Art of the Possible in Innovative Acquisition Solutions

(Note: This is a guest blog post by Keith Nakasone, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Acquisition Operations within ITC in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). In this capacity, he oversees ITC’s acquisitions workforce.)

Over the past 25 years, I’ve learned that textbook or classroom education alone won’t do the job. Staying on top of the IT acquisition curve also requires staff to regularly use IT innovation labs, environments where bleeding-edge technology has been successfully used to solve day-to-day business challenges.

As we explore the Art of the Possible by using artificial intelligence (AI) within acquisition solutions, I took a small team to visit a company that develops and delivers AI capabilities. Exposing government acquisition professionals directly to new technologies helps our staff to more fully understand what AI can do. In turn, they can help program managers develop even better contracts to more effectively help deliver mission requirements and desired outcomes in government.

As we continue to build IT procurement vehicles, we recognize how important it is to understand the technology, what it can do, and how we can inject new and innovative solutions into our acquisition vehicles not only for now, but for the future.

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GSA’s Jasmine Alexander, Brendan Mahoney, Brian Whitaker, Giovanni Onwuchekwa, and Keith Nakasone visiting IPsoft in New York City.


Our staff was greeted by Amelia, IPsoft’s cognitive agent. According to our industry partner, Amelia can take on a wide variety of service desk roles and transform customer experience.


Veterans Technology Services 2 (VETS 2) GWAC Awarded

If small businesses are the backbone to our economy, then veterans of the armed forces are the backbone of our country. Even after their sacrifices through military service, many veterans continue to serve our great nation by providing innovative information technology (IT) solutions to government.

GSA prides itself on delivering mission critical IT solutions that make a meaningful difference to the agencies we support and the citizens that count on them. This philosophy is at the center of our development of new IT contract vehicles and I’m proud that it played a vital role as GSA created our new Veterans Technology Services 2 (VETS 2) Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC).

VETS 2 – a unique acquisition vehicle

The new VETS 2 GWAC is a unique contribution to the federal acquisition community — the only GWAC set-aside exclusively for Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB). VETS 2 is designed to be flexible enough to meet diverse agency IT requirements, including new and emerging technologies. VETS 2 also enables GSA to continue its support of the SDVOSB Procurement Program, while helping federal agencies achieve their socio-economic goals.

Contract development at its best

Lessons learned from our original VETS contract played a big role in building VETS 2, as did extensive market research. In conjunction with issuing a request for information (RFI) and draft request for proposal (RFP), we also surveyed hundreds of past and current GWAC ordering contracting officers, created a government customer working group, and utilized a GSA Interact page to collaborate with more than 1,000 members from industry and government to design VETS 2. The result is a multiple award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a best-in-class designation and 70 of the world’s premier SDVOSB IT service providers.

What’s new with VETS 2

All of the team’s research and due diligence, coupled with VETS success resulted in a VETS 2 contract that is even better than its predecessor. New key features include:

  • The ability for cost-type contracts
  • An expanded scope for virtually any IT services-based solution – including cybersecurity and new, emerging technologies
  • An overall simplified contract through the elimination of functional areas – a simplified scope covering all IT services
  • A larger pool of suppliers — an even greater proportion of which now hold International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certifications, facility clearances levels, audited/approved cost accounting systems, and experience working with multiple agencies.

We couldn’t be more thrilled about the launch of VETS 2 as we continue our commitment to providing IT solutions with the ongoing help of the veteran community.

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