Polaris Replacing Alliant 2

This past July, GSA put to rest the Aliant 2 Small Business contract. The just last week, GSA released a draft RFP named Polaris, a Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) to provide customized Information Technology (IT) services-based solutions.  The draft RFP breaks out small business contractors into specific “pools,” for Small Business, HUBZone Small Businesses, and Women Owned Small Businesses. GSA reserves the right to add additional pools when deemed necessary. (beta.SAM.gov, December 31, 2020)

According to the draft RFP, Polaris will provide agencies with customized IT services and IT services-based solutions, which can be tailored to meet particular mission needs and may include any combination of IT services and new and emerging technologies. (ibid)

GSA encourages contractors to provide innovative solutions to task order requirements prioritizing emerging technologies.  Examples of emerging technologies included within the draft RFP are:

  • Advanced and Quantum Computing — cryptography/encryption, secure communications, design of high-performance computers, computer clusters, and networks, Quantum Machine Learning
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) — Computer Vision, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP),  Spatial Computing, Speech Recognition
  • Automation technology — Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Automated Messaging Services, Data Cleaning Scripts, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Smart Notification
  • Distributed ledger technology — Blockchain Implementation Solutions, DLT Network Design Services, Smart Contract Programming Services
  • Edge computing — 5G Implementation Services, Edge Analytics, Edge Application Services, Edge Computing Architecture Design Services, Internet of Things (IoT) Services
  • Immersive technology  — Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality

Examples of Performance areas within the draft RFP are as follows:

  • Cloud Services
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Management
  • Information and Communications Technologies
  • IT Operations and Maintenance
  • Software Development
  • System Design

Contractors may “provide ancillary support as necessary to offer an IT services-based solution,” but, as with the GSA Schedule, only “when it is integral to and necessary for the IT services-based effort.” (ibid)

Contractors should take note of the security considerations as purchasers may be from the Department of Defense as well as civilian agencies. In particular, the Defense Department’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is a developing regulation and requirement included in the draft RFP. Additional Cybersecurity and Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) requirements are expected to also be included. (ibid)

All draft RFP feedback is due by 4:00 PM Central Time, January 29, 2021.

Have questions concerning the draft RFP, who can respond, and how? Give us a call.

Multi Multi Multi

Come December 8th, a few notable changes will be implemented by the Federal Service Desk (FSD.gov):

  • Multifactor Authentication (MFA) will go into effect for those who have an account with FSD.gov. (Note, you do not need an account to receive help from FSD.gov)
  • FSD is renovating their entire site, therefore it will not only look different but also have a different “feel.”

If you already have a login.gov account that matches the email address associated with your FSD.gov account you are ready for MFA. If your login.gov email address is different from that associated with your FSD.gov account, simply update your FSD email address to match your login.gov email address. This allows FSD.gov to link the two accounts to your profile.

The FSD site renovation is an update implementing current U.S. Web Design System (USWDS) standards.  The updated site has the same functionality however the user experience should be much better. You may obtain login.gov assistance from the help section of login.gov.

Have questions concerning your accounts with FSD.gov and login.gov? Give us a call.

 

 

CMMC in GWACs

GSA is expected to begin applying the Department of Defense’s Cyber Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) at the order level to governmentwide acquisition contract vehicles. (Govconwire, November 10, 2020)

According to Keith Nakasone, deputy assistant commissioner for acquisition in the General Services Administration Office of IT, future Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) will include CMMC requirements, layered in over time. In this video interview, Nakasone explains that the requirements are being added to make sure contracts are within scope for the Department of Defense, the largest GWAC customer. (Government Matters, November 8, 2020)

Nakasone hopes to educate and train industry partners on the CMMC requirements over time. Although he didn’t state outright that CMMC will become part of all future contracts, they are part of the Polaris draft RFP, scheduled for release in December. (ibid)

Need assistance in understanding the CMMC requirements? Give us a call.

DUNS Isn’t Done, Yet

The government is extending the transition time from DUNS Number to UEI (unique entity identifier.) OMB is directing the transition to take place by April 2022. Additionally, GSA is contracting with Dun & Bradstreet (the creator of DUNS numbers) to make sure the transition period is a smooth one. (GSA Interact, October 26, 2020)

Going forward, vendors will request their identifier from within SAM.gov, there will be no third party involvement. SAM.gov will generate the unique entity ID or UEI for each new vendor during registration. Active SAM.gov registrants will have their UEI assigned and viewable. There is no further action required of currently registered vendors, at this time. (ibid)

Need assistance with SAM.gov or registering for your UEI? Give us a call.

New and Improved CPARS. When?

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy recently conducted a survey with a host of agencies regarding contractor performance assessment ratings (CPARs) and if they are completed at all, they are not on time.  (Federal News Network, October 5, 2020)

Working with GovConRx, OFPP found 95 percent of respondents would actually like to take part in contractor self-assessments at agreed-upon intervals throughout the contract performance period. A majority of respondents (84 percent) support a “CPARs Lite” perspective for certain fixed price and commercial item contracts as well as CPARS ratings demonstrating specific objectives and contract outcomes. It appears many agencies are doing their “own thing” right now; for instance, OFPP and DHS have launched pilot programs using artificial intelligence to gather data and complete the ratings. VA also has its own program to review key performance indicators.(ibid)

What does all this mean? Changes to CPARs is necessary and on the horizon. Unfortunately, there is still no timeframe for how soon we will see them.

Questions about CPARs and how they might work to help you with future procurement efforts? Give us a call.