Alert! Alert! AI Watching Your GSA Schedule Contract!

There seems to be a shortcoming in the acquisition oversight process. GSA is trying to fix it using artificial intelligence.

For the past 20 years, agencies found it tough to include Section 508 accessibility requirements in their contracts. GSA was unable to guarantee those contract clauses were in the original solicitations, but with AI and machine learning tools, they plan to automate the oversight process. An earlier test showed a 95 percent success rate in alerting agencies missing 508 requirements. GSA plans to move from test to production phase very soon.

Not sure if you are missing 508 requirements in your contract or have questions? Give us a call at 301-913-5000 and we can help you figure it out.

Small Business Cyber Planner

Information technology and high-speed internet go a long way to help small businesses become successful. However, these benefits must be balanced by guarding against cyber threats. Many larger companies have taken steps to secure their systems, making the less secure small businesses easier targets for cybercriminals.

In October 2012, the FCC re-launched Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0, an online resource to help small businesses create customized cybersecurity plans. This tool can help create and save a custom cyber security plan for small businesses. Choose from a menu of expert advice to address specific business needs and concerns. The FCC also released an updated Cybersecurity Tip Sheet.

More about the Small Biz Cyber Planner

If you have questions about your company’s cybersecurity, feel free to give EZGSA a call at 301-913-5000.

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.

 

 

Yes, Virginia, the Government Needs Shipping Containers Too

A new RFI is out regarding the possible addition of a new Special Item Number (SIN) for shipping containers. Companies interested in responding to the RFI need not hold a GSA Schedule 81 I B Contract.

SIN 617-14, Shipping Containers, is set to include many types and sizes of containers. These include intermodal containers, cargo/freight containers, dry freight, ISO containers, general purpose containers, high cube or hi-cube containers, and collapsible/inflatable flat pack shipping containers. The draft SIN does not propose limitations on the circumstances in which the shipping containers can be sold — this means companies can sell shipping containers through the SIN for routine or intermittent use or for emergency disaster shipments.

GSA is also proposing an update to an existing SIN under Schedule 81 IB. A description change from “Maintenance, Repair and Modification of Containers” to “Modification/Repair/Customization of Containers.” This change accounts for various speciality characteristics.

If you have questions about GSA Schedule 81 I B please give us a call at (301) 913-5000.

 

Refresh, Get Your Refreshes Here!

It’s refresh time, or almost. GSA has let us know that a mass modification will be released soon, and with it they will refresh all GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) solicitations. This is to add and update clauses and provision related to the implementation of GSAR Case 2016-G506 (OLM Technical Amendment) and FAR Case 2018-010 (Use of Products and Services of Kaspersky Lab). Contractors have 90 days to accept the mass modification.

If you have questions or need assistance understanding this modification give us a call at (301) 913-5000.