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GSA Makes it Easier for You to Get on Schedule 70

A few weeks ago, GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth announced the agency’s new Making It Easier (MIE) initiatives giving government suppliers and small businesses the support they need to help them work with the government. MIE provides strategies and tools that are especially helpful for new and innovative companies seeking an IT Schedule 70 contract, and this program supports the Administrator’s vision for enhancing GSA’s role as an economic catalyst in communities around the country and as a proactive federal partner.

Every year, tens of billions of dollars are spent through GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules (MAS), however the vendor community has told us that it’s just too hard to get on GSA Schedule. And how, once you’re on Schedule, it can be confusing to figure out how to make changes to a contract. MIE puts an end to all that.

Using Plain Language to Explain Complex Topics

Our website is full of very useful information about MAS and IT Schedule 70. But for first timers, the entire offer process leading to getting on Schedule is quite daunting. And it can be particularly challenging for small companies. We know many vendors hire outside help to advise them, or, in some cases, even fully manage the entire contracting process. So when our industry partners suggested we come up with a way to describe the process of getting on Schedule using plain language, GSA’s 18F and IT Schedule 70 teamed up and took on that challenge.

The IT Schedule 70 Roadmap: A One Stop Shop for Becoming a Schedule 70 Industry Partner

We listened, we heard you, and we worked with you to clarify the process for becoming an IT Schedule 70 contract holder. We’ve created the IT Schedule 70 Roadmap that explains the offer process in plain English and also provides step-by-step instructions on how to successfully navigate it. What’s more, we’ve made it easier for you to find the most relevant information by consolidating existing tools and information into one place. We’re hoping that these changes, plus an increase in available support offered from our end, will result in even more highly qualified companies successfully supporting our government customers.

From start to finish, the IT Schedule 70 Roadmap helps our future industry partners prepare for and complete the offer process.

This initiative, with the other MIE projects, encourages all of our industry partners – especially those with innovative solutions – to join GSA in providing the best solutions to our agency customers.

Visit the IT Schedule 70 Roadmap today.

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Director of IT Schedule 70 Programs Job Posting (Revised)

As many of you know, GSA has been fortunate to have Kay Ely serve as the Director of IT Schedule 70 for the last 4.5 years. Schedule 70 is one of GSA’s largest programs, supporting $15B in agency IT procurements annually. In addition, Schedule 70 serves as the backbone for many government wide initiatives such as FSSI WIreless, the Satellite program, our software program DHS’ Continuous Diagnostic and Mitigation (CDM) program, National Information Technology Commodity Program (NITCP) BPAs, and the Government-wide Strategic Solutions for Laptops and Desktops, just to name a few.

Kay has recently been named as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of ITS, and we are now seeking a new Director of IT Schedule 70 Programs, a Senior Executive Service (SES) position, to lead our team of highly engaged and dedicated professionals as we drive our organization forward during a period of tremendous change and incredible possibility. The Director is responsible for leading a workforce of 150 acquisition professionals and for developing, managing and executing the IT Schedule Program, which provides access to private sector solutions for a wide variety of IT products, services, and solutions for federal, state, local and the tribal governments.

To give you a better understanding of this opportunity and what we are looking for, we decided to ask Kay to describe her experience, the expectations of the position,and what we seek in the next leader.

As you know, Schedule 70 is the largest, most comprehensive, and most widely used IT acquisition vehicle in the federal government, providing direct access to products, services, and solutions from more than 4,700 qualified industry partners to the tune of $15 billion in business volume. The program plays a significant role across all IT Categories.

At times, leading Schedule 70 has been the most challenging job I have ever had, but it has also been the most rewarding. I have grown personally in this job in more ways than I can name. I have also had the pleasure to lead one of the most innovative and hard-working groups of acquisition professionals in all of the federal government.

Schedule 70 has evolved over recent years and is on an upward trajectory of business growth. We expect to reach $15.2 Billion in FY2016!

How will we do that? Focusing on our core mission–to provide the best acquisition solutions–and we do that by working closely with other federal agencies and with industry. This is evident in the governmentwide teams we lead to create new common solutions for IT products and services. The Director of Schedule 70 must be able to forge partnerships with other federal agencies and with industry. We are working hard to make significant changes to the program to make it easier for our suppliers to do business with us. And we are putting new programs in place for our government buyers to help them find the very best solution possible. The job entails a lot of communication, both internally and externally, and lots of listening, considering our stakeholders’ diverse views, and ultimately finding a way to to negotiate solutions that serve many. The Director interacts at the most senior levels across government and with OMB to implement many acquisition- and IT-related initiatives.

In addition, as ITS undergoes an organizational transformation to support category management, the Director will be a leader and partner with our category teams, helping to ensure that Schedule 70 and the other acquisition solutions in ITS meet the needs of the agencies and understand the changes in the technology field that ultimately impact what agencies our buying across the IT categories. Schedule 70 will grow in this respect and needs a forward-thinking, innovative leader to shape the future of the organization.

