Wireless Mobility Solutions on Schedule 70

GSA has worked with a government-wide mobility expert team to develop a mobile strategy for the federal government. The goals: make purchases more simple, provide additional supplier competition with better pricing, and keep current with mobility changes. From this effort, we have new SIN 132-53 on Schedule 70, wireless mobility solutions (WMS), which replaces the expiring  Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) BPA. (GSA.gov February 14, 2019Despite expiration of the FSSI mobility BPAs, GSA said on its website that agencies can still exercise extension options under existing agreements until 2023. (Fedscoop February 14, 2019)

WMS SIN includes 11 new service categories:

  • Wireless Carrier Services
  • Other Mobility End-Point Infrastructure – Mobility infrastructure
  • Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS)
  • Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)
  • Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS)
  • Telecom Expense Management (TEM)
  • Mobile Application Vetting
  • Mobile Threat Protection (MTP)
  • Mobile Identity Management
  • Internet of Things (loT)
  • Other/Mobile Services (ibid)

The federal government spends nearly $1 billion dollars annually on wireless carrier services, according to GSA.gov,  approximately 40-50 percent of the agencies’ total cost of ownership for mobility. Other mobility costs can include services related to mobile security, enterprise mobility management, mobile applications management, and mobile integration into the agency enterprise. These additional services can add up to an incremental $700-$800 million a year or nearly $2 billion dollars in total. (GSA.gov February 14, 2019)

The enhanced WMS SIN is now available for use by agency customers and industry partners. (ibid)

Questions about providing mobility services to the government or getting your Schedule 70? Give us a call at 301-913-5000  and we can walk you through it.

NGA, Satellites, and You

GSA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) have partnered on a blanket purchase agreement through IT schedule 70, under a special item number (SIN). Contracting Officers from NGA, an agency that relies heavily on satellite data, have noted that they appreciate the flexibility when purchasing through GSA.  So far, 11 vendors for “Earth Observation Solutions” have been tapped. (Federal Computer Week, February 2019)

According to Bill Zielinski, GSA’s acting assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology, “The commercial earth observation industry has experienced accelerated growth, and we’re very pleased to position our offering to provide the latest in emerging technology and solutions while making it easier for our government customers to reach these companies.” (ibid)

The partnering of GSA and NGA supports the Commercial Initiative to Buy Operationally Responsive GEOINT — also known as CIBORG. In 2016, the partners set up CIBORG, which gives the NGA access to GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules Program. (Federal Computer Week, February 2019) Now NGA can buy as the need arises, without the need to go through a lengthy procurement process. If NGA needs to monitor a distant land or waterway, they can quickly contract out for updated information from commercial entities rather than deploy their own resources, therefore providing cost savings in addition to an immediately available service.

Questions about Earth Observation Services or how to be part of the new Schedule 70 initiative? Give us a call at 301-913-5000 and we will walk you through it.

INFORMation

At the beginning of fiscal year 2019, GSA implemented the enhanced post-award feedback pilot. GSA has termed this pilot the In-Depth Feedback through Open Reporting Methods or INFORM. (GSABLOG under Acquisition) INFORM allows  offerers to improve upon a proposal or even to see why they were not awarded a contract.

A customized evaluation statement, an opportunity for an in-person oral feedback meeting with the GSA evaluation team, and the option to submit follow up questions are offered under the INFORM pilot. GSA hopes this will help offerers see that the playing field is leveled and everyone is treated fairly during the procurement process. (ibid) This transparency should also cut down on post-award protests.

We are waiting to hear which 50 competitive acquisitions are being tested. So far we know that they will be of varying dollar thresholds, categories, and business size. Moreover, according to GSA, the test group is a representative sample of GSA acquisitions with two Federal Acquisition Service and two Public Building Service actions from each of the 11 GSA Regions and Central Office. The pilot will end with the fiscal year or upon the final procurement award, whichever occurs first. GSA will publish an analysis of the pilot findings. (GSABLOG under Acquisition)

Has your company been contacted by GSA asking for feedback on INFORM? Do you have questions you’d like answered before taking part? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

Security: Clearance and Cyber

In the world of security clearances, the Senate reintroduced a bill last week to decrease the 570,000 pending security clearance investigations backlog. With this legislation, the National Background Investigations Bureau, which conducts most government security checks, will merge into the Pentagon, which may (or may not(!)) help get the backlog under control. Language within the bill charges the Director of National Intelligence with streamlining the time-intensive, paper-heavy security clearance process. It can take over a year to get a clearance, and that’s once you are in the queue. There is also the Catch 22 of not obtaining a contractor job without a clearance and not getting a clearance without already having the job. (Nextgov, February 2019) Of course, the backlog wasn’t helped by the shutdown.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also has security on the table. Need to keep your non-US citizen tech guru on staff? DHS is with you. They hope to keep tech specialists from outside the country here, and support the Startup Act. The Startup Act would keep foreign-born entrepreneurs and STEM experts in the country to ultimately promote innovation. Seems counter to the current Administration’s stated goals, but kudos to Congress for trying. (ibid)

Meanwhile, Congress is trying to get a grip on how the recent government shutdown affected security, specifically cyber security. Here is a breakdown of the tech and cybersecurity hearings that took place last week:

  • 2.6.19 the Senate Appropriations Services Committee briefed by intelligence leaders on worldwide threats.
  • 2.6.19 the House Armed Services Committee evaluated the Defense Departments counterterrorism efforts.
  • 2.6.19 the House Energy and Commerce telecom subcommittee explored ways to preserve the open internet for small business and consumers. (Nextgov, February 2019)

Do you have security clearance questions? Wondering how the open internet will affect your small business and its ability to do business with the government? Give us a call at 301-913-5000 and we will try to provide you with answers.

SAM it Up!

The System for Award Management (SAM) has implemented a new process. Beginning last week, entities registering for financial assistance may submit common federal government-wide representations and certifications (reps and certs). Anyone completing their annual registration or renewing will be required to review financial assistance reps and certs before their registration can be activated. This, in turn, will make SAM.gov the federal repository for this information. (GSA.gov)

Registration in SAM.gov is requiredIn order to be awarded a federal contract. Contractors update SAM.gov annually; federal government auditors utilize SAM to determine whether contract award recipients are compliant with award requirements. Once reps and certs are completed, doing business with the federal government is much easier and more streamlined (ibid)

Need help completing your reps and certs? Give us a call! 301-913-5000.