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Acquisition

Making procurement joyful

Welcome!

Welcome to the 18F Acquisition Chapter — we’re happy you’re here! We’ve compiled some information to help you get started. We’ll update this guide as we receive feedback, so don’t be shy to share your thoughts.

Who we are

Members of the Acquisition team come from all over: inside GSA, consulting firms, Peace Corps, and other government agencies. Collectively, we work as the acquisition part of the overall 18F cross-functional team bringing our expertise to help agency partners (experts in their mission) produce more effective procurement strategies, implement modern procurement practices, and better vendor outcomes. We’re experienced in a wide variety of procurements and have tons of stories of procurements that have gone well and some that haven’t. Ask us!

Our vision and mission

The Acquisition Chapter exists to prove that government acquisitions can be joyful for our employees, agency partners, and industry partners. We do this, by ensuring that informed buyers can easily and confidently access the right products and services to meet their agency’s mission. No matter what the agency partner is undertaking or trying to solve, the acquisition process will be unavoidable and it can be used as an amazing point for leverage to improve overall outcomes.

As a team, we are dedicated to bringing an agile, human centered, and cross-functional approach to procurements that will better prepare our partners to work with modern vendor teams iteratively; developing open source software products to help agencies achieve their mission.

Our value proposition

18F Acquisition Consulting helps agencies buy digital services in a way that reduces risk and provides value to end-users more rapidly than traditional methods. We seek to design and evangelize acquisition approaches that are better aligned with current industry practices to ensure the successful delivery of digital products and services that truly meet the needs of our agency partners and the people they serve.

Our principles

What we do

We focus on procurements of intentionally modest scope for digital products and services (procures and deliver incrementally), so that we can deliver end-user value more rapidly, assess the results more quickly, and refine our approaches over time.

In pursuit of this strategy, we:

How we communicate

The majority of our conversations take place on Slack and video. There are a number of Slack channels for acquisition discussions.

Team meetings are generally over Google Meet and Zoom. If you would like your own Zoom account, hop on over to #admins-zoom to request one.

Stuff to do, sign, and read

Do

Acquisition training

On boarding Training for Contracting Officers

Acquisition Training for non-1102s (non-contracting specialists)

Sign

The first order of business is to read and sign the linked NDA. If you want to more more about what these are to protect, review the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Parts 3 and 9 (we can wait and general tradecraft tip – use the US Air Force FAR website because acquisition.gov is less reliable). When you are done please let us know in the #18f-acquisitions channel and we’ll put it in the folder.

Read

These are a couple of suggested reading materials meant to give you a better sense of our approach to acquisition consulting and modular procurement.

Pro-tips for working with our partners

(these are from your Acq Chapter friends)

Teach partners how to fish

Situational awareness

Work with (not for) the vendors

18F is here for you


Still have questions?

Ask in Slack: #acquisition