Schedule 70 is on the horizon for the next big evolution of superior customer service. It is a great opportunity to shape the future of a program that is core to the success of government as a whole, including state, local, and tribal government.

I’ve heard government described as an oil tanker compared to a speed boat. A speed boat can zip around the water quickly, and an oil tanker has to adjust course methodically, but when it does, the wake and ripples it creates are much greater.

In the world of IT, Schedule 70 is that oil tanker, but with how quickly IT changes and shifts, we have to become a speedboat. We have done some great work to make that transition and I’m so proud of what we have accomplished, but our work isn’t done yet. The next person will have a great opportunity. The demands are high and so are our standards. Are you up to the challenge?

Our mission is to help other federal agencies get the job done; if you think you’re up for the challenge go to USAJOBS.gov and apply. Use job announcement #16110081. It closes on Thursday, March 31, 2016.

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Government IT Buying New Year’s Resolutions

(This blog post is part of a multi-week series reviewing data and trends from GSA’s IT acquisition vehicles for FY15. Read previous posts at http://gsablogs.gsa.gov/technology/)

Time to make our New Year’s resolutions for 2016!

In my last 13 blog posts, we looked at government IT trends for FY15 and what might be ahead in FY16 technology acquisitions for telecommunications, cloud, cybersecurity, mobility/wireless, hardware, software, and small business. We’ve got a good sense of the technology trends.

But how we go about buying the technology is equally important. I recommend these New Year’s resolutions:

  • Use existing government-wide contracts, like those from GSA and other agencies, instead of new and open market contracts.
  • Each time you need IT or telecommunications products, services, or solutions, check out the latest GSA offerings, which we continuously enhance.
  • Use the Acquisition Gateway for market research, to link to existing contracts that offer the IT solution you’re looking for, and to stay informed on best practices.
  • Collaborate across agencies every step of the way.

We can save lots of taxpayer dollars and achieve better acquisition and operational efficiencies with this resolution.

For more information about who we are and what we do, check out the slide presentation posted below.

And be sure to follow and engage us on Twitter @GSA_ITS and on the ITS LinkedIn page we launched last year.

This presentation covers ways to improve the acquisition process for customer agencies, by leveraging existing contracts, using category management and the acquisition gateway, and reducing IT acquisition duplication and costs.
Government IT Buying New Years Resolutions: To Improve What and How You Buy (PDF, 125 KB)

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HSPD-12 A Look Back and Peek to the Future

(This blog post is part of a multi-week series reviewing data and trends from GSA’s IT acquisition vehicles for FY15. Read previous posts at http://gsablogs.gsa.gov/technology/)

The USAccess Homeland Security Presidential Directive # 12 (HSPD-12) shared service is a comprehensive offering available to federal agencies to issue and maintain (PIV) cards, using a nationwide enrollment-activation infrastructure and high-availability hosted data centers, linked to federal agency data systems and commercial and government PKI certificate authorities, as well as physical card production facilities.

Fiscal Year 2015 was an exciting year for our USAccess Managed Service Office (MSO). The program finished the year in a strong position, while increasing the quality of services and value add being provided to customer agencies. USAccess continued the pattern of helping micro to medium-sized agencies improve each customer agency security posture by deploying Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Cards for employees and contractors.

Fiscal Year 2015 results

  • Addition of six new agency customers
  • Growth of 60,000 new cardholders
  • Demonstrated business vitality and being a good steward of taxpayer funding

As part of the National Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cyber sprint push to improve federal agency physical and logical security – the MSO provided customer agencies accelerated deployment of fixed enrollment/activation stations and light activation kits. The net result to agency clients included:

  • Enabling more coverage for PIV card issuance particularly to remote sites
  • Increasing PIV compliance government-wide

As part of its effort to improve card delivery times and broaden its service offering the MSO worked with the Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau to augment mobile and fixed sites nationwide with “Local Printing” capability. The net end results:

  • A sponsored applicant now can enroll and receive an activated card in one site visit to a credentialing center.
  • Increased scalability of some 10,000% and reduced time to deliver for a PIV card from 3-5 days to real-time
  • Census typically averaged 75 applicants over three days. With the deployment of the new equipment, Census was able to enroll and provide a PIV card to 780 applicants over the same three-day period.

Quick look ahead

USAccess is committed to its agency community in finding new unique ways to deliver credentialing capability. The MSO has its eye to the horizon. Exploiting new:

  • Lightweight physical technology to collect applicant enrollment data
  • Cloud technology to deliver application hosting and support for PIV credentialing from anywhere, anytime and on any device
  • Logical technology that would enhance virtual credentialing, authorization and authentication, to include next-generation biotechnology, voice, fingerprinting, etc.

These are all long-term aims. Over time, this cutting-edge leadership, partnership development, and entrepreneurial spirit will open new markets for GSA to support, ensure a higher level of security posture for federal agencies, and help to keep costs to a minimum.

Remember to follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join the conversation.