Attend the 2024 Annual ITVMO Summit on June 11, 2024

Last year, the governmentwide IT Vendor Management Office (ITVMO) worked with the American Council for Technology (ACT) and Industry Advisory Council (IAC) to host the first annual government-industry ITVMO Summit. Back by popular demand, this premier in-person event is the gathering place for anyone involved in the Federal IT Marketplace.

From government procurement officials, to industry IT solution providers, to small businesses and more, this is where we come together to review best practices, discuss new solutions, and form valuable connections. At the summit, we will decide on the next steps to take together as we build a more equitable, accessible, and secure Federal IT Marketplace.

This year we have a PACCKed agenda, where you’ll gain access to:

  • Peer networking
  • Actionable insights
  • Community building
  • 4 Continuous Learning Points (CLP) for eligible attendees
  • Knowledge of the latest resources and advances

Bringing together government and industry, this year’s 2024 Annual ITVMO Summit will focus on uniting technology, people, and processes to transform Federal IT acquisitions.

We want your voice in the conversation, so register now!

If you have questions about the summit or are interested in learning more about our IT Buyers Community of Practice of the ITVMO, please contact ITVMO@gsa.gov

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Announcing the Next Generation Network Infrastructure Strategy and Industry Day on May 30

This is a guest post by Jake Marcellus, Executive Director, Office of Enterprise Technology Solutions.

Next-Gen Network: Riding the wave into the future

Greetings, tech enthusiasts and future-forward thinkers! Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of Next Generation Network Infrastructure (NGNI)? This isn’t just another IT telecommunications program; it’s the transformational blueprint for tomorrow’s federal IT network and telecommunications landscape.

Why NGNI? Staying ahead of the game

Government agencies rely on enterprise telecommunications and infrastructure every day to accomplish their missions, and the technologies and marketspace are constantly evolving. Enter NGNI – our vision to ensure the government isn’t just keeping pace but setting the pace in the IT network and telecommunications landscape.

Learning from the past, building for the future

NGNI is drawing inspiration from the past while eyeing the possibilities of tomorrow. It’s about simplifying the complex, embracing innovation, and ensuring the government has the tools it needs to serve the American people efficiently and securely.

Mark your calendars: Industry Day is coming!

Circle May 30 on your calendars for our upcoming Industry Day. Whether you’re looking to learn more about GSA’s current Enterprise Technology Solutions contracts or for information on where you can contribute ideas or to just soak in the vision, this is where you’ll want to be.

Visit our GSA Enterprise Technology Solutions Industry Day webinar registration to sign up for the event. Industry Day participants can contribute ideas through this NGNI Feedback form until June 14, 2024.

Visit our website to learn more about EIS or use our IT Solutions Navigator to find the vehicle that’s right for you.

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Alliant 2 Industry Partners: Meeting the Federal Government’s AI Needs

Artificial intelligence (AI) is actively transforming the way we personally and professionally complete tasks of varying complexity. Noted for its ability to enhance productivity, the AI we know today is built on decades of groundbreaking work and has many practical applications. From virtual assistants to smart automobiles to business processes and workflows, artificially intelligent systems are making our lives easier.

GSA is at the forefront of leveraging emerging technologies like AI to enhance the efficiency and accessibility of federal services for the American public. By prioritizing safety and privacy, GSA ensures that AI advancements help improve government operations while mitigating risks. GSA also plays a vital role in supporting the AI Executive Order, reinforcing the federal government’s commitment to the responsible and effective use of AI​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

While recent advances in generative AI have brought renewed attention to the importance of safe and effective AI deployment, it’s worth noting that for years, GSA’s industry partners have been helping agencies responsibly work with previous generations of AI technologies.

GSA’s industry partners delivering AI solutions

Since its 2018 inception, the Alliant 2 Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC), one of the most successful IT Services GWACs in federal government history – and a designated Best-in-Class (BIC) vehicle – has delivered high-value IT services to our customer agencies. Alliant 2 is well-positioned to bring critical, real-world AI solutions to the federal government, particularly regarding national defense, health care, and environmental protection.

We recently polled our Alliant 2 Shared Interest Group to learn about some AI projects they’ve implemented for federal agencies. Let’s take a look at a few of those examples.

