FAQs

How can we help?

Are you having trouble? We want to help you succeed; whether it’s a sign in issue, problems finding what you need, or a concern about the accuracy or usefulness of an item, please let us know.  We've included answers to the most commonly asked questions below.

Feel free to email us as well -- we aim to respond to every message within one working day:  

      hallways_site_manager@gsa.gov

Want to give feedback?

  • Join us for a Usability Review session and give input on our latest Gateway design ideas!  Email hallways_contribute@gsa.gov to schedule a time that is convenient for you.

Questions and answers:

Thank you for your support. Let's start Acting as One !

What is the Acquisition Gateway?

The Acquisition Gateway is a workspace for acquisition professionals and project teams to research, share information, build, and manage their acquisition projects. On the Gateway, federal buyers connect with peers and experts to collaborate, compare solutions, share templates, study success stories, review prices paid data, and more. We are revamping how the government approaches procurement, replacing a decades-old model of a fragmented and scattered approach to acquisitions. We connect federal acquisition professionals to share advice, success stories and lessons learned.

How do I find the information I need on the Gateway?

You can start with using our Gateway-wide Search feature, easily accessible from the magnifying glass in the black navigation bar at the top of the page. Learn more about finding and using Gateway resources and tools by visiting our Tutorials.

 

Much of the information on the Gateway is organized into category hallways. Hallways are organized by the category of goods and services offered, just as you would find at a retail store. There are currently 10 hallways on the Acquisition Gateway:

  • Facilities & Construction
  • Human Capital
  • Industrial Products & Services
  • Information Technology
  • Medical
  • Office Management
  • Professional Services 
  • Security & Protection
  • Transporation & Logisitics
  • Travel

Within each hallway, all Gateway users will find:

  • Articles: Each hallway contains articles, which provide users with curated expertise and unbiased advice that they can use to research market trends, begin an acquisition, specific information to help select a contract vehicle, and more.
  • The Solutions Finder: This tool allows users to compare government contract solutions that are available to their agency for specific categories and subcategories of products and services.
  • Transactional Platforms: Each hallway highlights applicable transactional platforms where government buyers can go to make purchases.

Some of the publicly visible items—e.g. transactional platforms—require government credentials to use. They are included in the public view for informational purposes.​​

 

There are also individual articles and acquisition solutions which are not viewable to the public. The owners of individual items made those determinations based on legal and privacy considerations.​

 

Certain items on the Gateway are limited to Federal users:

  • Prices Paid Data: Government buyers have access to historical transactional pricing data.
  • Community: This feature helps government users create connections with one another to share expertise, ideas, feedback, and support in making smart acquisition decisions.
  • eBuy Open: GSA created this tool to provide federal acquisition workers with records of solicitations issued through the eBuy platform.
  • Contracts: Some of the entries in the Solutions Finder include links to a Master Contract for a solution. Terms in those contracts may have restricted access.

Please keep in mind that with the Gateway's Agile development practices, the actual content available to both Federal and non-Federal visitors will change over time.

Who operates the Acquisition Gateway?

The Acquisition Gateway is managed by GSA’s Gateway Team. While GSA (General Services Administration) is building this suite of tools, we are approaching it from an unbiased perspective as a resource for all of government. We want to present advice and knowledge from across the government, within a given market to allow acquisition professionals across agencies to make informed decisions and act with confidence.

How is the Acquisition Gateway being built?

The Gateway Team utilizes two key methodologies to build out the Gateway: agile development and user-centered design.

  • Agile Development: We develop the Gateway using incremental, iterative releases to learn what resonates with our users and incorporate user-feedback  into future designs.

  • User-Centered Design: The Gateway team constantly user-tests the current and future designs of the Gateway to find ways to improve.  Through design reviews, usability tests, requirements workshops, and feedback interviews, we provide a feedback loop that drives the content and layout of the Gateway. User needs determine what and how we build the Gateway.

How can I contribute?

