GSA’s One Acquisition Solutions for Integrated Services (OASIS) program is a contract vehicle for complex professional services. It represents GSA’s solution to reducing contract proliferation and duplication across government. This is a problem for both government and for contractors, and when we look at what the government spends annually on professional services, the numbers are significant.
GSA uses the buying power of the federal government to bring down costs and reduce duplication. OASIS takes GSA Schedules to the next level by combining professional services and IT services into one package, creating a single source for both commercial and noncommercial needs – and eliminating the unneeded duplication of contracts. OASIS will offer full and open competition among all interested businesses, and OASIS SB will be a separate solicitation set aside specifically for all small businesses, maximizing opportunities to do business with the federal government.
We see a clear benefit to OASIS but there are underlying myths and questions about this program that remain. The following is our response to these myths and clarifications to your questions.
Myth: OASIS unfairly limits the ability of small businesses to do business with federal government.
False. There is a specific OASIS solicitation for small businesses, which creates even another environment for them to compete more effectively.
In fact, the potential for small businesses already is being realized with OASIS SB: the Air Force Space and Missile Center recently announced they will use OASIS SB, instead of their own contract named STS-2. The estimated value is $472 million over five years. Cumulatively, the total estimated value of the three Air Force commitments to OASIS SB total approximately $1.3 billion/year on OASIS SB, which if maintained over the 10-year life of the contract represents $13 billion to the OASIS SB community.
Myth: The program is too complicated.
False. OASIS is specially designed for integrated professional services, with input from the providers and users of these services. The thorough application process helps to streamline business activity, and it is designed to provide customers with a total professional services solution that allows for both commercial and noncommercial requirements and all contract types at the task-order level.
Myth: This program won’t address the needs of businesses that want to work with the government.
False. In developing OASIS, GSA spent two years engaging industry on developing an OASIS solicitation that is effective and expands opportunities for all. We’ve made a significant commitment to collaboration and transparency.
Beginning in the early phases of the development, GSA sought and secured participation by various agencies in numerous ways, including research, leadership outreach, industry days and interactive sessions with partners. Some of the activities GSA led to ensure the benefits of OASIS are maximized included:
Research through Federal Business Opportunities and USA Spending, to identify contacts at agencies that acquire large amounts of professional services and/or that are repeat buyers
Outreach to the Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council (SSLC), to identify agency contacts who could provide insight into current buying practices and needs
Multiple Customer Working Group (CWG) sessions, inviting customers to share their input and help shape the content of the solicitations.
The OASIS Industry Community on GSA’s Interact, which served as a key platform for open communication and collaboration among GSA and industry partners during the development phase of OASIS.
An Industry Day with 500+ registered small businesses and “other-than-small” businesses, followed by a week of one-on-one sessions with the participants.
Approximately 190 one-on-one meetings with industry partners, to discuss the OASIS vehicle, gathering valuable input and incorporating industry recommendations into the final RFP.
This extensive, ongoing collaboration with government and industry resulted in an outstanding program that is predicted to transform the way government acquires complex professional services. OASIS is expected to result in lower costs to both government and industry while maintaining the highest quality of services and service delivery.
Myth: OASIS addresses a niche acquisition market.
False. OASIS will help facilitate a smooth, comprehensive acquisition process for many customers. About half of all government spending on complex professional services in FY 2010 used cost-type contracts; OASIS allows for all contract types at the task-order level, including fixed-price, cost-reimbursement, time and materials, labor-hour and hybrid combinations of contract types on a single task order.
OASIS will span the core disciplines of program management services, management consulting, logistics services, engineering and scientific services, and financial services. It also will allow for ancillary support components, like Information Technology or administrative support, to be included as part of a total solution to a professional services requirement.
Myth: Keeping OASIS off the schedule makes the program inaccessible.
False. OASIS is its own entity for combining services, making it available to just the right businesses. Here’s an example of how an agency can use OASIS to solve problems:
An agency needs to create and implement a new program for citizen support and communication in the event of national tragedies or disasters. OASIS will allow the agency to award a single task order to:
Predict the scope of support and communication service requirements under a variety of situations;
Consider and recommend alternative methods of delivering the support and communications services;
Design the program infrastructure;
Establish support and communication logistical requirements;
Determine budgetary requirements and establish budget management and control procedures;
Develop a resourcing plan for implementation;
Determine and establish program IT requirements and support systems, including hardware and software; and
Implement program decisions taken by the government.
OASIS will be a reliable, flexible and efficient way for agencies to obtain best-value solutions for complex professional services. It breaks the barriers in the world of acquisition by providing customers with a total professional services solution across the enterprise, that allows for both commercial and noncommercial requirements and all contract types.