2019 NDAA Restricts Government Use of LPTA

2019 NDAA Restricts Government Use of LPTA

Federal professional services firms should all breath a sign of relief— one of the many changes of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the government-wide restriction on the application of Lowest-Priced Technically Acceptable (LPTA) as the basis of award on complex professional and IT services contracts. (more…)

GSA Schedule Consolidation Update

GSA Schedule Consolidation Update

Last December, GSA has stated a new initiative to create one mega-schedule consolidating and housing all existing schedules. This will be a massive undertaking that, we believe, will streamline scope expansion for new and existing schedule holders. 

Today GSA has shared some key information on the consolidation process.

GSA intends to release new terms and conditions in early June  that will reveal  more of the phase-out for public comments. Until then, we have heard that GSA will continue to award contracts and modifications under current terms and conditions until October 1, 2019, at which time the new terms and conditions are slated to take effect.

Current schedule holders will receive a mass modification to accept the new terms and conditions in January 2020.

Coley will continue to monitor and connect with GSA to get updates as things progress. If you have question or concerns, contact Coley.

Second Generation IT BPA out on eBuy

Second Generation IT BPA out on eBuy

Information Technology Government Opportunity Released!

The United States Air Force released a Request for Quote on March 04t, 2019 titled Second Generation Information Technology (2GIT) Blanket Purchase Agreement. The USAF has determined to make the 2GIT BPA a mandatory use vehicle for the replacement of the NETCENTS-2 (NC2) Products IDIQ contract.

The NC2 IDIQ was USAF’s go-to procurement option with a ceiling spend value of $6.9B. NC2 IDIQ expires in November 2019, making the new 2GIT GSA BPA a necessary vehicle for all software and product resellers on the GSA schedule.

The USAF must receive all responses to the 2GIT RFP by April 19th and all responses must be provided through the eBuy portal.

The stated intent of the BPA is to reduce redundancies and create fast and effective ways to order IT hardware and software commodities. 2GIT has five classes of products:

  • BPA Line Item One – Data Center (Compute/Store)
  • BPA Line Item Two – End User
  • BPA Line Item Three – Network (Connect)
  • BPA Line Item Four – Radio Equipment
  • BPA Line Item Five – Order Level Material (OLM)

USAF states they will not base awards on lowest price technically acceptable basis but will instead review best value and Fair and Reasonable Price evaluations. USAF will look at the following non-price factors breadth of the OEM products you are offering through your schedule or through your team; Relevant Experience; Socioeconomic Factor and subcontracting goals; and finally Supply Chain Risk Management.  Pricing factors will be based on the evaluation of a market basket; which include the most commonly ordered items under the BPA. Note of concern is that bidders must provide quotes for all the most commonly ordered products or face possible elimination from the BPA evaluation.

All products proposed must be awarded to you GSA IT 70 schedule or to a member of your teams’ schedule; No Open Market Items are permitted.

USAF anticipates awarding nine (9) BPAs to vendors or teams.

Most frequently ordered manufacturers include:

BPA Line Item One Data Center (Compute/Store) BPA Line Item Two End User BPA Line Item Three Network (Connect) BPA Line Item Four Radio Equipment
HPE Dell Cisco Motorola
APC HPI Extreme
Networks
Harris
Vmware Symantec Broadcom/
Ruckus/Brocade
 
Dell LG NetApp  
IBM Samsung F5 Networks  
  McAfee Juniper  

Locate the RFQ on your eBuy site.  If you need assistance with the response, building a team, or accessing your eBuy contact Coley at 210-402-6766 or by email at [email protected].

Is it Now Easier to Enter the Professional Services Schedule?

Is it Now Easier to Enter the Professional Services Schedule?

The Professional Services Schedule (PSS) is making it easier to win new schedules and new SINs. The General Service Administration 00CORP PSS program announced that an upcoming March 2019 solicitation will streamline the solicitation and remove barriers to entry for new and existing schedule holders. (more…)

TXMAS Temporarily Suspending New Offers

TXMAS Temporarily Suspending New Offers

The Texas State Procurement Division (SPD), which manages the Texas Multiple Award Schedule (TXMAS), has announced that “effective immediately, SPD has issued a hold on accepting all new TXMAS applications.”

SPD cannot provide a guaranteed date to re-opening the successful TXMAS program, but tentatively have stated they expect the suspension to last through March 14, 2019. Interested vendors should return to the site after March 1, when a determination will be made regarding the suspension.

Current proposals in review will remain in the review process. All new application packets will be rejected and returned.

