The Standard Procurement System
SPS is an outgrowth of the DoD Corporate Information Management (CIM) initiatives in the early 1990s, and is intended to provide standard business processes and data management across disparate acquisition communities, including:
- Posts, camps, and stations
- Inventory Control Points
- Major Weapon Systems
- Contingency contracting
The Standard Procurement System initiative began in 1994 with a directive from the Director of Defense Procurement to standardize the then approximately 70 acquisition systems in use on a single platform. In August 1996, the SPS contract was awarded through a competitive process to American Management Systems. The contract directed AMS to build the Standard Procurement System through an incremental process on top of the company's existing Procurement Desktop - Defense (PD2) application.
SPS is one of the first DoD software acquisitions using Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 12 - Acquisition of Commercial Items  rules. One of the major drivers behind SPS was the use of Commercial off-the-shelf, or COTS, software. The software is licensed rather than purchased outright, and at the time marked a major shift in acquisition strategy for DoD. While DoD had previous experience in licensing software, it largely revolved around either desktop computing (operating systems, office automation products, etc.) or back-end servers (mainframe operating systems, relational database management systems, etc.). SPS is a business system and is licensed for 43,000 contracting officers and other acquisition professionals at DoD sites world-wide.
The deployment of SPS met with several challenges, including a stop-development order in 2002 from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). The program resumed after establishing an internal requirements board, automating its integration capabilities, improving product documentation, and implementing a shift from a client-server architecture to a Web application architecture.
The SPS program has received several awards, including the Top Fed 100 award from Federal Computer Week (2003), the Grace Hopper Technology Leadership Award (2003), and CIO Magazine's CIO Enterprise Value Award (2005).
- "Standard Procurement System: Program History". Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "FAR Part 12: Acquisition of Commercial Items". Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- "Standard Procurement System: Continued Investment Has Yet to Be Justified" (PDF). 2002-02-07. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- Havenstein, Heather (2005-09-28). "Troubled DoD Procurement System Makes Move to The Web". CIO Magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "Two DoD Acquisition Programs Win Awards". 2003-12-11. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "DOD's Standard Procurement System Wins CIO Enterprise Value Award" (PDF). 2005-11-05. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "SPS Statistics". Retrieved 2008-03-07.