A more efficient defense

The general welfare of citizens and their protection from external threats is among the federal government’s greatest duties — a confident and stable national defense is critical.
Federal agencies can now take advantage of notable advancements in the AI space of wargaming and simulation training tools. These training methods rely on realistic simulations to perform varied wartime exercises using diverse war zones, equipment, strategies, and conflict scenarios. For context, think of a military simulator home video game on super steroids – adding to it prospective real-world consequences.

Rapid retraining of computer vision modeling is another AI process that can support national interests. It involves the use of AI to markedly increase the accuracy of those models, eliminating potential issues. The Department of Defense has employed this technology to improve the performance of autonomous reconnaissance vehicles.

Our talented Alliant 2 industry partners also offer geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) and systems intelligence (SIGINT) experience. GEOINT blends machine learning with visualizations to analyze activities on Earth for national security purposes, and SIGINT involves the monitoring and interception of signals from systems used by adversarial targets. Both of these intelligence functions are independently significant. However, as a unit, GEOINT and SIGINT offer a robust approach to national security.

Impacts on health outcomes

Alliant 2’s AI capabilities extend beyond national defense; they also include protections for the health and welfare of U.S. residents. Our industry partners have contributed to many advancements in health care, including the use of AI for COVID-19 research and development. They are also involved in efforts to improve cancer diagnostics and drug labeling review processes using AI.

Different approaches to environmental protection

Executive Order (EO) 14096, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, directs the federal government to protect the environment. The EO expressly states that “an environment that is healthy, sustainable, climate-resilient, and free from harmful pollution and chemical exposure” is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government on behalf of its citizens.

Our industry partners actively support the resolution of climate-related concerns addressed in EO 14096. One effort involves the use of AI to accelerate the speed and accuracy of weather forecasts. During the process, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration evaluated data collected from the climate models to predict weather events that could occur weeks to decades into the future. This is significant, as this technology is also helpful in disaster preparedness and forecasting natural disasters.

Winning partnerships

Alliant 2’s BIC status signifies its relevance as a top-tier IT services vehicle that is propelled by the best and brightest in the industry. We are very honored to partner with companies that are well-vetted and highly qualified to move us into the future of IT services, always keeping us ahead of the curve.

Moving forward with AI

AI is beginning to play a significant role in how the federal government gets things done. Its significance is becoming more evident by the day. Whether improving the effectiveness of our military, improving health outcomes for U.S. citizens, or keeping our water safe, federal agencies are using AI to enhance our well-being. GSA and our Alliant 2 industry partners continue to move that needle, and we look forward to continuing to serve the AI and IT services needs of our customer agencies. To become familiar with other federal government AI projects, please visit ai.gov.

For more information on the Alliant 2 GWAC, please click here.

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It’s survey season! Help us improve your experiences in 10 minutes

Every year, the General Services Administration sends out the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Customer Survey and Industry Satisfaction Survey to our partners to gauge your experiences working with us.

Many of you will receive a personalized link to complete one of the surveys in the coming weeks – it takes ten minutes to complete, and the intelligence we gather from your responses will be used to improve your experiences moving forward.

For example, the data collected from the 2023 customer and industry surveys led to:

  • Improvements on the IT category and Multiple Award Schedule web pages.
  • The addition of USAccess locations to get your PIV cards activated – a governmentwide program that GSA manages.
  • Updates to our Buyer’s Guides and Fact Sheets to help you find and understand our solutions better.

We greatly appreciate the time you take to share your experience. Surveys like this, along with feedback you provide through other channels like webinars, trainings, and direct conversations with GSA staff, helps us understand where the pain points are so we can address them with urgency.

If you have questions about the survey or our improvement initiatives, please contact surveys@research.gsa.gov.

Thank you for your continued partnership.

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Generative AI and Specialized Computing Infrastructure Acquisition Resource Guide now available

Goal: Help agencies buy Generative AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most profound technological shifts in a generation or more. If we learn how to harness its power correctly, AI tools could significantly strengthen how the federal government serves the public.

Seeing AI’s potential – and its risks –  the president signed Executive Order 14110 on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI EO) on October 30, 2023. 

Since it was signed, there has been a lot of activity around highlighting AI use cases and increasing the AI talent and skills in the federal workforce.

