Laying the Foundation for Integrations

Non-IT professional services continue to represent a major share of government contract spending. While GSA’s Schedules program offers technology and other professional services on an a la carte basis, agencies have asked us to provide a total professional services solution, which often requires acquisition of multiple services across separate functional areas. To answer this request, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service is preparing a business case for approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a new contract vehicle that we are calling Integrations.

Our goal

Integrations will be a strategic program enabling acquisition of complex integrated professional services along with supporting technology. Our governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs) have successfully enabled integrated solutions for technology acquisition.  Like the GWACs, we want Integrations to fit closely with customer agency needs so that agencies do not have to create new vehicles.

For example, a key agency need is flexibility. About half of all government spending on complex integrated professional services in FY 2010 took place under cost-type contracts. That is why we are planning to include all task order types in Integrations, including cost reimbursement.

What to expect

GSA is committed to making the contract development process as transparent as possible, and ensure maximum participation by agencies and industry throughout this process. In the next quarter, we’re planning to finalize and post Part I of the Integrations OMB business case to the MAX Information System for agency review and comment. We will also be releasing a project schedule to allow industry to successfully prepare to respond to anticipated requirements.

Our development team is currently establishing a customer working group to include agency representatives from across government. We’ll take their input and validate agency needs over the course of three to four months, after which we will update our draft documents and share them with industry for feedback. In the meantime, industry partners are invited to visit the Integrations industry community on our collaboration platform, Interact, to learn more about the program and communicate directly with the Integrations team.

Let’s chat

I’m serving as one of the spokespeople for the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS)-wide Integrations team during this phase of contract development, and would like to hear how you want to be involved and how you’d like to hear from us. Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this new effort or join me for a Tweet Chat Wednesday, February 29th.  I’ll be on Twitter from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., answering questions from customers and industry on a range of topics, including Integrations.  To participate, follow us on Twitter at @GSA_ITS and use hashtag #ITSChat.