GSA Chief Wants to Reveal Task Order Data

GSA Chief Emily Murphy May Make Task Order Data More Transparent

Image result for emily murphy gsa

Emily Murphy is contemplating making information on all multiple-award contracts public in the name of transparency. At present, only companies with spots on the solicitations can see relevant solicitations and awards, which offers business intelligence and a competitive edge on the federal market. In 2016, GSA spent over $110 billion through 2,600 multiple-award contracts.

Murphy has had  conversations with both the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Governmentwide Policy. She is currently waiting for the  Federal Acquisition Service to deliver options that might offer some greater transparency. According to Murphy, “This needs to be addressed not just in the microcosm of the GSA schedules…. We need to be looking across government and making sure we are not disadvantaging the schedules program versus other programs, and we are not putting our vendors or our customers at a competitive disadvantage.”

Transparency is only one of four goals Murphy has set for  her term running GSA. Read more here.

The Contract-Gift that keeps on giving

GSA offers continuous contracts to successful MAS contractors

With so many of our current clients approaching the sunset of their 20-year contract Schedule periods, we are pleased that GSA has finally released an official rule to help with ongoing Blank Purchase Agreements (BPAs).

In the past, the end of the Schedule options meant contractors had to perform a juggling act with their government clients to keep BPAs from becoming inactive or going to a competitor. When BPAs extend past the expiration date of their underlying MAS contracts, orders can be placed until the last day of the schedule contract, but no option periods can be used after the Schedule contract expires.

GSA has finally allowed contractors to maintain overlapping or continuous contracts. These contracts are essentially duplicate MAS contracts for different periods of performance. Holding two contracts is not mandatory, and for many contractors, would be unnecessary. But for others, it can be a business-saver.

For those that do need it, continuous contracts will allow contractors to complete work under BPAs, while simultaneously seeking new  business opportunities. Contractors should be aware that this may result in extra reporting burdens, but will be happy to know that MAS now has a streamlined process and revised requirements for previously successful contractors submitting offers for new contracts under the same schedule.

Readiness assessments, financial statements, corporate experience, open ratings report, and relevant project experience requirements have all been eliminated or greatly reduced for successful MAS contractors. To qualify, contractors must propose the same Special Item Numbers as those awarded under existing contracts, meet the minimum sales requirement under the existing contract, and demonstrate a pattern of satisfactory past performance.

For more information, check the vendor support center or contact us here at EZGSA (301-913-5000).

Rolling Down the FedRAMP

GSA recently announced the launch of the FedRAMP Tailored Baseline for Cloud Service Providers with Low Impact Software-as-a-Service systems. FedRAMP Tailored aims to support solutions that have low risk and low costs for agencies. This means a streamlined process for a variety of applications. Tailored also standardizes an approach to determine risks associated with cloud applications and provides the government with the freedom to use the cloud while maintaining security.

FedRAMP tailored was open for comment in January and July of 2017. The program provides base security control requirements for industry to meet. Agency authorizing officials are responsible for adding controls where necessary for compliance. GSA believes “The FedRAMP program, including our goals for Tailored, is a key part of issuing an informed, risk-based authority to operate.”

For more information, see the FedRAMP Tailored website. 

GSA System Delays

We wanted to let you all know that GSA is experiencing a few delays, specifically with all e-filing and some modifications.

At this point, our contract management team is reporting that all Schedule 70 mods are being reviewed between 45 and 60 days after receipt, much longer than usual. We assume that this is due to the typical summer slow down (vacations) as well as trainings and technical issues.

Technical issues are affecting the VSC website, as well as eMod, eOffer, and mass mods. We have had reports of PINs not working, the database not finding contractors, incorrect DUNs numbers being returned, etc.

So if you’re experiencing either of the above — it’s not you, it’s GSA (!).

GSA Chief’s Wrath for Whistleblower

Denise Turner Roth Retaliated Against Whistleblower

The Inspector General found that Ms. Roth she retaliated against a whistleblower, threatening him with transfer to another position and limiting his job responsibilities.

Sources reveal that this whistleblower is outgoing FAS commissioner Tom Sharpe.

Sharpe apparently alerted several executives about the Technology Transformation Service’s use of the Acquisition Services Fund, which the IG calls “violations of the law, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, and abuse of authority.”

Sharpe’s complaint detailed TTS’s use of the ASF money. The fund consists of fees agencies pay, governmentwide acquisition contract revenue, and sale of surplus properties. The TTS’s use of the money has met controversy, as many believe the service competes with work already provided to other agencies, and distracts from the mission of FAS. As such, some executives harbor concerns that these actions are counterproductive to FAS’s mission.

Roth denies any wrongdoing and calls the Inspector General’s findings “wrong and disappointing.” She maintains that “all actions I took were necessary and driven to modernize the federal government.”

The Inspector General has referred the case to the Office of Special Counsel.

For more information, visit Federal News Radio.