I blogged about the procurement considerations it emphasized and we explored the pivotal role of the chief AI officer

The AI EO also sparked an ongoing effort to guide responsible artificial intelligence development and deployment across the federal government. 

Section 10.1(h) of the AI EO asks GSA to create a resource guide to help the acquisition community procure generative AI solutions and related specialized computing infrastructure.

In this post, I’ll describe our new Generative AI and Specialized Computing Infrastructure Acquisition Resource Guide and highlight some of the specific content.

A Focus on Generative Artificial Intelligence

As many of you know, some of the most popular promising tools in the broader field of artificial intelligence are in the field called generative AI.

Fundamentally, generative AI tools are software. It is starting to show up in our email and word processing programs, the search engines we use every day, and the more sophisticated software that agencies rely on. These tools can be helpful for many agencies trying to automate simple tasks or solve complex problems. We’ve seen agencies using generative AI tools to write summaries of rules, create first drafts of memos, and make more helpful chatbots. And many more uses are spooling up right now including using generative AI tools to write computer code and develop new training scenarios for agency staff.

These generative AI tools are getting better and more agencies are asking their contracting officers to help procure the right solutions. 

At the most basic level, because generative AI tools are software, acquiring them must follow the same acquisition policies and rules as other IT and software purchases. Contracting officers should consider cybersecurity, supply chain risk management, data governance and other standards and guidelines just as they would with other IT procurements.

At the same time, generative AI tools are unique. We are all hearing about the risks of generative AI solutions, some of which we talk about in the guide – from bias in how the systems were trained… to “hallucinations” where a generative AI tool states wrong information that it just made up. 

Contracting officers play a critical role in ensuring commercial generative AI offerings conform with federal and agency guidance, laws and regulations and have the right safeguards and protections while enabling their agencies to get the most out of generative AI projects.

We put together the Generative AI and Specialized Computing Infrastructure Acquisition Resource Guide to help contracting officers and their teams understand how to do just that.  

Practical Tips for the Acquisition Community

Because the field is emerging and the use cases are diverse, it’s impossible to provide guidance that applies to every situation. So the guide offers questions that contracting officers should ask and a process to use when scoping a generative AI acquisition. 

The guide also makes a few specific recommendations of other actions the acquisition workforce should take to procure generative AI solutions effectively. Many generative AI tools may already be available to agency staff in tools they use every day or through government cloud platforms they already have accounts on. And these tools may be available through professional service and system integrator contracts the agencies already have in place. In that way, the fastest acquisition may be no acquisition, or as simple as adding more “credits” to an existing cloud platform account. 

Before embarking on a large scale or complex new acquisition for generative AI tools, see if there is a simpler route. Work with your agency’s chief information officer, chief artificial intelligence officer, and chief information security officer to determine what you already have in place and whether you can just use an existing solution or contract.

Here are a few other recommendations in the guide:

  • Start with Your Agency’s Needs. Rather than starting with solutions and specifications, define the problem that the agency wants generative AI tools to help solve.
  • Scope and Test Solutions. Given the evolving nature of most generative AI tools, it is essential for agencies to use testbeds and sandboxes to try solutions before committing to large scale buys with too many unknowns about product performance.
  • Manage and Protect Data. Generative AI relies on data “inputs” to create content “outputs” so it is critical to know where data is coming from, what are its limitations and how data will be used and protected.
  • Control Costs. Generative AI is very often billed like other Software as a Service so usage costs can really grow quickly if not appropriately monitored and managed.

Acquisition staff also benefit from knowing what procurement actions their agency and others have already taken. You’ll also find a searchable data dashboard to give information about recent AI-related contract actions.

Specialized Computing Infrastructure

The guide also talks about “specialized computing infrastructure” per the AI EO. Specialized computing infrastructure can be thought of as the high-performance computers, powerful chips, software, networks and resources made specifically for building, training, fine-tuning, testing, using and maintaining artificial intelligence applications. Computing infrastructure can be on-premise, cloud based or a combination of both.

While most agencies will likely access generative AI tools through the cloud, some agencies may need to build some light specialized computing infrastructure to support their specific requirements.

This is the start.

The biggest challenge to producing any sort of guidance around a technology is anticipating and accommodating change. To do it, we organized a working group, gathered input from a wide array of acquisition specialists and technical experts, and collaborated with our IT Vendor Management Office to inform and support faster, smarter IT buying decisions across the federal community. We welcome your feedback at genai@gsa.gov.

