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June 6, 2008



FROM:Paul A. Denett      
SUBJECT:Improving the Management and Use of Interagency Acquisitions

      Interagency acquisitions offer important benefits to federal agencies, including economies and efficiencies and the ability to leverage resources. The attached guidance is intended to help agencies achieve the greatest value possible from interagency acquisitions.

      Effective management and use of interagency acquisitions is a shared responsibility, especially for assisted acquisitions. Lack of clear lines of responsibility between agencies with requirements (requesting agencies) and the agencies which provide acquisition support and award contracts on their behalf (servicing agencies) has contributed to inadequate planning, inconsistent use of competition, weak contract management, and concerns regarding financial controls.

      This document provides guidance to help agencies (1) make sound business decisions to support the use of interagency acquisitions and (2) strengthen the management of assisted acquisitions. Particular emphasis is placed on helping requesting agencies and servicing agencies manage their shared fiduciary responsibilities in assisted acquisitions. The guidance includes a checklist of roles for each responsibility in the acquisition lifecycle and a model interagency agreement to reinforce sound contracting and fiscal practices. The guidance reflects comments provided by Chief Acquisition Officers, Senior Procurement Executives, and Chief Financial Officers. The document was also shared with other interested stakeholders, including the Chief Information Officers and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and reflects comments received from those parties as well.

      Beginning on October 1, 2008, and thereafter, agencies shall ensure that decisions to use interagency acquisitions are supported by best interest determinations, as described in the attached guidance. Agencies shall further ensure that new interagency agreements for assisted acquisitions entered on or after November 3, 2008, contain the elements enumerated in Appendix 2 or follow the model agreement in Appendix 3. Agencies shall use the checklist at Appendix 1 to facilitate the clear identification of roles and responsibilities. Agencies shall also consider modifying existing long-term interagency agreements for assisted acquisitions in accordance with this guidance, as appropriate and practicable.

      Providing for the sound management and use of interagency acquisitions is a key step for realizing the intended efficiencies of interagency contracts. Improving the governance structure for creating and renewing these vehicles is equally important, especially for multi-agency contracts. We have made important strides to leverage the government’s vast buying power under the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) and to identify suitable executive agents that can manage government-wide acquisition contracts (GWACs) on behalf of customers across government. We must build on these efforts in order to maximize the contribution of interagency contracts to mission success. I intend to work with members of the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, including its Strategic Sourcing Working Group, to design a business case review process similar to that currently used for the designation of executive agents for GWACs and to define the structure required to support such a process.

      Please have your acquisition officials work with program managers, contracting officers technical representatives, finance officers, information technology officers, legal staff and others involved in your agency’s interagency acquisitions to ensure the effective implementation of this guidance and compliance with its requirements. Questions may be referred to Mathew Blum at (202) 395-4953 or

      Thank you for your attention to this important subject.

Open Interagency Acquisitions Guide.

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