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Tech Companies Urge Biden to Give Preference to Commercial Software, Tech Products

Several technology companies and industry groups wrote a letter Tuesday to President Joe Biden urging him to ensure that the federal government prioritize the procurement of commercial software and tech platforms over custom-built systems in accordance with federal acquisition rules.

Maxar Technologies (NYSE: MAXR), Govini, Palantir Technologies (NYSE: PLTR), Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) and Splunk (Nasdaq: SPLK) were among the 47 signatories. Groups including the Alliance for Digital Innovation, Silicon Valley Defense Group and the Alliance for Commercial Technology in Government also signed the letter.

They said the Biden administration should support small businesses and startups and “ensure that the preference for commercial items is followed.”

“This includes conducting appropriate market research, as is required by the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA), prior to making any acquisition decisions when considering comparable commercial and custom-built items,” the letter reads.

They also called on the Office of Management and Budget to come up with guidance for federal agencies to comply with statutory commercial preference requirements. The current administration should also direct software and tech procurement initiatives to provide the private sector an opportunity to take part in live tech demonstrations.

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