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.

One significant change to the schedule review process will reduce the two past project requirements to one relevant past performance project. New offer hopefuls and current schedule holders can use this changes to win a schedule or SINs.

Other changes include requiring descriptions for training courses, products, and ODCs. Added clarifications to the Employee Compensation Plan stating handbooks are sufficient IF it “sets forth salary ranges and fringe benefits proposed for the professional employees who will work under the contract.”

To ensure integrity of the schedule program, PSS has also incorporated more stringent requirements for some firms.

Requirements Include:

  • SIN 520 7 Financial & Performance Audits – – must be licensed CPA and submit a peer reviewed report
  • SIN 520 20 Data Breach Response and Identity Protection Services – Work to itemize services, include a System Security Plan, and follow specific pricing requirements
  • SIN 541 4G Challenges and Competitions Services – 2 years’ corporate experience is waived, but project requirement is still in effect
  • SIN 541 1000 Other Direct Costs – must be commercially offered, include EPA clause, actual price plus IFF – unless clear documentation can be provided to justify mark-up, specific pricing requirements.
  • SIN 874 4 Training Services – Provide End User License Agreement for Learning Management Systems
  • SIN 874 8 Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act – Provide crosswalk of DAU equivalency, shall submit resumes, detailed training plan, and three customer references
  • SIN 874 9 Off-the-Shelf Training Devices and Training Materials – Provide Reseller Agreements, End User License Agreements
  • SIN 382 5 Services for the Visual and Hearing impaired – new Translation requirements, new Interpretation requirements
  • SIN 874 507 Operations & Maintenance Logistics Management – Only awarded in conjunction with 875 501, 503, or 504
  • SIN 874 597 Ancillary Repair and Alterations — Only awarded in conjunction with 875 501, 503, or 504, must identify Davis Bacon Act positions
  • SIN 899 Series – Must maintain required insurance
  • SIN 899 5 Materials and Waste Recycling and Disposal Services – Provide Summary documentation process through disposition of all materials
  • SIN 899 7 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Services – Software can only be incidental, software technical data requirements
  • SIN 899 8 Remediation and Reclamation Services — Provide Summary documentation process through disposition of all materials, business size determined by NAICS 562910

These changes will not affect the One MAS schedule proposed in the coming two years. These changes should open the PSS program to new and current vendors and allow for greater competition on the schedule.

If you are interested in getting on the 00CORP PSS or need to modify your current schedule to add SINs, contact Coley GCS by email at [email protected] or talk to someone directly at 210-402-6766.

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.

Having one streamlined option will help buying and selling form the Federal Marketplace, an easier and effective experience. Rather than having to purchase products or services form different schedules, this one Schedule will be the main shop for all customer needs.

This also means customers will no longer have to submit new offers for products or services which fell under different Schedules. Now, a new submission of a modification will be needed.

This transformation of Schedules is estimated to take two years to complete, and GSA will assist in migrating current schedules into the one Schedule.

All interested vendors should attend the Federal Marketplace on Wednesday, December 12 from 9:30AM – 2:45PM EST. For in-person registration, follow the link: https://interact.gsa.gov/document/federal-marketplace-industry-day-registration-open

Virtual attendance instructions are as follows:

  1. Navigate to the following link (note: this link will be available starting at 9:15am EST on December 12th):  https://meet.gsa.gov/federalmarketplace/
  2. To login, please select the ‘Enter as a Guest” option and include the following identifying information: Name, Organization  [example: John Doe, ABC Corp]
  3. Once the Meeting Space application loads, connect your audio by entering your phone number.
  4. The event will begin at 9:30am EST.

 

At this time, VA FSS schedule holders will not be affected by this consolidation.

 

Consolidation of the HACS SINs. What you need to know!

Consolidation of the HACS SINs. What you need to know!

GSA IT Schedule 70 HACS SINs

During today’s GSAs Interact Webinar for the new stand-alone Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) SIN 132-45, plans were discussed with industry detailing best practices for the upcoming Schedule 70 Solicitation Refresh. With this upcoming refresh, currents SINs 132-45A, 132-45B, 132-45C, & 132-45D will be deleted in their entirety and reclassified as a subcategory under SIN 132-45. Along with this new structure, GSA discussed a new “fifth” subcategory and what to do as a current and prospective HACS vendor.

5 Subcategories

  • 132-45A – Penetration Testing
  • 132-45B – Incident response
  • 132-45C – Cyber Hunt
  • 132-45D – Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (RVA)
  • High Value Assets (HVA) Assessments (New Subcategory)

With the migration of the HACS SINs to subcategories, GSA will be adding a fifth subcategory (not previously available on GSA). The new subcategory, High Value Asset Assessments, encompasses a company’s ability to provide Security Architecture Review (SAR) and Systems Security Engineering (SSE). If you believe you qualify for this new subcategory, GSA has identified two group: Vendors with all Currents HACS SINS and Vendors with one or three HACS SINs.

