Contracts & Legal


Best-in-Class (BIC) is designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a preferred governmentwide solution that:

  • Allows acquisition experts to take advantage of pre-vetted, governmentwide contract solutions;
  • Supports a governmentwide migration to solutions that are mature and market-proven;
  • Assists in the optimization of spend, within the governmentwide category management framework; and
  • Increases the transactional data available for agency level and governmentwide analysis of buying behavior.

BIC is a preferred and sometimes mandatory government-wide acquisition designation for contracts and vehicles that can be used by multiple agencies and that satisfy five key criteria established by the OMB:

  1. Rigorous requirements definitions and planning processes
  2. Appropriate pricing strategies
  3. Data-driven strategies to change buying and consumption behavior (i.e., demand management)
  4. Category and performance management strategies
  5. Independently validated reviews

Spend Under Management (SUM)

One of the measuring tools to determine BIC designation is Spend Under Management (SUM).  OMB defines SUM as “the percentage of an organization’s spend that is actively managed according to category management principles—or smart decision-making to buy similar goods and services through best-value solutions. Increasing SUM will decrease costs, contract duplication, and inefficiency leading to better buying outcomes.”

OMB established four tiers for existing contracts or vehicles under SUM:

  • Tier 3: Best-in-Class (BIC) Solutions – Dollars obligated on Best-in-Class contracts.
  • Tier 2: Multi-Agency Solutions – Dollars obligated on multi-agency contracts that satisfy rigorous standards set for leadership, strategy, data, tools, and metrics.
  • Tier 1: Mandatory-Use Agency-Wide Solutions – Dollars obligated on agency-wide contracts with mandatory-use or mandatory-consideration policies, along with standards set for data-sharing and other criteria.
  • Tier 0: Spend NOT Aligned to Category Management Principals – Dollars obligated on contracts that do not fit into one of the three tiers above. Agencies should analyze Tier 0 spend to find opportunities for shifting to higher-tiered solutions.

Best-In-Class History

The Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a memo in December 2014 discussing a new strategic mission for federal acquisitions – a strategy focused on best value over lowest price. The strategic framework is Category Management and the resulting contract evaluation tool is the Best-in-Class (BIC) solution.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/20/2021

Rank: G