Generative AI technology will continue to evolve. The risks and benefits will shift over time. Agencies will experiment with generative AI tools. And contracting officers will play a critical role by working closely with program and IT staff to find, source and acquire the right generative AI solutions for agencies’ needs. We hope the Generative AI and Specialized Computing Infrastructure Acquisition Resource Guide helps the acquisition community enable their agencies to start to responsibly harness the power of this promising technology and better serve the American people.

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Without you, we can’t make IT happen!

March marks National Procurement Month, a period to honor procurement professionals and the acquisition workforce across industry and government. Professionals like you who give your all to serve the public interest and make things happen.

Whether it’s making the most of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence or securing contracts to improve an agency’s cloud solutions and emergency mobile services, procurement professionals have tangible effects on the American public.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the acquisition professionals across all levels of government and industry that work with GSA to deliver Best-in-Class service.

Key to successful organizations

Government acquisition professionals are out there every day doing the hard work of evaluating requirements to determine what’s possible, what’s working, and what could be improved. From reviewing offers and making awards, to monitoring the contract progress with a focus on transparency and accountability, you continue to make a difference and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly.

Team acquisition

Acquisition is a team sport, and as we continue to build IT acquisition vehicles, we recognize how important it is to be engaged and transparent with our agency and industry partners and to embrace innovative acquisition solutions, while learning from stakeholder feedback and expert procurement professionals in the IT field. Each group is instrumental to the success of our mission.

Evolving and improving

New technologies are rapidly changing and improving how we do procurement. Promising new tools such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), machine learning, and AI are set to further streamline procurement processes and improve supply chain visibility. Credit for much of procurement’s quick tech evolution over the last couple of years can also go to members of the acquisition workforce: Data analysts, chief information officers, and emerging tech subject matter experts who have developed, found, tested and deployed IT solutions that make procurement more efficient and less risky, expanding our ability to directly impact the bottom line and drive successful outcomes for agencies.

Buy, sell — Be part of the procurement picture

Without YOU, we can’t make IT happen! Thank you for your unwavering dedication.
Do you want to continue your professional development as an IT procurement professional? Learn more at GSA’s Information Technology Acquisition University https://gsa.gov/itau or sign up for a training session and earn CLPs at https://gsa.gov/events.

Are you ready to be part of the vendors who support the American public? Find out how to work with GSA and become a vendor at the Vendor Support Center https://vsc.gsa.gov/vsc/.

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Post-Quantum Cryptography — What is it and where to start?

We all know cybersecurity is a dynamic field that is constantly evolving to protect people from the malicious use of technology. As we’ll explore in this post, cybersecurity professionals may soon be called to defend against technologies that blur the limits of classical physics.

What we know

Think back to high school physics, old episodes of the TV show “Nova,” or even the latest superhero movies, and you’ll recall the term “quantum” or “quantum mechanics.” Quantum, simply speaking, refers to what goes on at the subatomic level.

For decades, our friends at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) marshaled the resources of the federal government in applying the principles of quantum mechanics to information processing. They helped shape the field of quantum information science and birth an entirely new class of devices: quantum computers.

Right now, when a computer tries to solve a complex problem it has to check every possible solution one by one. That takes an enormous amount of time and computational power. Here’s where quantum computers shine. Because they operate at the subatomic level, they can actually explore and check multiple solutions simultaneously, drastically reducing the time needed to find the right answer. This means that tasks that would take classical computers years or even centuries to complete could be done by quantum computers in a matter of minutes or hours. It’s mind-boggling!

The problem

Here’s the catch: quantum computers could also break many of the encryption algorithms we currently rely on to protect sensitive data. We rely on encryption to keep information and data transfers safe both in our government work and everyday life – everything from logging into networks and websites to paying with credit cards. Quantum computers put all of that encryption at risk.

In 2022, the National Security Council issued a warning that certain quantum computers could “jeopardize civilian and military communications, undermine supervisory and control systems for critical infrastructure, and defeat security protocols for most Internet-based financial transactions.”

The Office of Management Budget then issued M-23-02 advising agencies how to take the threat seriously. Importantly, OMB said agencies should prepare to protect their data from quantum computers trying to break their encryption. Such stronger data protections became known as Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC).