For vendors with all current HACS SINs (132-45A thru D), GSA is accepting a “Service Self-Attestation” acknowledging the company’s capability to perform these services. GSA will be providing a template of the attestation so if you are a vendor with all current HACS SINs, be on the lookout for the template to be released in the solicitation refresh documents. You will have to submit the request through eMod (after the refresh and bilateral modification has been accepted) but the entire mod evaluation process will not be necessary.  For vendors with only a few of the HACS SINs, the Service Self-Attestation will not be accepted. Those vendors will be required to go through the evaluation process including the Oral Technical evaluation to add each additional subcategory.

Modification Process:

As of now, GSA has recommended that all mods be postponed until these changes have been implemented, however, GSA is still accepting and processing modifications based on the current solicitation. GSA has not established a cutoff date but as the refresh nears, GSA will be closing the window for accepting mods based on the current solicitation. So, if you have already submitted a mod or have been working on a mod to add the HACS SINs, be sure to work with your contracting officer to process the mod in a timely manner. BE RESPONSIVE to any clarifications to ensure the mod is awarded prior to the refresh.

What This Migration Does In Ebuy:

With the migration of all the HACS SINs under one SIN, vendors previously not able to see SIN specific RFQ’s will now be able to see all available opportunities under 132-45. However, if you are vendor with only a few subcategories, you still may not be eligible to submit a bid. Agencies will now have the responsibility of clearly stating the subcategory(ies) they are looking to compete. You can help those agencies understand these new changes by providing responses during the “Request for Information (RFI)” stage to ensure your subcategory is identified in the Scope of Work.

When To Expect These Changes:

GSA has a tentative release date of Winter 2018-2019.

Additional Resources

Visit GSA Interact for the Presentation and Draft documents: GSA IT Schedule 70 Program to Incorporate Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (SIN 132-45)

If your company offers cybersecurity and is impacted by this update, contact Coley to help with your modification. You can reach us directly at 210-402-6766 or [email protected].

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.  E-Buy open will remove some of the mystery regarding the GSA Schedules and help vendors to see where they fit in the program.

The actual bid opportunities will not be made public, only the post-award data. This will provide vendors with insights into which agencies are purchasing which products and services. This information will help interested vendors make more informed, data-driven decisions.

We often hear of aspiring government contractors struggling to understand the types of opportunities they could pursue if they had a GSA Schedule. This will be a great tool to allow contractors to go in and complete a market analysis that will help them determine whether a GSA schedule is right for them.  E-Buy Open offers vendors a new data-driven decision tool.

GSA hopes that providing this transparency will stimulate interest and competition in the schedule program.  Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Alan Thomas said “Not only will publishing post-award RFQ information publicly give our industry partners greater insight, but it will also encourage more vendors to pursue opportunities with GSA.”

Enter the keyword “eBuyPilot” in the search box on FedBizOpps https://www.fbo.gov/ to find these award notices. The GSA pilot program will Include eBuy Data through the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).

Coley has helped clients with in depth market analysis to see what contracting vehicle is the best fit for government contractors. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 210-402-6766 or [email protected]. We would love the opportunity to provide you with the insights you need to make the best decision for your government contracting success.

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 to them. As part of their due diligence, government contractors will conduct research on what contracting vehicles their targeted buyers are using. They will then pursue getting on those vehicles in order to compete. At the end of the day, you want to make it easier for your buyer to do business with you.

For Federal agencies buying products and services from GSA Schedule holders just got a lot easier.

In September of 2018, GSA, DOD, and NASA were successful in appealing to the CAAC to eliminate individual determination requirements on interagency acquisitions. Eliminating individual requirement determination will help streamline acquisitions through the GSA schedule programs, as well as others.

The previous rule was that all acquisition above $550,000 required the contracting officer to perform a determination of best procurement approach. Then they had to request approval to purchase through another agencies contracting vehicle if it was seen as the best approach. The recent letter states the authority given in the FY’18 the Defense Authorization bill permits a class determination per contracting vehicle.

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC) is a multi-agency governing body. They “assists the Administrator of General Services in developing and maintaining the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) System by developing or reviewing all proposed changes to the FAR.”

Many contractors currently doing business in the federal market without a GSA Schedule will start facing more competition. Reach out to Coley at 210-402-6766 or [email protected] if you want to have a conversation about what is involved in getting and managing a GSA Schedule. We can provide you with insights to help determine if it is the right decision for you.

How to Submit Sales Through SRP?

How to Submit Sales Through SRP?

TDR Reporting

For reporting a TDR service contract, filling out the fields is very simple. You just need to give a description of the deliverables (ex: Security Services), which is a mandatory field.  Next, you would need to input the unit price and quantity. This will populate the total price in the next field. You can add as many line items within this order. You can also submit more than one order as well.  If needed, you can also save your submission to submit at a later time.

