Originally published: January 9, 2011
Last updated: January 9, 2011 - 6:47pm
The purpose of this memorandum is to remind agencies of the Federal Government's policy of selecting and acquiring information technology that best fits the needs of the Federal Government, including of being technology and vendor neutral in acquisitions for inforn1ation technology (IT).
This long-standing policy helps ensure that federal investments in IT are merit-based, improve the performance of OUT government and create value for the American people.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation and Office of Management and Budget Circulars A-11 and A-130 guide agency information technology IT decisions, among other things. The policies in these documents are built around the use of merit-based requirements development and evaluation processes that promote procurement choices based on performance and value, and free of preconceived preferences based on how the technology is developed, licensed or distributed. In the context of developing requirements and planning acquisitions for software, for example, this means, as a general matter, that agencies should analyze alternatives that include proprietary, open source, and mixed source technologies. This allows the Government to pursue the best strategy to meet its particular needs.
Accordingly, as program, IT, acquisition, and other officials work together to develop requirements and plan acquisitions, they should follow technology neutral principles and practices. This means selecting suitable IT on a case-by-case basis to meet the particular operational needs of the agency by considering factors such as performance, cost, security, interoperability, ability to share or re-use, and availability of quality support.
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