So what technologies and services will agencies need to transition to PQC?

Where to start

The first step, per M-23-02, is for agencies to inventory their active cryptographic systems and re-inventory them annually through 2035. That includes looking at all deployed cryptographic systems used for creating and exchanging encryption keys, providing encrypted connections, or creating and validating digital signatures. GSA has multiple acquisition vehicles ready to help you find the right resources to do that.

  • The Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) Special Item Number (SIN) also offers quick access to vendors who have been technically evaluated to do such inventories.
  • If an agency has Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) Managed Services awarded, it can tap into those suppliers to conduct these assessments.

The way forward

The experts at NIST are leading the effort to develop algorithms designed to withstand quantum computer attacks. NIST has begun the process of standardizing these algorithms — named CRYSTALS-Kyber, CRYSTALS-Dilithium, SPHINCS+, and FALCON. This is the final step before making these mathematical tools available so that organizations can integrate them into their encryption infrastructure. NIST also notes that there will be more post-quantum encryption standards to follow.

Some agencies may wish to start testing the PQC algorithms before they are standardized by NIST. Hardware, web browsers, content delivery networks, cloud service providers, devices and endpoints, and enterprise devices that initiate or terminate encrypted traffic all rely on encryption and might be areas to test pre-standardized PQC algorithms.

If your agency is ready to test or explore quantum computing further, GSA has contracts for that too:

Together, we’re on it

Quantum computers are advancing quickly, increasing the need for reliable PQC solutions. GSA works in close collaboration with NIST and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to keep our contracts aligned with the latest technical and security requirements including emerging PQC standards.

Agencies will need to protect their information systems and data from growing threats. The right suppliers can complement an agencies’ IT and information security staff and resources with relevant products, services and solutions to assess cryptographic risks, test safeguards and identify needed investments.

We look forward to working with more agencies to help them prepare for this imminent post-quantum future. We’re planning to host an in-person Quantum Summit at GSA headquarters on April 16, 2024 from 9-12 EST where you can learn more about quantum resilience from Federal practitioners, so save the date! And while we probably won’t be able to help you traverse time and multiverses like a movie superhero, we are ready to help you get your systems prepared for what comes next. Contact us with your needs and we will help guide you to a solution.

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Procurement and the AI EO — Helping federal CAIOs navigate the path ahead

Recently, the White House issued Executive Order 14110 – Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. It’s the first governmentwide directive encouraging the responsible use of artificial intelligence.

Welcome CAIOs!

For many agencies, implementing EO 14110 means formalizing a new position: the Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, who will drive the creation of each agency’s AI strategy and establish new governance. CAIOs will be tasked with implementing sophisticated risk management requirements so the projects they oversee comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies, including those addressing privacy, confidentiality, copyright, human and civil rights, and civil liberties.

In industry, companies of all shapes and sizes have brought on CAIOs to manage their workflows and augment their organizations’ skill sets. I’m encouraged to see their counterparts arrive in government, including our own at GSA, Zach Whitman.

So, to the AI specialists and leaders joining federal agency C-Suites, welcome! We at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service are excited to help you get the tools you’ll need to accomplish your missions.

The work ahead

The promise of AI is incredible. The latest advancements in Large Language Models and Generative AI take a field that has been building up for more than 50 years to a new level. We can see agencies using AI to speed up workflows, improve how the public interacts with federal information, reveal new insights in our data, and improve how we design and deliver programs.

Over the next few months, CAIOs will work on strategies to drive innovation and manage the risks of AI. According to EO 14110, CAIOs will serve as the senior AI advisors to agency leadership and start weighing in on strategic decisions. You’ll work closely with Chief Information Officers and Chief Information Security Officers to set up the right safeguards for how the AI tools your teams and others within your agencies use will meet cybersecurity standards and best practices. Working together with leaders and staff throughout the organization, you may even prototype solutions that can illustrate the capabilities and risks of AI when delivering on your agency’s mission.

But wait, there’s more! You’ll also compile inventories, evaluate products, influence workforce development, prioritize projects, remove barriers, document use cases, assess performance, implement internal controls, and ensure your agency’s AI efforts comply with a host of existing laws and policies.

