Looking Down from the Cloud

Cloud.gov offers federal agencies one-stop access to a secure platform for web application development. Since its inception three years ago, GSA has managed the back-end server infrastructure; now they want to come down off the cloud. GSA is looking for a vendor to support the platform, which in turn offers a platform support to other agencies.

A RFI has been released to gather information from industry about the best means to support the cloud.gov system.

The current cloud.gov product offers agencies three tiers of service:

  • a free “sandbox” platform to experiment with fresh ideas;
  • a “prototyping” backend platform for $1,250 a month per office or program; and
  • a full “production” platform, where apps can be pushed out to users.

The latter offering includes an authority to operate—a verified cybersecurity posture—at a low level for $1,667 a month and at the moderate level for $7,500 a month.

The RFI lists 14 specific tasks the vendor will be asked to perform, including maintaining the front- and back-end infrastructure, using agile methods to develop and deploy code, monitoring GitHub pull requests and fixing issues, and improving the site’s automated monitoring and alert system for identifying operational failures and potential security issues.

The contract will be awarded quickly with a start date of October 2019 and options to extend through October 2020.

In a twist, the RFI template for Cloud.gov itself rests in the cloud. Contracting officers posted the RFI as a Google doc survey with just nine questions for respondents. Responses are due by 4 p.m. Nov. 20.

If you need help pulling together your responses, give us a call at 301-913-5000.

 

Yes, Virginia, the Government Needs Shipping Containers Too

A new RFI is out regarding the possible addition of a new Special Item Number (SIN) for shipping containers. Companies interested in responding to the RFI need not hold a GSA Schedule 81 I B Contract.

SIN 617-14, Shipping Containers, is set to include many types and sizes of containers. These include intermodal containers, cargo/freight containers, dry freight, ISO containers, general purpose containers, high cube or hi-cube containers, and collapsible/inflatable flat pack shipping containers. The draft SIN does not propose limitations on the circumstances in which the shipping containers can be sold — this means companies can sell shipping containers through the SIN for routine or intermittent use or for emergency disaster shipments.

GSA is also proposing an update to an existing SIN under Schedule 81 IB. A description change from “Maintenance, Repair and Modification of Containers” to “Modification/Repair/Customization of Containers.” This change accounts for various speciality characteristics.

If you have questions about GSA Schedule 81 I B please give us a call at (301) 913-5000.

 

eBuy Open Launches

eBuy Open takes eBuy a step further — this electronic Request for Quote (RFQ) system launched just this week. The one-year pilot will test whether  vendors without a GSA Schedule contract will be better able to determine their intentions with regard to the Schedules or subcontracting opportunities.

GSA’s idea is to increase new entrants in its acquisition vehicle programs, increase competition, and promote transparency. This latter part will be promoted through federal buying opportunities receiving public view in eBuy of opportunities posted, after contract award.

A test group of government purchasers is included in the one-year pilot program, comprised of contracting officers from the GSA Office of Internal Acquisition and the FAS Region Southwest Supply and Acquisition Center for GSA-funded procurements. The test group will upload award notices for public viewing of each eBuy award. Opportunities can be found by entering the keyword “eBuyPilot” in the search box.

Please call EZGSA at 301-913-5000 if we can assist or answer any questions.

Sign on the dotted line…

On the recent-GSA-trend front, our EZGSA proposal specialists have noticed our Contracting Officers making a small but significant change to GSA Schedule awards.

Until recently, COs would provide us with a GSA Schedule contract number immediately upon issue and contractor signature of the SF1449. This allowed businesses to begin marketing their Schedules immediately, as well as prepare for new task orders with interested government clients. Recently, however, the COs have been waiting to give a contract number until it has been countersigned. And the number is being issued with a modification, effectively changing the contract before it’s been awarded.

A little confusing, yes. Tragic, no. But if you have questions, give us a call and we will do our best to answer them. 301-913-5000.

Reverse Auction is Reversed!

GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is decommissioning the ReverseAuctions (RA) platform on September 30, 2018. The RA platform will not be available for either the creation or management of auctions after this date. Auctions with end dates after October 1, 2018, will be allowed to conclude as scheduled, and GSA will maintain RA system access for users, allowing for the retrieval of auction related documents through December 31, 2018.

Note: FSSI OS3 vendors can continue to log in and bid on OS3 auctions.