Veterans Affairs is Getting Cloud-y

The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving all of its new and current applications to the cloud. At the recent ACT-IAC’s Health Innovation Summit, a spokesman said, “the target is 350 applications, which is about roughly half of our portfolio, [to be] moved to the cloud by 2024.”(Fedscoop, April 10, 2019)

This announcement follows the VA’s recent move toward a modernized electronic health record and secure tele-health capabilities. Each of these actions will give veterans the ability to access their information faster and more efficiently. (ibid)

At the recent summit, an example of the importance of moving to the cloud was provided: in 2017  Hurricane Harvey left a number of Veterans Benefits Administration regional offices closed in southern Texas. VA “had just migrated some Veterans Benefits resources and materials into the cloud, and when all of those regional offices and sub-offices were shut down, every one of those rating specialists and the folks in Veterans Benefits Administration was able to continue their work without the facility being in operation.” (ibid)

The Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, within the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee continues to closely watch VA modernization efforts. As recently as last week, the House committee asked about the progress of the tool being developed to give veterans better access to non-VA community care. The representative testified that the tool will be ready by June. (ibid)

Have questions about the Department of Veterans Affairs move to the cloud? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

GSA is bumping up cybersecurity offerings

GSA recently announced a restructure of the Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) Special Item Number (SIN) to include a greater range of cyber services. The new format addresses the government’s need to protect high-value assets and enables federal agencies to purchase proactive and reactive cybersecurity services.  (Fifth Domain, April 2, 2019)

According to GSA Acting Assistant Commissioner Bill Zielinski, “The restructured HACS solution on IT Schedule 70 will provide federal agencies with easier access to services and solutions to protect large complex network and data systems, including [high-value assets] that hold sensitive information critical to national and economic security.” (ibid)

GSA is consolidating the four original SINs under HACS into a single SIN with the following five subcategories:

  • High-Value Asset Assessments
  • Risk and Vulnerability Assessment
  • Cyber Hunt
  • Incident Response
  • Penetration Testing (ibid)

Have questions about the restructuring of IT Schedule 70 or if you are affected by the change? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

 

 

 

Alliant2 Be or Not to Be

Alliant2 Small Business, the largest contract in over a decade for government-wide IT services, was recently rescinded by GSA.  (Nextgov, March 2019)

Over a year ago, GSA announced the Alliant2 award to 81 small businesses. Protests immediately ensued. One company, Citizant, Inc., protested to the GAO, who dismissed the file, so Citizant took their complaints to court and won, resulting in the rescission of the awards and GSA revisiting their scoring methodology. (ibid)

Evaluation of bidders differed from the last iteration of Alliant, with rumors of contracting officer bias and arbitrary bid pricing scores bubbling under. Many believe GSA’s self-scoring system allowed companies that should have been eliminated early on to continue through the process. Time will tell if each submission will be rescored or just those below the cutoff, although the judge requires GSA to rescore all. (Federal News Network, April 1)

If only a handful of submissions are rescored, the protest floodgates are likely to open again, possibly forcing a re-compete. Making awards to multiple companies have proven time and again that it is nearly impossible to compare apples to apples during the evaluation process. The process raises a lot of questions. Stay tuned.

We are always available to talk to you about this or other contracting problems. Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

It’s Mass Mod Time Everyone!

You knew this was coming. All GSA schedule holders are looking at refreshes this month, the last one before all 24 MAS solicitations are rolled into a single Schedule. Expect the mass modifications to accomplish the following:

  • Update proposal instructions to require order status on GSA Advantage! orders;
  • Update proposal instructions related to Section 508 Standards;
  • Incorporate new Service Contract Act (SCA) Wage Determinations;
  • Update AbilityOne “Essentially the Same” Proposal Instructions;
  • Incorporate minor updates from FAC 2019-01 as applicable (GSA Interact March 26, 2019)

Note: Individual schedules may update additional clauses or provisions to make clarifications, administrative corrections, and other required changes. (ibid)

You will have 90 days to accept the mod once GSA FAS issues them. (ibid)

GSA is hosting a listen-in only webinar on Wednesday, April 10 at 1:00 PM EST to discuss the refreshes. You can register on this link.

Nervous and shaky about this latest mass mod? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

Oh 72a, We Hardly Knew Ya

You’re used to it, right? So it’s time to change! As of July 2019, the FAS Sales Reporting Portal (SRP) replaces our familiar  72A reporting system for GSA Schedule sales and Industrial Funding Fees (IFF) remission. Terms and conditions remain the same. And if you have an active claim, your contract will be held in the 72A system for now. (GSA Interact, March 18, 2019)

A three-step process directly impacts when and where a company reports sales over the next two reporting periods as well as the migration of historical data. The three steps are as follows:

Step 1: Reporting April 2019 sales and remittance of any IFF in the 72A System

  • When: April 1, 2019, through April 30, 2019
  • Contractor Action: Companies are now in the reporting period that covers January 2019 through March 2019. This is the last time companies will report sales and remit IFF, in the legacy 72A System. After this cycle, all reporting will take place in the FAS Sales Reporting Portal.
  • Change: None. There is no change to the current reporting process for FY19 Q2 reporting.
  • Impact: This will be the final time companies report in 72A and all future reporting will be in the FAS SRP. (ibid)

Step 2: Transition to the FAS Sales Reporting Portal

  • When: Starting May 1, 2019
  • Contractor Action: Contracts will be visible in the new system as of May 1, 2019. At that time, go to the FAS SRP website and register for the required multi-factor authentication process. Anyone listed on a contract as an IFF POC, Contract Administrator, or Authorized Negotiator can register for access into FAS SRP. (Access to the portal does not require digital certification.) Registration to the portal begins May 1, 2019, and runs through the first time a company reports sales in the FAS SRP.
  • Change: Contracts will be moved to the FAS Sales Reporting Portal (SRP).
  • Impact: Effective July 2019, companies will report all sales and remit any owed IFF in the FAS SRP, covering the reporting period from April 2019 through June 2019. (ibid)

Step 3: migration of Historical Data from 72A to the FAS SRP System

  • Contractor Action: None
  • Change: Once April 2019 sales and IFF are reported into the 72A System, GSA is migrating all historical sales and payment record into the FAS SRP.
  • Impact: All historical records will be held in the FAS SRP. This will be maintained for the life of the contract. (ibid)

Note: Sales adjustments will no longer be allowed in 72A after April 1, 2019. (ibid)

Not so onerous, really, but we understand you may have questions. Please feel free to call us at 301-913-5000.