Time to prioritize

That is a big to-do list! To succeed, you may need outside resources like AI-centric development environments and hardware; SaaS providers who can provide access to AI modules; and early assistance from AI experts who can create custom AI solutions for specific purposes in your agency. You will also need to implement training for agency staff on how to use AI systems.

Several different GSA acquisition solutions can help CAIOs procure the AI products, services and solutions they need to achieve their missions. Here are a few:

  • GSA offers easy access to AI development tools from Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) – approved cloud service providers on the Multiple Award Schedule – IT Category.
  • Our Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts — Alliant 2, 8(a) STARS III, and VETS 2 — help agencies quickly and efficiently bring on IT service providers, some of whom can provide targeted AI services.
  • GSA’s Rapid Review report service scans the Multiple Award Schedule and provides a list of approved vendors that meet particular criteria, including common AI services from coding to training, typically in as little as one day. To get started, visit our Market Research as a Service page and order a Rapid Review.

Above all, remember that we’re here to facilitate the business of connecting you with the right technology solution. Contact us with your needs and we will guide you there.

Know the risks

EO 14110 provides the most comprehensive guidance to date on the necessity for agencies to fully consider the risks from their use of AI.

AI tools will be subject to rigorous assessment, testing, and evaluation before they may be used. After that, according to EO 14110, CAIOs must ensure that their AI systems undergo ongoing monitoring and human review, that emerging risks are identified quickly, that its operators are sufficiently trained, and that the AI functionality is documented in plain language for public awareness.

Importantly, EO 14110 charges CAIOs with ensuring their agency’s AI will advance equity, dignity, and fairness. This will require a mix of thoughtful stakeholder engagement and the sophisticated use of data and analytics to anticipate, assess, and mitigate disparate impacts. That includes being alert to factors that contribute to algorithmic discrimination or bias and proactively removing them.

We’re constantly calibrating the balance between convenience and compliance, which is particularly important when preparing to acquire technologies like AI that are new and evolving. Our contracts require vendors to comply with rules, policies, and regulations — including EO 14110 and the NIST AI Risk Management Framework — to ensure you have a safe, secure, sustainable IT infrastructure.

More to come

In 2020, GSA launched the AI Community of Practice to get practitioners from across government talking and sharing best practices, then set up an AI Center of Excellence to put their knowledge into action. Much of their work helped lay the intellectual infrastructure needed to carry out the governmentwide objectives of EO 14110. GSA itself is named in three:

  1. Develop and issue a framework for prioritizing critical and emerging technologies offerings in the FedRAMP authorization process, starting with generative AI.
  2. Facilitate access to governmentwide acquisition solutions for specified types of AI services and products, such as through the creation of a resource guide or other tools to assist the acquisition workforce.
  3. Support the National AI Talent Surge by accelerating and tracking the hiring of AI and AI-enabling talent across the Federal Government through programs including the Presidential Innovation Fellows and the U.S. Digital Corps.

As you can see, there will be much more to come as the government’s AI strategy goes into action. To quote GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, “GSA is proud to play key roles in supporting this Executive Order to help ensure the federal government leads the way in the responsible, effective use of AI.”

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Acknowledging our Veterans, their contributions to the IT Category

In celebration of Veterans Day, I want to thank our Veterans for their service and dedication. I’m grateful for the sacrifices they have made for us. Our Veterans exemplify the qualities that enable our country to overcome the greatest obstacles.

GSA partnering with Veterans

GSA is dedicated to supporting Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) in the federal IT market. ITC currently has hundreds of highly skilled SDVOSBs between our Multiple Award Schedule – IT (MAS-IT) and the Veterans Technology Services 2 (VETS 2) and 8(a) STARS III IT services Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC).

While SDVOSBs have many opportunities to participate in the IT marketplace, VETS 2 is currently the government’s only GWAC set aside exclusively for SDVOSBs.

I’m happy to say that the VETS 2 option was exercised earlier this year in February 2023. In total, 45 industry partners received their option. This will provide federal agencies with continued use of this best-in-class solution for their long-term IT service project needs, with the performance of task orders extending out through 2033. As of August 2023, VETS 2 has had more than 200 task order awards with over $1.4 billion in Obligated Sales and a Total Estimated Sales of over $3B.

The VETS 2 team has been hard at work training government agencies on the use of VETS 2, with more than 3,000 customers trained so far. If you’re interested, visit www.gsa.gov/events for a list of upcoming training opportunities.