We are looking for your input to grow the resources that agencies are sharing with each other on the Gateway! Join the Community by sharing document templates and examples in the Document Library, or best practices, lessons learned, or articles to Category Hallways. To contribute to and to share your suggestions, email us at hallways_contribute@gsa.gov.

 

You can also participate in usability testing, a 30 - 60 minute session that gives us feedback about the Gateway. To do this, email hallways_contribute@gsa.gov with your availability.

What content on the Gateway is publicly viewable?

Certain resources on the Gateway are viewable ONLY to Federal users:

  • Prices Paid Data
  • Community discussions
  • eBuy Open
  • Contracts - some of the entries in the Solutions Finder include links to a Master Contract for a solution. Terms in those contracts may have restricted access.

Please keep in mind that with the Gateway's Agile development practices, the actual content available to both Federal and non-Federal visitors will change over time.

Some of the publicly visible items—e.g. transactional platforms—require government credentials to use. They are included in the public view for informational purposes.​​ There are also individual articles and acquisition solutions which are not viewable to the public. The owners of individual items made those determinations based on legal and privacy considerations.​

Where can I learn more about the government’s plan to adopt category management?

Category Management is a governmentwide approach to purchasing with the following goals:

  1. Identify, aggregate, and analyze spending by each category
  2. Understand customers’ needs and priorities in each category and use this understanding to create more effective market research and analysis to shape the acquisition strategy
  3. Share information and best practices to the acquisition community, federal agencies, and industry partners
  4. Improve acquisition solutions through data and contract intelligence-based procurements; utilize stronger customer relationships and an improved supply base to improve these solutions
  5. Minimize acquisition redundancy and align the federal government’s demand for products and services with the market’s supply capabilities

These sources provide information on why Government has chosen to adopt category management, the governance, and how we will measure success:

  • Government-wide Category Management Guidance,Version 1.0, approved by the Category Management Leadership Council, is the guidance for the governance, management and standard operating procedures by which all government-wide category teams will operate.

  • The Category Management Leadership Council (CMLC) Charter establishes the governing body for Category Management. Government-wide Category Management Guidance Version 1.0, approved by the Category Management Leadership Council, is the guidance for the governance, management and standard operating procedures by which all government-wide category teams will operate. The Category Management Leadership Council (CMLC) Charter establishes the governing body for Category Management. 

  • The OMB Office of Federal Procurement Policy announced the names of the 10 government­-wide category managers on February 10, 2016.

  • The Spend Under Management Maturity Model is an overall measure of Federal Government progress towards achieving category management objectives. The first data call and analysis were conducted in May 2015.

  • The Government-wide Category Structure divides up the $450 billion in government spend into 10 common categories ($272 billion) and 9 defense-centric categories ($178 billion). The ten super categories of commonly purchased items to provide a clear framework as to how federal spending will be analyzed and managed.

  • The new category management Cross Agency Priority Goals are focused on increasing information technology savings, reducing the number of new contracts, and increasing spend that is under governmentwide management.

  • The standard configurations for laptops and desktops, as required by OMB Memorandum M-16-02: "Category Management Policy 15-1: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Laptops and Desktops" (October 16, 2015).

  • The software memo  defines software management standards and strategies as required by OMB memorandum 16-1: "Category Management Policy 16-1: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Software Licensing" (June 2, 2016)

  • The Category Management Policy for Mobile Devices and Services, as required by OMB 16-3: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Mobile Devices and Services” (August 4, 2016)

  • Best in Class (BIC) Designation is a tool to indicate that content exemplifies the government's category management efforts. The BIC designation is conferred by the Category Manager after review against 5 key criteria. You can read more about the criteria and how these decisions are made here.

Can I access the Gateway?

All federal government employees have full access to the Acquisition Gateway. In the spirit of open government and transparency, the general public also has access to most of the Gateway. Information with restricted access due to privacy restrictions or other factors is not part of the public view.

 

If you need help accessing the Gateway, this video walks you through the registration process step-by-step.