Mo’ Money for Defense … and Contractors

For years now, the Department of Defense (and all other government agencies) has had to deal with the unpredictability of possible government shutdowns and ongoing resolutions. According to Pentagon Comptroller, David Norquist, “We’re in a very different place now.” At the Professional Services Council’s 54th annual Vision Federal Market Forecast conference, he explained, “Under a continuing resolution, we often had to wait until spring to do some things—now we can finalize them now or do them on schedule.”

Norquist predicted major shifts in the defense budget’s structure based on the Administration’s December 2017 National Security Strategy. Its underlying theme, he said, “is a return of great power competition” with Russia and China, which will require sub-agencies and contractors to better serve the warfighter.

According to Norquist, the defense budget is “large and complex”: bigger than the combined inventories, employees, and assets of WalMart, Apple and the state of California. Audits are necessary to fill gaps and plug holes.

His team will look at the condition of equipment, supplies, warehouses, and other buildings to generate “a laundry list of weaknesses.” Auditors will ask whether the items exist, whether the data are accurate, whether items are missing, and what shows up on financial statements.  Contractors who built the systems being used, he added, will be privy to “the very quick feedback loop on what’s being fixed.”

Norquist advised contractors to focus on an agency with a problem to which they bring a solution. Contractors who can solve an agency’s challenges or fulfill a need will be the winners in 2019.

If you have questions or need assistance give us a call at 301-913-5000.

 

 

Heads Up! Great Opportunity for Schedule 70 Holders

The FBI has decided not to hold a full and open competition for spots on the Information Technology Supplies and Support Services contract (known also as ITSSS). They have decided instead to award to vendors that already hold contracts on the GSA IT Schedule 70.

The bureau announced back in the spring that ITSSS would remain a single contract made up of multiple tracks. The tracks are being revised, however: the BPA will only include vendors with pre-vetted tools and services available on Schedule 70, thereby greatly reducing the competitive pool.

The six tracks currently proposed are:

• end-user services

• business applications services

• delivery services

• platform services

• infrastructure services

• emerging services

Between 15 and 22 spots on each of the six tracks are expected to be awarded, totaling between 90 and 132 awards. However, one single company could win spots on multiple tracks. Each track will include 10 to 15 large businesses and 5 to 7 small business. This presents a fantastic opportunity for many of our Schedule 70 clients. Now is the time to get out and market market market to FBI purchasing agents!

Not on the Schedule yet? Give us a call at 301-913-5000 or email Melissa Botello.

 

 

eBuy Open Launches

eBuy Open takes eBuy a step further — this electronic Request for Quote (RFQ) system launched just this week. The one-year pilot will test whether  vendors without a GSA Schedule contract will be better able to determine their intentions with regard to the Schedules or subcontracting opportunities.

GSA’s idea is to increase new entrants in its acquisition vehicle programs, increase competition, and promote transparency. This latter part will be promoted through federal buying opportunities receiving public view in eBuy of opportunities posted, after contract award.

A test group of government purchasers is included in the one-year pilot program, comprised of contracting officers from the GSA Office of Internal Acquisition and the FAS Region Southwest Supply and Acquisition Center for GSA-funded procurements. The test group will upload award notices for public viewing of each eBuy award. Opportunities can be found by entering the keyword “eBuyPilot” in the search box.

Please call EZGSA at 301-913-5000 if we can assist or answer any questions.

Sign on the dotted line…

On the recent-GSA-trend front, our EZGSA proposal specialists have noticed our Contracting Officers making a small but significant change to GSA Schedule awards.

Until recently, COs would provide us with a GSA Schedule contract number immediately upon issue and contractor signature of the SF1449. This allowed businesses to begin marketing their Schedules immediately, as well as prepare for new task orders with interested government clients. Recently, however, the COs have been waiting to give a contract number until it has been countersigned. And the number is being issued with a modification, effectively changing the contract before it’s been awarded.

A little confusing, yes. Tragic, no. But if you have questions, give us a call and we will do our best to answer them. 301-913-5000.

GSA Chief Wants to Reveal Task Order Data

GSA Chief Emily Murphy May Make Task Order Data More Transparent

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Emily Murphy is contemplating making information on all multiple-award contracts public in the name of transparency. At present, only companies with spots on the solicitations can see relevant solicitations and awards, which offers business intelligence and a competitive edge on the federal market. In 2016, GSA spent over $110 billion through 2,600 multiple-award contracts.

Murphy has had  conversations with both the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Governmentwide Policy. She is currently waiting for the  Federal Acquisition Service to deliver options that might offer some greater transparency. According to Murphy, “This needs to be addressed not just in the microcosm of the GSA schedules…. We need to be looking across government and making sure we are not disadvantaging the schedules program versus other programs, and we are not putting our vendors or our customers at a competitive disadvantage.”

Transparency is only one of four goals Murphy has set for  her term running GSA. Read more here.