New Schedule 70 SIN: wheee!

The relatively new Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Tools SIN (132-44 on IT Schedule 70) provides agencies with easier access to a government-wide set of information security continuous monitoring (ISCM) tools. This SIN was created to make it easier for agencies to strengthen their networks, be aware of  who is on their network, and what is happening there. Of course, the main goal is to keep their data protected.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) vets all products on the CDM Tools SIN through a two-step process. Products are first added to a DHS CDM approved products list (APL), and then added to the CDM Tools SIN. DHS reviews new products every month, allowing for new and emerging products to become part of the CDM marketplace. Once approved and placed on the APL, vendors can apply to IT Schedule 70 to sell their product from SIN 132-44.

Five subcategories under CDM include the following:

  • managing what is on the network;
  • managing who is on the network;
  • managing network protection;
  • managing events/incidents and what is happening on the network; and
  • emerging tools and technology.

Agencies can order from the GSA eLibrary’s CDM Tools page, and new vendors/products are added monthly.

If you have questions about getting your product listed with GSA’s CDM  SIN, give us a call at 301-913-5000.

TSA Gets FAST (in One Way At Least)

TSA plans to use its Fast Agile Scalable Teams (FAST) procurement program to acquire customized software and to bring legacy systems up to date. The agency will compile a list of tech companies to create the new software applications.

Prime vendors selected under the BPA will break large projects into smaller chunks, a great opportunity for smaller companies to develop relationships with both larger tech companies and agency contracting officers. Building and maintaining a suite of enterprise-wide software applications will take time and personnel.

The BPA will cover multiple awardees, including two statements of work focused on supporting operations and enterprise-wide systems. TSA will select other teams to maintain “mission essential systems,” create and implement a data management platform, and build new software to meet the agency’s changing needs.

FAST leaves the door open for small businesses to develop automation tools, coach teams in agile methodology, and perform an array of other functions.

Interested in working with TSA? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

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.