GSA’s Guide to Non-Christmas Shopping

GSA is starting small with its commercially-operated online purchasing portals, with a pilot scheduled by the end of 2019.

Initially, only commercial products/services below the government’s micro-purchase limit will be offered. But the threshold of $10,000 differs from the $250,000 Congressional limit put into place at the time the e-commerce experiment was ordered, which allows GSA to sidestep policy requirements such as the Buy American Act and the Trade Agreements Act. We aren’t certain how these will apply to the new e-commerce portal, as purchases below the $10,000 threshold are already exempt from a wide variety of procurement laws. GSA wants the portals to show agency buyers the vendor’s business size and qualification as a preferred supplier in other categories. (J.Serbu, Federal News Network December 13, 2018)

There is a current gap between what the government procures through open market procurement  (often via a purchase card) and what the government knows it buys for commercial items. GSA intends that the centrally managed and monitored portal will assist the government in determining the products agencies are purchasing and introducing into the federal supply chain. (J.Serbu, Federal News Network December 13, 2018)

The draft terms and conditions seem to deviate substantially from the FAR, and are a little “gray,” so we need to wait and see how this turns out. (J.Serbu, Federal News Network December 13, 2018) We all know that our Ts and Cs are of the utmost importance to government auditors and regulatory compliance. Other important questions include:

  • why would agencies use the new e-commerce platform when they can get good commercial item prices via GSA Schedules and the Advantage portal?
  • will the new e-commerce portal actually save the Government money?

This nifty e-commerce pilot portal will help determine the answer to these questions. Do you have a question about the e-commerce portal or GSA Schedules? Give us a call at 301-913-5000: we are here to help.

 

 

New Year Will Bring DEOS, an $8 Billion Contract

DoD and GSA are finishing up the Defense Enterprise Office Solution (DEOS) RFQ, expected in February. Contract award for the $8 billion cloud contract is expected in April. DEOS will replace the Defense Enterprise Email Service run by DISA and used mainly by the Army.

Hassan Harris, DEOS contracting officer, said the final acquisition strategy has yet to be determined. Once it is, everything will move quickly.

Under DEOS, DoD plans to consolidate and upgrade all of its desktop and collaboration services into the commercial cloud. DISA recently partnered with GSA to move DEOS from a standalone contract to one that may come under Schedule 70. (It remains unclear whether DEOS will be a single or multiple awards.)

Margie Graves, federal deputy CIO, said OMB is encouraging agencies to develop an IT modernization roadmap for back-office, command-and-control, and mission space capabilities. She believes a demand signal and clear message is being sent to industry regarding DoD’s, GSA’s and OMB’s commitment to maximizing buying power for all of the federal government and ensures that the government and DoD receive the best market offerings at the best price. She also noted DoD’s experiences with DEOS will give civilian agencies the ability to adopt cloud email and collaboration tools more quickly.

GSA and DoD continue to ask for industry feedback and comments on the best way to approach DEOS. DoD expects a phased implementation with approximately 200,000 users initially, on an unclassified network.

Want to talk about DEOS? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One and Done! – Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) update to Schedule 70

The field of cybersecurity has grown substantially since the initial launching of the four HACS in 2016. This growth has led GSA to restructure the original HACS SINS 132-45 (A-D) into a single HACS SIN, 132-45, with subcategories of cybersecurity services.

Federal agencies use large complex network and data systems to maintain and manage many forms of data and information, including High Value Assets that hold sensitive information critical to national and economic security. As a result, the proposed restructure will include the following full set of HACS SIN services:

• High-Value Asset Assessments

• Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA)

• Incident Response

• Penetration Testing

• Cyber Hunt

The four current HACS SINs will be deleted from the solicitation and added as subcategories under the new HACS SIN 132-45.

Please feel free to give us a call at 301-913-5000 if you’d like to discuss your cybersecurity solutions for GSA Schedule 70.

 

!!!! E Pluribus Unum (Schedule) !!!!

GSA announced it will modernize federal acquisition by consolidating the agency’s 24 Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) into one single Schedule (!!!!) for products and services. This sole Schedule will have one set of terms and conditions, bringing consistency in contracting practices, across the board.

Can it be true? We’re not quite sure how they will implement this. Will there still be individual acquisition centers? Will this be kind of like the current OOCorp system, wherein MOBIS-like services remain in Washington, video products are out of Philadelphia, etc.? That’s our bet. But we also believe that this will not be a smooth transition for contracting officers, let alone contractors!

Consolidating Schedules is part of GSA’s Federal Marketplace strategy to make the government buying and selling experience easy, efficient, and modern.  GSA’s strategic goal is to establish the agency as the premier provider of efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the government.

The consolidation is supposed to make it easier for government agencies to obtain products and services because the purchasing agents won’t have to search multiple Schedules. GSA states that this means industry can bring their offerings to the federal marketplace using a solutions-based approach, which more closely aligns with the way agencies are buying.

Consolidating to one Schedule reflects this feedback obtained by GSA from stakeholders who shared their ideas to improve the Schedules experience.

GSA is taking a measured and phased approach (!!)  over two years to transform the Schedules. They promise to incorporate stakeholder feedback throughout the consolidation process.

EZGSA is here to answer all of your questions or just chat about the big announcement at 301-913-5000.

 

 

Minimizing Minimum Order Mishaps

To improve customer experience associated with Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ), GSAAdvantage! now notifies agencies when their orders don’t meet MOQ requirements. If an item entered into a shopping cart is below the applicable MOQ, a note appears saying:

“The items from VENDOR fall below the contract Minimum Order of $____.  In order to purchase this item, you have three options:

  1. Increase the quantity of the item.
  2. Shop for additional items under CONTRACT to satisfy the contract minimum. (Contains a hyperlink to show available items from the relevant contract)
  3. Investigate if another vendor offers the item with a lower contract minimum order (Contains a hyperlink to the original product detail page). Note that MOQ is sortable (e.g. lowest to highest MOQ).”

Aside from helping agencies avoid incorrect orders, this will work in favor of contractors — no more having to decline an order that you’re not supposed to decline due to its being ordered from an executive agency.

If you have questions, we can help! Give us a call at 301-913-5000.