Price Inconsistencies on Schedule 70? Nah…

GSA’s IG audit of GSA schedules in 2016 found large price discrepancies between identical items. For instance, the cost of one of Sharp’s 70-inch LED Smart TVs showed prices ranging from $1,597 to $3,000. The audit also turned up prices much lower on commercial products. In addition, from August 2014 to July 2015, most IT schedule purchases were for top-selling items priced higher than the lowest IT schedule price, completely defeating the purpose of the Schedules program. (Nextgov, May 21, 2019)

Recommendations to correct the disparities include:

  • Verify prices for identical IT schedule items by price analysis
  • Improve price protection for IT schedule reseller contracts by setting controls
  • Ensure contracting officers receive accurate and complete information around manufacturers’ commercial sales practices (ibid)

Per the review by the IG, the Federal Acquisition Service has taken “appropriate corrective actions” to address these price inconsistencies.

Questions about IT Schedule or other GSA Schedule pricing? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

Matchmaking Money

The Department of Defense (DoD) is concerned that Chinese firms investing money into U.S. tech companies could provide the Chinese with a military advantage. A new effort to counter this effect, called the Trusted Capital Marketplace, is launching in upcoming weeks. At least 50, generally small, innovative tech companies without the sophistication to obtain capital seem to  fall under this umbrella. The Trusted Capital Marketplace will match these companies with capital investors, circumventing the “red tape” they’d normally go through to obtain the much-needed capital. (Government Executive, May 2019)

Over the next month, investment goals will be developed and put in place. The current plan is to set up a website infrastructure where providers of trusted capital can aggregate with those businesses looking for capital. (ibid)

Back in October of 2018, the Pentagon said they would invest in domestic manufacturing in an effort to keep the U.S. from relying too heavily on Chinese and other foreign made parts for American weapons. The next month,  Commerce officials released a list of “specific emerging technologies that are essential to the national security of the United States,” with the desire to keep these technologies based and “backed” by U.S. companies. The infrastructure should be in place by the end of June for these companies to receive the capital they need to work with DoD.

Questions about the Trusted Capital Marketplace and how your firm can obtain much-needed capital? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

GSA’s New Cool Tool

GSA has launched the Contract Awarded Labor Category (CALC) tool to make it easier for agencies to determine hourly rates for various labor categories. CALC allows purchasers to analyize labor category pricing on more than 5,000 recent GSA contracts. The new tool will make it far easier for contracting officers to determine accurate labor rates while conducting market analysis. (Federal Times, May 14, 2019

CALC works by searching awarded prices on GSA’s professional services schedules, such as:

  • Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services (MOBIS)
  • Environmental
  • Logistics Worldwide (LOGWORLD)
  • Professional Engineering Schedule
  • Language
  • Advertising and Integrated Marketing Schedules (AIMS)
  • Consolidated Schedule (ibid)

CALC cannot yet compare labor categories to those already awarded showing where rates fall; however, future versions will likely include this capability.(ibid)

Questions about how your labor rates stack up against other vendors? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

Are You a Solver?

The Government Effectiveness Advanced Research Center (GEAR) is responsible for improving the way the federal government solves issues. It has started making use of “Solvers” also known as academic leaders and subject matter experts in economics, design, and other creative areas.  (Federal Times, May 14, 2019)

Solvers (including participating individuals, teams, or legal entities) have been challenged by the government to tackle one or more of the major challenges facing government described in the current President’s Management Agenda (PMA). To take part in the challenge, Solvers demonstrate usefulness of a GEAR Center model that directly maps to cross-agency priority goals and proposes a workable GEAR Center model creatively addressing the PMA. (Challenge.gov)

The GEAR Center Challenge takes place in three phases: project proposal, project plan, and proposal presentations. Interested individuals or parties may submit multiple proposals to the challenge; however, only one prize per challenge will be awarded. Proposals might be used to shape the GEAR Center or as potential first steps for the long term. (Federal Times, May 14, 2019)

The first phase opened for submissions May 2nd, with each subsequent phase consisting of participants selected from the previous phases. Submissions for the first phase are due May 24, 2019. Submissions should consist of a two-page proposal summarizing the potential program, predicted outcomes, and the best possible team to implement the proposal and the materials necessary to undertake the proposal. (ibid)

Want to know more about the GEAR Center challenge? Give us a call at (301) 913-5000.

The Air Force is looking for a few good offers

The Air Force Materiel Command (AFCM) has issued a Sources Sought notice for product data systems and processes at Robins AFB. (Executivebiz.com, May 14, 2019)

Technical support is being sought for the Product Data Service (PDS) within the Product Services Division. Support requests include:

  • Technical services to manage, maintain, and administer hardware and software utilized to support the management, creation, sustainment, and storage in distributing technical and engineering data.
  • Technical support to assist in developing and executing digital data support, sustainment, and transformation strategies for digital data and transformation strategies.
  • Technical support to aid the evaluation and implementation of hardware and software infrastructure as well as the transition of technical data systems to recently adopted Air Force data standards, newly implemented local system and data environments, and Air Force enterprise-level systems which may be in conceptual, planning, or development stages.
  • Technical support to maintain relationships between various types of data.
  • Technical services capable of extracting, capturing, converting, and restructuring data to sustain product data element associations. (FedBizOpps.gov, May 13, 2019)

Interested vendors may submit responses to the Sources Sought notice through June 13, 2019. (ExecutiveBiz.com, May 14, 2019)

Need more information on the notice? Give us a call at 301-513-9000.