Small Businesses, Come on Down!

The Centers of Excellence, established in 2017 by GSA and the White House Office of American Innovation, work with agencies to develop IT modernization plans. So far, two agencies are on board: the Department of Agriculture is in the second and last phase of the program and the Department of Housing and Urban Development is planning a September start. (Nextgov, March 12, 2019)

During the first year of the program, Agriculture completed Phase I and entered Phase II, prior to HUD’s start beginning work on phase I. The pace should pick up this year with many agencies, under a new BPA, working through Phase I at the same time, according to program Director Bob DeLuca, although no start-up date has been made available. (ibid)

It’s expected the program’s next generation will include the original five centers, focused on cloud adoption, contact center, customer experience, data analytics, and infrastructure optimization. Two additional centers for change management and information security will be added. GSA is adding the change management piece to keep things running smoothly once GSA leads step out of the picture. (ibid)

A blanket purchase agreement released last Tuesday outlined the program’s next iteration. This BPA adds new functional areas and points to the future procurement strategy. It will last three years from the award date with an expected value of $100 million, which can increase without mods. (ibid)

Two phases will continue to exist in the updated program: a discovery phase, wherein an agency works with the relevant centers to assess the current situation and devise a plan; and an implementation phase. The new BPA will cover the first phase only, with the second phase of work contracted separately. (ibid)

The final RFQ has been created to attract more small businesses to the program. Vendors can bid on as many or as few of the functional areas as they choose. (ibid)

Prospective bidders must hold GSA Schedule 70 contracts for the relevant special item numbers listed in the RFQ. The turnaround time for the entire RFQ process is short to test how companies respond during short cycles. (ibid)

Vendors interested in bidding will have to complete four submissions: a set of challenge questions, a list of potential scenarios, a technical and management approach description, and a pricing sheet. The challenge questions will be available through Google Forms starting 28 March. (ibid)

Vendors will also be responding to the scenario through a Google Form, answering the question: How would you obtain agency wide buy-in for the modernization efforts promoted by the CoE while also linking efforts and fostering collaboration with other vendors and government staff across all of the centers at the agency partner? (ibid)

Instructions for the other submissions are included in the RFQ. The entire package is due by noon on April 1.

Are you interested in bidding or learning more about the BPA? Call us at 301-913-5000, and we can walk you through the submission requirements.

Schedule 736 hits the refresh button

It’s happening again. Any comments concerning the refresh must be submitted by March 26th, 10 business days after the official notification of the refresh was announced. (GSA Interact)

The updates for GSA Region 2, enhancing schedule 736 Temporary Administrative and Professional Staffing (TAPS), are as follows:

(a) Time limit on use of temporary help service firm.  An agency may use a temporary help service firm(s) in a single situation, as defined in § 300.503, initially for no more than 120 workdays. Provided the situation continues to exist beyond the initial 120 workdays, the agency may extend its use of temporary help services up to the maximum limit of 240 workdays.

  • SIN descriptions have been simplified and classified according to major Occupational Classes. A link under each SIN provides access to the SCA Directory.
  • New pricing templates to simplify price proposals. These vendor pricelists distinguish between Wage Grade labor rates and Professional labor rates.
  • Additional NAICS secondary codes have been added to identify major sub-categories such as Court Reporting. (ibid)

None of these changes require modification to contracts or change the original contract scope. GSA says this refresh helps to make the Schedule more clearly comprehensible for industry partners and agencies. Vendors may update their price lists as necessary. (ibid)

GSA has also announced a webinar to review the Schedule 736 changes, for Wednesday, March 27th, 3:00 PM EST. Access the webinar on the following link:meet.google.com/doo-extp-yck(ibid)

If you’re not certain about how your contract is affected by this refresh, give us a call at 301-913-5000, and we will help.

 

Buh-Bye FBO

GSA is migrating FedBizOpps FBO.gov website to beta.SAM.gov by the end of this year, according to Vicky Niblett, the deputy assistant commissioner for the Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE) in the Federal Acquisition Service. Changes on the new website will include login.gov added to the registration process, Wage Determination Online WDOL.gov, as well as ‘federal hierarchy,’ an internal process through which appropriate roles can be assigned to federal government workers. (FederalNewsNetwork, February 25, 2019)

In related news, the SAM legacy systems are at the end of their product life and are scheduled to be retired with the functions transferred to the GSA cloud business platform over the next one to three years. There will no new open RFP solicited for this work. The incumbent will continue to perform the sole source contract. (ibid)

Questions about the new website? We are always available to discuss any concerns you may have. Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

OLMs in Your MAS … Finally!

In an effort to create consistency between the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) and other IDIQ contracts, GSA has incorporated Order Level Materials (OLMs) into the Schedules through a final General Services Acquisition Regulation (GSAR). This change gives agencies flexibility, which should ultimately result in more consistency. (GSA Interact February 12, 2019)

The GSA Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), Integrated Workplace Acquisition Center (IWAC) plans to refresh the following Schedule solicitations in early Spring 2019 to implement the OLM authority:

  • 36 Office, Imaging, and Document Solutions
  • 58 I Professional Audio/Video Telemetry/Tracking, Recording/Reproducing and Signal Data Solutions
  • 78 Sports, Promotional Outdoor, Recreation, Trophies, and Signs (Sports)
  • 72 Furnishing and Floor Coverings
  • 71 II K Comprehensive Furniture Management Services (CFMS) (ibid)

GSA will issue a bilateral mod to incorporate the planned changes into existing contracts. Contractors may accept the modification, as it will be optional. MAS contractors must either accept or decline the mass mod within 30 days of receipt. After acceptance, OLM SIN and OLM terms and conditions will automatically be added to existing contracts. If contractors do not accept the modification, they may not provide OLMs in response to customer requirements. (GSA Interact February 12, 2019)

If you’re having trouble deciding about whether to accept the mass mod, give us a call at 301-913-5000, and we’ll talk it out with you.

 

 

 

 

 

Logging Aint Just for Lumberjacks

Nearly half of all US states have had bills introduced requiring government contractors to use software for logging their workers’ activities in minute detail. This is according to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). (Route Fifty, February 21, 2019)

Most of these bills necessitate contractors to install software that automatically verifies hours billed. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island require software that takes a screenshot of the “state-funded” activity every three minutes\ and stores the data for seven years. Additionally, New Jersey and Pennsylvania proposals require logging keystroke and “mouse” event frequency. (ibid)

For the first time in over 15 years, NASCIO has weighed in and opposed the proposed bills. The NASCIO executive committee stated the bills do “not reflect the complexity necessary to protect data” and they are “highly prescriptive.” Furthermore, they say requirements in the bills pose “significant risks to citizen privacy and federal regulatory compliance concerns.” Meanwhile, TransparentBusiness supports the bills because they promise to “save your state tens of millions of dollars by simply requiring state contractors to provide transparent verification of billable hours.”(Route Fifty, February 21, 2019)

Not sure if and how you might be affected by the bills? Give us a call at phone: 301-913-5000 and we can explain.