Same Old Song (Ugh)

Ready for another government shut-down? Of course you’re not. None of us are. But the real possibility of a work stoppage when Congress returns from summer recess has us singing the blues all over again.

As reported in the Washington Post yesterday, the Professional Services Council (PSC), which represents more than 400 government tech and service companies, has sent out a warning to begin preparing for the expiring spending plan on 30 September. Additionally, without raising the debt ceiling, short term spending will cease. Uncertainty about spending plans and expectations from the current administration is causing the most unease.

Again, from the Post: the PSC chief executive says,” I have never seen this many moving parts this unconnected to each other this late in the game. It’s not intellectually difficult … but where do the votes come from, and is the president going to sign it?”

Stay tuned.

Speak now or forever hold your piece

GSA Extends Comment Period

Good news for the procrastinators among you! GSA extended the deadline to comment on rules governing acquisition, federal travel, and property management. This extension could signal an increase in flexibility and a re-commitment to vendor and customer relations on GSA’s part.

If you haven’t yet commented on  these policies, now is your chance! Head on over to the federal register to offer your input on leasing acquisition policy, federal travel rules, and property management regulations.

DoD eMall is dead. Long Live FedMall!

Same function, different name. We welcome FedMall to the land of commerce, contracting, and commercial-off-the-shelf federal purchasing.

With this new site, government buyers experience a more user-friendly interface, enhanced search functions, and easy comparability of similar products.

Contractors must complete a familiar process, very similar to what was required of eMall. This includes having an authentication certificate (CAC card, PIV card, etc.); your CAGE code; active SAM registration; and your contract number. The contract number represents your existing GSA Schedule or other Long Term Agreement or Blanket Purchase Agreement. Office supply providers are the one exception to this — they simply upload their products.

To begin the process of being listed on FedMall, go to https://www.suppliers.fedmall.mil. For more information, you can review the Quick Start Guide or contact us here at EZGSA (301-913-5000).

Helping the Feds to secure civilian networks: new Schedule 70 SIN is on its way!

So there are some BIG things going on with this new CDM Special Item Number (SIN). Get used to SIN 132-44, especially if your company works in cybersecurity, because it is here to stay. Released as a Schedule 70 SIN jointly between GSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — has this happened before? — the SIN will be useful in the government’s quest to strengthen and automate computer network monitoring, certainly an important topic with recent international hacking incidents.

Before you submit your proposal for 132-44, you must receive approval from DHS to qualify for the CDM Approved Products List. To achieve this, an entire package must be submitted, including 508 Testing results, counterfeit avoidance and mitigation, and insider threat management (among other items). Once the product qualifies, you may submit a proposal to add the SIN. EULAs (end user license agreements) and Letters of Supply will be required, as necessary.

Adding the new SIN should provide better access to products, services, and new commercial offerings. It also means increased visibility for CDM tools, flexibility in contract durations, and cost efficiency. Although we haven’t heard yet, it also means that GSA will be refreshing Schedule 70 sooner rather than later, with all the attendant Rapid Action Mods following.

Subcategories for the SIN include: managing what is on the network; managing who is on the network; managing what is happening on the network; and emerging tools and technology.

Please note: the TDR pilot does NOT apply to this SIN.

The new SIN comes about from a cybersecurity review two years ago and the upcoming expiration of a BPA resulting from that review. Like any SIN on a GSA Schedule, 132-44 can be added via modification by those already holding a contract and can also be awarded as a stand alone SIN when appropriate.

For more information about the new SIN, please contact your EZGSA account manager or call us at 301-913-5000.

GSA Chief’s Wrath for Whistleblower

Denise Turner Roth Retaliated Against Whistleblower

The Inspector General found that Ms. Roth she retaliated against a whistleblower, threatening him with transfer to another position and limiting his job responsibilities.

Sources reveal that this whistleblower is outgoing FAS commissioner Tom Sharpe.

Sharpe apparently alerted several executives about the Technology Transformation Service’s use of the Acquisition Services Fund, which the IG calls “violations of the law, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, and abuse of authority.”

Sharpe’s complaint detailed TTS’s use of the ASF money. The fund consists of fees agencies pay, governmentwide acquisition contract revenue, and sale of surplus properties. The TTS’s use of the money has met controversy, as many believe the service competes with work already provided to other agencies, and distracts from the mission of FAS. As such, some executives harbor concerns that these actions are counterproductive to FAS’s mission.

Roth denies any wrongdoing and calls the Inspector General’s findings “wrong and disappointing.” She maintains that “all actions I took were necessary and driven to modernize the federal government.”

The Inspector General has referred the case to the Office of Special Counsel.

For more information, visit Federal News Radio.