The TXMAS program has had difficulties and long review cycles over the last few years when sweeping changes were implemented, including:

  • Introduction of the online TXSmartBuy purchasing portal
  • Reduction in Texas Contract Redundancies
    • removal of all Technology products and services, including ancillary technology services, conferring communication, and audio-visual solutions – those offering are supported under the TX DIR program (TX DIR)
    • Other Miscellaneous products and solutions provided under State Term contracts (Term)
  • A requirement of a Signed letter from authorized buyers, guaranteeing purchasing through the TXMAS program

The award review cycles for contracts have been pushed from six months to 18 months for some vendors.

TXMAS is a successful state, local, and education procurement vehicle that award multiple award contracts using other federal and state multi-year award contracts as a base for establishing product offerings and price reasonableness.

If you are interested in pursuing the TXMAS contracting vehicle or other government and cooperative purchasing vehicles, contact Coley for assistance.

What A Government Shutdown Means for Contractors

What A Government Shutdown Means for Contractors

While our executive and legislative branches are at a stalemate over budget priorities non-essential government actives will not be funded and as January 20th will usher in a new demographic break-out of party partisans; it is likely this issue will not be resolved quickly. 

How will the shutdown affect you, the government contractor and your employees? The agencies where funding for FY19 has already been passed, and therefore not affected by a shutdown, include the Departments of Defense, Labor, Energy, Health and Human Services, Education, Veterans Affairs and the legislative branch. Your contracts will continue forward, If you have any contracts with agencies controlling discretionary spending — VA, DOD, HHS, Labor, Education or Labor.  You will receive payments for work completed during this time and no contracts should be cancelled.

Agencies impacted during the shutdown include the Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Interior, Treasury, State, Housing and Urban Development, NASA, Transportation, Commerce, and Justice. If you have contracts with these agencies, unless your contract functions are essential, you are unlikely permitted to continue work and you and your employees will not receive compensation for this downtime. Essential personnel, such as airport security, will be permitted to work, however compensation for work may not occur until the government re-opens. 

If you have any outstanding invoices for non-essential work, you will not likely receive payment until the government re-opens. If this effects your business or you feel the issues of the stalemate or more important than your contracts, contact you representatives and share your opinion (technically, they work for us):

US House of Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

US Senate:https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

If you have any questions on future or current government contracting opportunities, contact Coley for support.

GSA Releases Plan for One Schedule

GSA Releases Plan for One Schedule

The General Services Administration has announced the consolidation of the 24 Multiple Award Schedules into one single products and services Schedule. This single Schedule will have only one set of terms and conditions, which will allow more consistency in contracting practices. (more…)

Should You Pursue a GSA Schedule? E-Buy Open Can Help!

Should You Pursue a GSA Schedule? E-Buy Open Can Help!

A new GSA tool to see who wins GSA Schedule bids may help you decide.

The General Services Administration (GSA) has launched a new pilot program to make eBuy award public through the Federal Business Opportunities portal at www.FBO.gov. The program will be called e-Buy Open and will run for a one-year pilot period.  (more…)

Making it Easier for Federal Agencies to Buy from GSA Schedules

Making it Easier for Federal Agencies to Buy from GSA Schedules

All Federal agencies have to abide by a variety of rules. These determine who and how agency buyers should purchase from the various procurement vehicles available (more…)

GSA Adding New SIN 132-20 for ACCS

GSA Adding New SIN 132-20 for ACCS

Automated Contact Center Solutions will soon be on GSA Schedule 70

GSA has been engaging with the IT industry since October 2017 to help define the terms and conditions of the new Automated Contact Center Solutions (ACCS) SIN. GSA recently announced that SIN 132 20 will be officially established October 1, 2018. In fact, adding SIN to GSA Schedule 70 will allow federal agencies access to a deeper pool of (more…)

GSA IT Schedule 70 Cloud SIN Proposed Changes RFI

GSA IT Schedule 70 Cloud SIN Proposed Changes RFI

GSA is seeking industry feedback on proposed changes to the Cloud Computing SIN 132 40. GSA released a Request for Information (RFI) through the eBuy system detailing the changes and specific questions to Industry. (more…)

Introduction to BIC – Best In Class Contracts

Introduction to BIC – Best In Class Contracts

WHAT IS BIC?

In December 2014, The Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a memo 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.

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

The BIC designation was applied to more than 30 contract vehicles based upon how they are vetted, managed and recommended by Government purchasers.  One of the measuring tools to determine BIC designation is Spend Under Management (SUM).  OMB defines SUM as “the percentage of an organizations 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.”

Applying SUM, OMB established four tiers for existing contract or vehicles:

  • 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.

As the saying goes, what gets measured, gets done. OMB has established performance metrics to contracts, this will pressure agencies to use the BIC designated solutions.

Vendors would be wise to continue monitoring the approved BIC solutions and work to get on those contracts.  You can find all the BIC solutions here.