72a Reporting

Using the 72a reporting is basic and simple, as the main actions to use are “Form Entry” and “Adjust Data”. If there are multiple pending payments needing to be made, you will have to pay each individually. Unfortunately, you cannot be merged numerous pending payments into one transaction. For sales adjustments, you will need to click on the “Adjust Data” option. Any time you the corrected data is less than what was initially reported, a credit will apply to the future payment report. There will also be an agency tracking number for all payments made.

Zero Sales

This time around reporting zero sales just became easier, as it takes just a few clicks to submit.  All you need to do is click “zero sales”, then hit the submit and check the “agree” box, and your good to go.

Top 5 Questions on the FAS Sales Reporting Portal

Top 5 Questions on the FAS Sales Reporting Portal

What is SRP?

This new one stop-shop for TDR and 72A data will be a safe, secure and user-friendly portal to report both transactional and aggregate level data. Reporting is very user friendly to navigate as both monthly and quarterly contracts are visible, along with the reporting period, last reported and balance. You will also be able to do multiple payments options for remitting the fee required pursuant to your contract.

Where do I Login to SRP?

The URL is now officially changed to https://srp.fas.gsa.gov/. If you go to the old TDR portal, you will be redirected to the new link.

How can I Access SRP?

You will now be required to use a digital certificate to login. This is a welcomed changed from previously where you needed to enter time sensitive security codes. In addition to the digital certificate, your name must be in the system to access the reporting portal. Although you can now add an authorized negotiator with the FAS portal, you would still need to submit a modification through the E-Modify system.

Can I pay fee with a Credit Card?

Please keep in mind, when paying with credit/debit card, you cannot exceed more than $24,000 per report. This applies to both TDR and 72A reporting.

I’m on TDR, when will my contract be migrated to SRP?

March 31, 2019 is the targeted date for all contracts to be migrated to the Sales Reporting Portal. TDR clients with multiple contracts will be migrated first. Also, there will be a multifactor authenticity code that will take effect around April 2019.

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 vendors. Additionally, it will provide a streamlined acquisition through the schedule and eliminate contract duplication.

For the past two years, GSA has  worked to identify and eliminate contract duplication. Therefore, consolidating diverse products or services within its Schedule Program. The creation of SIN 132 56 Health Information Technology Services a recent similar update.  Likewise, the new ACCS SIN will replace the existing USA Contact IDIQ and open the opportunity to additional industry providers of ACCS. (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.

The purpose of the proposed changes is to revise the definition of Cloud Computing to allow for more applications and services to be provided to the Federal government. Several proposed changes include:

  • Revising the name of the SIN to reflect “Cloud and Cloud-Related IT Professional Services.”
  • Addition of clarifying language to solve ambiguities about the necessity of “metering,” required by the NIST Cloud essential characteristics. In short, SIN 132-40 now clarifies that Cloud products must have discrete “pay as you go” measurements of appropriate compute resources to ensure the Government realizes the benefit of Cloud deployments.
  • Addition of IT Professional Services to the SIN. This change will allow IT services organizations to provide IT professional services in direct support of Cloud migration and adoption. The focus of these IT professional services shall be aligned to assessing Cloud solutions, preparing for Cloud solutions, refactoring workloads for Cloud solutions, migrating Cloud solutions, and providing governance to Cloud solutions.
  • Evaluation factors will be removed from Critical Element terms and conditions and moved to CI-FSS-152-N ADDITIONAL EVALUATION FACTORS FOR NEW OFFERORS UNDER SCHEDULE 70.

GSA is seeking industry feedback on the following areas:

  1. For overall Cloud Services, can they be developed and or modified in order to offer to customers that are OCONUS (Outside Continental United States) via GSA Schedule 70? If not, what are the issues that would prevent it from being offered?
  2. For Cloud Services (i.e. IaaS, etc.), is there anything in the proposed language that would impede the Government’s desire to gain access to Cloud products?
  3. For Cloud Services (i.e. IaaS, etc.), is there a more precise way to describe the minimal increment of the “metered services” requirement to reflect the Government’s desire to gain the benefit of “pay as you go” consumption? How is the “pay-as-you-go” model currently structured with regard to price? Is there an alternative approach that would be more effective?
  4. For Cloud Services (i.e. IaaS, etc.), if there are instances when Cloud products cannot meet the requirement of frequent incremental billing because they require annual fees, are there any examples when these products could not be considered Term Licenses (132-32)?
  5. For Cloud-Related IT Professional Services, are there any particular services that are relevant for supporting the Government’s migration and adoption of Cloud products that should be added to the list of eligible services?
  6. For Cloud-Related IT Professional Services, is there a better way to describe the services that the Government seeks to support its desire to find specific expertise related to Cloud deployments?
  7. For Cloud-Related IT Professional Services, is there anything in the proposed language that would inhibit contractors or impede the Government’s access to providers of Cloud related services? Would the services have to meet FISMA requirements?

