It’s not often that you hear from both the Information Technology Category and Professional Services and Human Capital Categories on this blog, but we’re excited to share some updates about how our portfolios are collaborating to improve governmentwide services acquisition. For this post we’re joined by Sheri Meadema, acting assistant commissioner of GSA’s Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories.
ITC and PSHC have always focused on developing and delivering contractual approaches that meet the expressed, current, and future needs of our customer agencies. We set up flexible solutions so industry has a low-friction experience when working with the government. Our job is to help our customers by:
- Reaching the most qualified and experienced suppliers in various socioeconomic categories.
- Accessing an acquisition channel that is designed to deliver exactly what agencies need and how they need to buy it.
- Complying with evolving federal regulations.
- Reducing the complexity and risk associated with services acquisition to the maximum extent possible.
This year we are taking our partnership a step further through a new focus area called the Services Marketplace. ITC and PSHC are working together to align how we roll out new contracts and tools to support buyers and suppliers of services.
Along with the leaders of GSA’s services contracts, we are working together to find enterprise-level solutions. We have three primary goals:
- Rationalize, align and expand GSA’s contract offerings.
- Improve FAS’s market research and buying tools.
- Improve the data and reporting systems used in support of our acquisition programs
What will this look like for our customers and industry partners? For industry, we envision a future with standardized engagement and solicitation processes regardless of the type of services you’re providing. We will focus on using a consistent set of best practices and tools when possible for both IT and professional services for solicitations, evaluation, negotiations, award, and contract management.
For our customers, we want to deliver a consistent, exceptional customer experience that makes it easier to get successful outcomes when compared to open market procurements. A customer agency buying services from GSA should be able to access familiar processes and have access to the right industry base, best-in-class contracts, effective and efficient tools, and support resources.
What we’re working on
Under the umbrella of the Services Marketplace, we are building the next generation of contracts, including the Services MAC, Polaris, and the follow-on to Alliant 2.
- ITC recently awarded the 8(a) STARS III Governmentwide Acquisition Contract, a small business set-aside, Best-in-Class GWAC. Through 8(a) STARS III, agencies can access award-winning 8(a) firms for emerging technologies and Outside Continental United States support via an established contract vehicle, saving time and taxpayer money over open-market methods.
- Development of the next generation small business IT GWAC Polaris is well underway. The request for proposal for the new Polaris small business IT contract is expected in February 2022. Once fully awarded, Polaris will complete GSA’s GWAC contract portfolio by enabling federal agencies to set-aside IT task orders to small business, women-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and businesses located in HUBZones.
- With the OASIS ordering period ending in 2024, PSHC is making significant progress on a new Services Multi-Agency Contract to support federal agencies’ procurement requirements for services, making essential improvements and building on the program’s success.
- Work also continues on improving our Multiple Award Schedule service offerings in Phase 3 of the consolidation. Contractors with multiple contracts will consolidate down to one, which translates into fewer overall contracts for the acquisition workforce — and industry partners — to manage. It will also make it easier for agencies to find the vendors to meet their mission requirements.
We’ve also started standardizing the scope review process and created a digital tool/portal so customers can submit their scope review requests. This will allow for better tracking, management, and coordination across portfolios, as well as create a single customer experience. PSHC has already created a pilot single intake form and we are working to integrate that across other portfolios.
In the coming months, we’ll launch a single Delegation of Procurement Authority training for OASIS and Human Capital and Training Solutions and a single on-demand ITC DPA, which combines 8(a) STARS III, VETS 2, and Alliant 2 to simplify the customer experience. We’ve also started the discovery phase for an order management tool for all services task orders. This will allow for better solicitation development, tracking, and task order management on GSA contracts.
We look forward to continued input from customers and industry partners to create consistency as we build the next generation of contracts, improve market research and buying tools, and enhance data and reports systems for governmentwide services acquisition.
If you’re interested in learning more about any of our contracts, send us a note!
- 8(a) STARS III – S3@gsa.gov
- Polaris – Polaris@gsa.gov
- Services MAC – PSHCfirstname.lastname@example.org
- Federal Marketplace – email@example.com
Join the Small Business GWAC Community of Interest here to follow 8(a) STARS III and Polaris updates: https://interact.gsa.gov/group/small-business-gwac-community-interest.
Join the Professional Services Community here to follow news on the Services MAC: https://interact.gsa.gov/groups/professionalservicescategory.