We continue to monitor the cycle and changes in federal acquisition and work to get you competitive. If you have questions or need assistance obtaining a GSA or BIC contract, contact Coley GCS.

GSA’s New Pilot Promises Faster Awards

GSA’s New Pilot Promises Faster Awards

GSA released GSA Express, a new acquisition channel using the Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) procedures. GSA Express will look to align agencies needs for “innovative commercial items, including products, technologies, and services” through a less-restrictive and less-formal competitive process. Express estimate the award process at 30-120 days using templates and centralized acquisition support; where solicitations with statements of work can take months or years. The procurement begins by identifying agency need, then requesting white papers or solution briefs from industry. GSA will use the needs and briefs to develop a solicitation and request a full proposal.

As the emphasis is on innovative solutions, the idea is to provide agencies access to new technologies from young and nontraditional government companies with little or no experience working with the federal government. Express will encourage use of the traditional schedule, GWACS, and BPAs; but will not require its use. The CSO will emphasize value and merit over pricing and provide contracting officers flexibility to determine contracting vehicle

Further, CSO’s allow agencies and companies to negotiate terms for cancellation and removes the opportunity for protests.

There are no current solicitations available, but there are 28 opportunities being developed between GSA Express and Agencies customers.

Until there are posted opportunities, there are not registrations, but you may request a briefing with the GSA express team. We encourage you to attend federal trade shows and conferences to meet with decision makers and share your innovative solutions.

Key Information:

A White Paper/Solution Brief will be specific to the need, but should include title page, solution concept, and company viability. See GSA’s explanation here: https://aas.gsa.gov/.

GSA Express explains their process as 4 steps:

  1. We solicit commercial solutions that address current needs of Agency clients.
  2. When there is an open area of interest, you can respond to compete for the opportunity by submitting a brief about your solution.
  3. If we are interested in learning more about a solution, we may invite you in for an oral presentation or invite you to submit more information to us about your solution.
  4. If we think there’s a good match between your solution and our client’s requirements, we’ll invite you to provide us with a full proposal — this is the beginning of negotiating all the terms and conditions of a proposed contract.

GSA Express defines Innovative as

  1. Any item that is—
    1. A new technology, process, or method as of the date of submission of a solution brief; or
    2. A new application or adaptation of an existing technology, process, or method as of the date of submission of a solution brief.
  2. Includes existing items within the production/commercialization phase (i.e. after design or development, and before widespread government or commercial adoption) as well as new adaptations of existing commercial items.

 

FedBizOpps link to the GSA AAS EXPRESS CSO Program

CSO Guide Book: https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/PIRC%20CSO%20Guide%206818.pdf

Other sources: https://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2018/05/all-agencies-can-now-buy-innovative-tech-shark-tank-speed/148456/

ALERT: New Login Process for SAM.gov

ALERT: New Login Process for SAM.gov

IMPORTANT SAM.GOV UPDATES

Following alleged fraudulent activity on the SAM website, GSA set up requirements to that authorized vendors needed to submit a notarized letter validating the Entity Administrator. This process, however, created some complications, backlog, and delays in updating SAM profiles. This makes government customer payments problematic.

Beginning June 29th, 2018; GSA will revise their requirement a bit. (more…)

GSA Mass Modification for Order Level Materials is Coming

GSA Mass Modification for Order Level Materials is Coming

Beginning June 11-13, 2018; vendors should begin seeing mass modification invitations addressing Commercial Supplier Agreements (CSA)/End User License Agreements (EULA).

Following the acceptance of the first modification, vendors will see a second mass modification to add the Order Level Materials (OLM) SIN to select schedules. NOTE: The first modification regarding CSAs must be accepted before you are able to receive the OLM modification.

The OLM SIN will allow vendors to include supplies and services necessary to perform a job when supplies and services are not known at the time. Items placed under the OLM on task order are not awarded to your GSA schedule and pricing will be determined on an order level. OLM may only account for up to 33% of a total order.

This change will provide vendors flexibility in bidding opportunities and make GSA more attractive to agencies. OLMs also include the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF), so include fee when calculating costs. GSA will see an increase in revenue as a result, as well.

GSA has created a convenient chart to understand the differences between OLM and others:

The Affected GSA Schedules Include:

  • Schedule 03 FAC: Facilities Maintenance and Management
  • Schedule 56: Buildings and Building Materials/Industrial Services and Supplies
  • Schedule 70: General Purpose Information Technology Equipment, Software, and Services
  • Schedule 71: Furniture
  • Schedule 84: Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire, Rescue, Clothing, Marine Craft, and Emergency/Disaster Response
  • Professional Services Schedule 00CORP: All Professional Services
  • Schedule 738X: Human Resources and EEO Service

If you have questions on the OLM or need assistance, contact Coley GCS at [email protected] or directly by phone at 210-402-6766

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