The deadline for responses is Tuesday, October 9, 2018. You may email your responses to [email protected] with the subject line of “IT Schedule 70 RFI Response re: Software SINs”

You may also send your responses to [email protected] to be included in our compilation response.

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the Cloud Computing SIN or the GSA Schedule.

OASIS Pools Opening with New Solicitation

OASIS Pools Opening with New Solicitation

GSA recently posted they were on-ramping Pool 2 Certified Public Accountants, Tax Preparation, and other Accountants of the OASIS Unrestricted Contract. Now, GSA OASIS Small Business has announced an upcoming on-ramp opportunities for three Pools:

  • Pool 1 – Advertising, Public Relations, Project Management, and Consulting
  • Pool 3 – Engineering for Military and Aerospace Equipment and Weapons;
  • Pool 4 – Research and Development (R&D) in Biotechnology, Physical Engineering, and Life Sciences;

The Pool 1 Presolicitation Notice is now available on FedBizOpps! The final solicitation will be available on or about September 9, 2018. For the other Pools, GSA has not provided a release date more precise than “fourth Quarter of Fiscal 2018.” We will continue to monitor FBO.gov for any solicitation releases and keep you updated here.

You should be aware that OASIS has been designated a “Best In Class” contracting vehicle by OMB and agencies will feel pressure to use this vehicle more in the future.

While we wait for the solicitation, it is a good time to evaluate if OASIS is the right fit for you. Below are a few key factors and requirements to be awarded the OASIS contract:

Total obligated Sales FY2015-FY2018

Pool 1 — $1.8B
Pool 3 — $757M
Pool 4 — $442M

Important Requirements to Consider for the  OASIS SB Solicitation:

  • Awards are made based upon a points-scoring method. Vendors essentially self-score themselves by assigning points to their Past Performance examples (chiefly among other criteria).  The Government verifies the contractor information and awards the points.  The companies with the top points scores are awarded.
  • Companies tied at the lowest acceptable score will be awarded a contract.
  • Past Performance must be as a Prime on a Federal contract during the past 5 years, wherein the performance has been scored as a 3 or above.
  • Socioeconomic factors will not be taken into account other than to ensure that there are at least three companies (including existing and newly awarded companies) in each pool in order to assure competition among the socioeconomically designated companies—WOSB, SDVOSB, 8(a), HUBZone.
  • Pricing will only be determined to be fair and reasonable or not. Direct Labor rate ranges will be provided.  Companies will calculate an hourly bill rate from the direct labor rate = overhead = 7% profit.

The idea behind OASIS is that it allows for Integrated Services rather than focusing on one area such as IT or Management consulting.  The OASIS “On Ramp” release will provide for an opportunity for “40+” new companies to receive OASIS Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) in three areas or “pools,” as defined by NAICS codes or Product Service Codes (PSCs).  The final number of new contract awards has not yet been determined. The On-Ramp this fall will be for Pools, 1, 3, and 4.  Pool 6 will not be open for the onramp.

OASIS Pool 1

($14 Million Size Standard)

541330
Engineering
541810
Advertising Agencies
541360
Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services
541820
Public Relations Agencies
541370
Surveying And Mapping (Except Geophysical) Services
541830
Media Buying Agencies
541380
Testing Laboratories
541840
Media Representatives
541611
Administrative, Management and General Management Consulting Services
541850
Media Representatives
541612
Human Resources Consulting Services (2007), Human Resources and Executive Search Consulting Services (2002)
541860
Outdoor Advertising
541613
Marketing Consulting Services
541870
Direct Mail Advertising
541613
Marketing Consulting Services
541614
Process, Physical Distribution,and Logistics Consulting Services
541890
Other Services Related to Advertising
541618
Other Management Consulting Services
541910
Marketing Research and Public Opinion Polling
514620
Environmental Consulting Services
541990
All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
541690
Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services

OASIS Pool 3

($35.5 million Size Standard)

541330
Exception A–Engineering for Military and Aerospace Equipment and Military Weapons
541330
Exception B– Engineering for Contracts and Subcontracts for Engineering Services Awarded Under the National Energy Policy Act of 1992
541330
Exception C–Engineering for Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture

OASIS Pool 4

(500 Employee Size Standard)

541711
Research and Development in Biotechnology
541712
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)

Since the OASIS release date is coming up fast, you can be sure that Coley will be watching carefully for the new OASIS solicitation to hit the street and be ready to provide informed and timely consulting to companies interested in and qualified for an OASIS contract. If you have any questions, feel free to reach us directly at 210-402-6766 or by email at [email protected]

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/

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