieve $143 million in reduced overhead costs and administrative savings this fiscal year, and  Commerce’s FY13 budget proposes to increase that to $176 million.

Increasing efficiency and cutting administrative costs is an important and achievable goal in government. At Commerce, we want to direct our resources to investments that will create jobs and help our economy grow. To do this, we will continue to search for new ways to do more with less and do our part in making the government work better for the American people.

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So a small business contractor is going to decide what tools commerce needs to do its science? Awesome.

40% reduction in cost will equate to 40% reduction in computing power, which will equate to 40% reduction in staff performance, which will mean they cannot meet their performance reviews.

Commerce decides the needs

The Department of Commerce will decide what the needs are. Intelligent Decisions Inc will simply deliver the required hardware a savings over the previous contractors.