SDVOSBs bringing real mission impact

Last year at this time, I shared several examples of the great work of our Veteran partners and I’m happy to bring fresh ones this year:

  • One of the DoD agencies recently awarded a $404 million order through VETS 2 to provide Enterprise IT Support Service for their Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC). Through these IT support services, the SDVOSB will fill the agency’s need to provide the personnel, services, and supplies necessary to enable the full lifecycle of IT support requirements across AvMC.
  • Another DoD agency also awarded a $24M task order award for extensive cybersecurity services. Our VETS 2 industry partners provided the defense agency with a service that is essential to protecting our nation’s security. Cybersecurity has become a fundamental IT service needed to keep our country safe and secure and VETS 2 can deliver these mission-critical national security services.

Veterans, looking to the future

Our commitment doesn’t stop with our existing contracts. Our next small business GWAC, Polaris, will have an SDVOSB pool as well. Polaris is being designed to assist agencies in acquiring customized IT services and IT services-based solutions while expanding opportunities for SDVOSB firms. Stay tuned to our Small Business Community of Practice Interact page for updates.

I’m grateful for the meaningful partnership we have with our SDVOSBs and for their continued hard work and dedication to helping agencies achieve their missions every day. I’m really excited for what the future holds.

Visit our website to learn more about VETS 2, MAS-IT, and Polaris or use our IT Solutions Navigator to find the vehicle that’s right for you.

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Fed tech for emergency preparedness: The GSA schedule and public safety

Preparing your agency to respond to an emergency is not limited to hurricane or wildfire season. From ensuring continuity of operations to how citizens and employees receive critical communications; emergency preparedness is a continuous effort and an integral part of being agile, disaster-ready, and capable of carrying out essential duties in various emergency situations.

What’s in your emergency preparedness toolkit?

Wireless technology is an important part of the federal government’s emergency preparedness strategy. Knowing what technology is available, how and when to integrate it into your telecommunications plan, and how to best leverage the capabilities of the vendor community is a key responsibility of every telecommunications program manager. GSA can help.

GSA’s Best-in-Class Wireless Mobility Solutions Program gives agencies an integral piece for their emergency preparedness toolkits.

Federal, state, local and tribal agencies can access wireless mobility solutions like cell phone services, Wireless Priority Service, special capabilities for first responders, enterprise mobility and satellite communications (SATCOM), and deployable cell towers and infrastructure.

Buying through GSA helps you connect with the best provider for your agency, and incorporate the capabilities to best serve your agency and citizens.

Along with Best-in-Class solutions and competitive vendor offerings, outstanding technical support is available from GSA through sdintake@gsa.gov.

Don’t fly the COOP; GSA has a Wireless Mobility Solution

Continuity of Operations planning (COOP) is another aspect of emergency preparedness and a fundamental responsibility of public and private entities. COOP is a federal initiative to ensure agencies are able to continue the performance of essential functions under a broad range of circumstances. Today’s changing threat environment increases the need for continuity capabilities and plans at all levels of government.

GSA’s Wireless Mobility Solutions team is focused on readiness for communications and information systems, and they can help agencies shape and improve their COOP strategy with cost-effective and secure offerings.

Whether you’re looking for new solutions or updating your existing emergency preparedness plans, GSA’s Wireless Mobility Solutions team is ready to assist.

Ready to learn more?

Attend GSA’s Wireless Mobility Solutions webinar “Wireless Solutions for Emergency Preparedness,” Nov. 6, 2-3 p.m. ET.

This webinar is for government staff who manage IT, agency mobility programs, purchase or manage mobility, or have a role in emergency preparedness or public safety. Learn more about trustworthy wireless solutions that support emergency preparedness and public safety, and can help your agency build mission resilience.

Topics will include:

  • Solutions to help ensure your agency is better prepared for an emergency;
  • How 5G will impact emergency preparedness and how you can plan for it; and,
  • Agency considerations for wireless technology for public safety and mission resilience.

Speakers from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will discuss some of the important issues facing public safety today, what technologies can better enable emergency preparedness, and what agencies should be doing right now to be better prepared.

Sign up today!

Also, visit our website to learn more about Wireless Mobility Solutions for your agency, or use our IT Solutions Navigator to find the vehicle that’s right for you.

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