Program UnSupport Center

Back in June, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) announced it would halt assisted acquisition services for non-HHS customers after September 30, 2020. Until the announcement, HHS provided assistance through the Program Support Center (PSC). After the deadline, all 19 agencies (with more than $1.4 billion in contracts per year) who had contracts administered by HHS will have to look elsewhere or figure out how to administer the contracts themselves. (Government Executive, September 13, 2019)

PSC lacks the procedures, policies, and internal controls to work with agencies outside of HHS. In addition, questions have been raised as to whether the PSC is actually legally authorized to administer contracts for agencies outside of HHS. (ibid)

Many questions remain unanswered, such as the fate of bids in the process of evaluation. Unfortunately, the PSC is not communicating with customers at this time, according to Federal News Network. This is surprising, as the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Administration focused on the need for “continuous communication” in customer service. (ibid)

So where will all of these contracts be administered? An EPA spokesperson said EPA contracts will either placed on new or existing EPA contract vehicles or handled through interagency agreements with other federal agencies. The Office of Special Counsel is partnering with Merit Systems Protection Board to process a number of mission-critical procurements. In 2020 GSA is assisting OSC with their procurement requirements. (ibid)

If you have questions about how this affects a current bid or your current HHS-administered contract, give us a call.

Whole Lot of Spending Going On

In 2018, the US government made history, in more ways than one. Yes, the shutdown beginning in December of 2018 marked the longest in history, but according to Bloomberg Government, spending by agencies was also the highest in history. Nearly $64.7 billion was spent on IT contracts alone in fiscal 2018, an almost 10 percent jump over 2017 spending. (Nextgov January 29, 2019)

Both defense and civilian agencies tremendously increased IT spending. Defense IT spending increased by about 12 percent, to $33.8 billion. Civilian agencies increased IT spending by about 6.6 percent, to $30.8 billion. Veterans Affairs, Treasury, State, and Education all experienced double-digit spending growth.  IT spending grew in the past year in the following areas (ibid):

  • Tehnology services
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cloud Services
  • Digital Services
  • Software Development
  • Data Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence

What is the takeaway from the spending increases? Our government relies heavily on its IT contractors! Expect the spending trend to continue increasing over the coming years.

Want to learn more about contracting with the government? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.