CMMC in GWACs

GSA is expected to begin applying the Department of Defense’s Cyber Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) at the order level to governmentwide acquisition contract vehicles. (Govconwire,¬†November 10, 2020)

According to Keith Nakasone, deputy assistant commissioner for acquisition in the General Services Administration Office of IT, future Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) will include CMMC requirements, layered in over time. In this video interview, Nakasone explains that the requirements are being added to make sure contracts are within scope for the Department of Defense, the largest GWAC customer. (Government Matters, November 8, 2020)

Nakasone hopes to educate and train industry partners on the CMMC requirements over time. Although he didn’t state outright that CMMC will become part of all future contracts, they are part of the Polaris draft RFP, scheduled for release in December. (ibid)

Need assistance in understanding the CMMC requirements? Give us a call.

Digital Certs, Out; Docusign, In

As of 30 November 30, all Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) holders are required to use DocuSign to digitally sign Documents in eOffer and eMod. (GSA Interact, October 28, 2020)

Additionally, GSA plans for the eOffer and eMod system to join FAS systems, including FAS Sales Reporting Portal (SRP), GSA Advantage Purchase Order Portal, GSA Vendor Portal, eBuy Seller, and the Mass Mod Portal, using GSA’s FAS ID multi-factor authentication (MFA). GSA’s FAS ID, allows contractors to access GSA applications using a single email and password. This transition will take place in Q2 of 2021.

During 25 – 29 November, contractors and offerors will not be allowed to submit offers and/or requests for modifications in eOffer and eMod. GSA advises planning ahead! If your document requires a contracting officer’s signature, it must be obtained by 23 November 2020. (ibid)

Digital certificates are required until the transition to DocuSign and GSA FAS ID is complete. Although digital certificates are not required once DocuSign is complete, those certificates may be required by other government agencies or private companies, therefore GSA advises holding onto your hard copies. (ibid)

Scrambling to get those documents signed by November 23rd? Give us a call.

 

 

Yes Virginia, There Is a Data Ethics Framework

Earlier this month, GSA was given the opportunity to develop a Data Ethics Framework to assist agencies in making ethical decisions as they acquire, manage, and use data. A completed version of the report is expected by the end of 2020. (GSA Data ethics framework action 14 draft, September 2020)

The Framework incorporates four parts:

  • About the Data Ethics Framework — explains the purpose and audience of the Framework.
  • Data Ethics Defined
  • Data Ethics Tenets — provides seven principles for using data ethically within the federal government.
  • Data Ethics Tenets in Action — details data ethics benefits and demonstrates how the Tenets guide data activities within agencies as well as federally sponsored programs. (ibid)

The Framework originated to guide ethical decision making by federal employees who collect, manage, or use data to support their agency’s mission. It acts as guidance to encourage ethical decision making, but isn’t required. Its audience includes “anyone in the Federal Government who works with or leads work involving data, which includes all employees, contractors, researchers, and other partners who work on behalf of the government.”

According to the Framework, “Data leaders and professionals should adhere to all applicable legal authorities, as ethics are reflected and reinforced in existing laws.” Additionally, “agency leaders are encouraged to maintain up-to-date, comprehensive ethical standards regarding data use and staff are responsible for learning and applying agency guidance. In addition, if a person works in an area with recognized professional ethical codes of conduct, they should be aware of those standards and strive to uphold them.” (ibid)

Have a question about the Framework or the definition of data ethics? Give us a call we can explain.

Seeing STARS

The 8(a) STARS II contract has roughly 800 small business contractors that furnish custom IT services-based solutions tailored to meet government agency needs. STARS III contract will soon replace the current STARS II contract, with a higher dollar threshold and customized IT solutions. (Federal Computer Week, August 21, 2020)

Over the life of 8(a) STARS II, GSA has repeatedly raised the ceiling to meet federal agency needs and to support their small business contracting objectives. In April of this year the contract reached a $15 billion ceiling and by the end of July is was at $22 billion. In an effort to meet growing government agency needs, the 8(a) STARS III contract will accommodate more bidders with a $50 billion ceiling. 8(a) STARS III focuses on new technologies as well as meeting the needs of federal agencies outside the continental U.S.

According to Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Counsel, “rules have changed a lot over the years, the current contract vehicle, dating back to 2011 is kind of clunky and not as nimble as newer contracts. The new contract will help GSA fine new technology companies as well as requalify existing companies.” (ibid)

Questions about the 8(a) STARS III contract and if you currently do business under 8(a) STARS II how you will requalify? Give us a call.

Time to Sign the Dotted Line

If you are one of the 15 percent of contractors who have yet to accept GSA’s consolidation Mass Modification, do it now. The deadline is 31 July 2020. All contractors failing to accept the Mass Mod will have their offerings removed from GSA’s eTools platform. (Fedscoop July 13, 2020)

Jessica Salmoiraghi, the associate administrator of the Office of Governmentwide Policy, recently said contractors that fail to accept the mass mod are basically losing out on business, while the contractors who have accepted are realizing orders. (ibid)

As GSA moves further into Phase 2 of MAS consolidation, they are automating parts of the contracting process. This includes its Truman bot, designed to automatically review new contractors based on the MAS. The bot is automating the new offer review process by checking the excluded parties list and pre-filling templates. (ibid)

The third and final phase of MAS Consolidation is expected in the second half of 2020.

Need assistance getting your acceptance to GSA’s mass mod completed in the next two weeks? Give us a call.