Shared Service QSMOs

The big takeaway from last week’s Association of Government Accountants’ 2019 shared services summit: it will take a few years to standardize shared services, especially for grants management. (FedScoop, November 14, 2019)

In April, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) chose four agencies as Quality Service Management Offices (QSMOs):

  • GSA – to oversee a human resources marketplace
  • Department of Treasury – for financial services
  • Department of Health and Human Services – for grants management
  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – for cybersecurity (FedScoop, April 26, 2019)

QSMOs have started hiring and transitioning from the old payroll system to Software-as-a-Service. This NewPay Initiative tops the list in moving to shared services. GSA awarded a blanket purchase agreement for NewPay in September 2018 to reduce risks and costs and followed up with multi-million dollar task orders. (ibid)

According to Earl Pinto, deputy associate administrator of the Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement within GSA, “these are not short term projects, and I would say that’s probably the biggest challenge because we know we’ve got a process. Standards first … and that has taken, for several mission-support functions, well over a year to get to standards – some over two years.” (ibid)

Some agencies, such as the Interior Business Center are not clear as to whether they will lean towards NewPay or work through current providers, GSA, or a separate appropriation. (ibid)

Some unknown pieces remain. Will agencies always pay for the services delivered or will it be streamlined in some manner? It may be quite some time before we know for sure.

Questions on QSMOs? Call us and we can explain it.

Reforming the Reformers

Over the next few years, GSA will institute approximately 25 reforms to improve the federal marketplace, with a goal of easing the buying and selling process for all involved. (Federal Times, July 24, 2019)

Alan Thomas, the commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, has named the following four initiatives as ‘cornerstones,’ bound to the success of the other ‘stones’ around them:

  1. Developing an enterprise-wide contract writing system — provides the contracting workforce “a single, core system that stores all of our data and has a set of common business processes”
  2. Managing catalog data — changing how industry systems and processes are represented to buying agencies
  3. Consolidating the Multiple Award Schedule program — occurring as we write, the current 24 multiple award schedules are merging into a single Schedule.
  4. Instituting a commercial platform initiative — an online buying platform, much like Amazon, which will allow government purchasers to order products without a contracting process. (ibid)

Many other reforms will go into effect over time. Additionally, GSA is working to make smaller improvements that make contractors and customer agencies more aware of available tools. These tools should simplify the contracting process. (ibid)

Have questions about the reforms and how they will affect the current procurement process? Give us a call.