8(a) STARS II GWAC Continues Win-Win for Government Customers and Small Businesses

Posted by Mary Davie
on August 15, 2017

(Editorial note: This blog is written by Kay Ely, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category)

Moving government IT capabilities forward to meet the operational challenges of the 21st century is not a one person job – it requires a balance of government and industry, especially small businesses, all collaborating and working together. Our small business Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) vendors have years of experience in finding that balance and the numbers to show for it. With more than 3,200 task order awards valued at $5.3 billion since 2011, the 8(a) STARS II GWAC delivers on its promises to federal agencies and provides abundant opportunity for small businesses.

During a recent open season, we added approximately 500 industry partners to GSA’s 8(a) STARS II GWAC. This increase in qualified vendors enhances opportunities to small businesses while moving the federal government forward with more competitive and innovative sources of IT services.

The open season awards, announced on June 13, 2017, help GSA continue our support of the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) business development program while assisting agencies in meeting their small business goals, operational requirements, and mission needs.

Helping promote small business growth

Conducting an open season solicitation on the existing 8(a) STARS II contract allowed hundreds of new 8(a) IT firms to join the GWAC, giving them access to federal procurement opportunities that may have previously been closed to them. It increases competition and allows GSA to offer an even stronger pool of diverse and capable vendors to our customer agencies.

Providing federal agencies flexible IT solutions

Like all of our GWACs, the 8(a) STARS II GWAC is a multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract designed to provide federal agencies cutting-edge technology solutions.

It includes four functional areas, derived from the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS):

  • Custom Computer Programming Services (NAICS 541511)
  • Computer Systems Design Services (NAICS 541512)
  • Computer Facilities Management Services (NAICS 541513)
  • Other Computer Related Services (NAICS 541519)

I welcome our newest industry partners and wish them much success working with us. I encourage acquisition professionals to learn more about 8(a)STARS II and use it for their next IT acquisition.

Learn how the 8(a) STARS II GWAC can help you with your IT requirements.

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GWAC Program Expanding Opportunities for Small Businesses

Posted by Mary Davie
on January 28, 2016

(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/.

Small Business GWACs: Year in Review

I’m proud to say that FY15 was a banner year for our Small Business Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts Center. The Center, which supports agency efforts to meet socioeconomic goals through IT services acquisitions, received 755 task orders in FY15. These acquisitions, and exercised options, represent a total government spend of $2.6B in obligations. Projects on these acquisitions represent a wide range of IT services, from technology consulting to cloud computing.

As the Center moves forward into FY16 with a number of new contract opportunities, its focus remains steadfast on helping small businesses succeed in the federal marketplace. Let’s take a brief look at the current contracts and what’s on the horizon.

Current Contracts

The Small Business GWAC Center currently operates three contracts with specialized socioeconomic designations. Each contract is designed to provide a streamlined method for agencies to utilize highly qualified small businesses to meet their IT needs, while achieving U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and agency socioeconomic contracting goals. Additional information on SBA goals may be found on the SBA website.

The 8(a) STARS II GWAC is a set aside contract for 8(a) technology firms (as designated by SBA). This contract is available for use through 2024, and includes nearly 600 skilled 8(a) IT service providers. In FY2015, more than $1.6 billion was obligated against more than 650 new task orders on the 8(a) STARS II GWAC. This represents the most successful year for 8(a) STARS II. More information on the 8(a) STARS II GWAC, including its directed order authority, can be found at 8(a) STARS II site.

The Alliant Small Business GWAC focuses on providing government contract opportunities to a wide range of highly qualified small businesses. This small business contract provides flexible access to customized IT solutions from a diverse pool of nearly 50 industry partners. With availability through 2024, Alliant Small Business allows for long-term planning of large-scale program requirements, while strengthening opportunities for small businesses. During FY15, Alliant Small Business received 90 task orders and over $1.2 billion in obligations. This is an increase of 8% in obligations from FY14. Details on how the Alliant SB contract can help your agency meet its goals are available at the Alliant SB website.

The VETS GWAC is a contract designed to strengthen federal contract opportunities for our nation’s service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. Agencies receive SDVOSB credit when issuing tasks on the contract, which is available through 2020. The VETS GWAC continues to be a successful program, with nearly $139 million obligated on the contract in FY2015. The GSA VETS website has a wealth of information on how this contract assists in developing opportunities for SDVOSB firms.

Our small business industry partners, across all three SB GWACs have been very successful. On 8(a) STARS II, 378 out of 562 small disadvantage businesses (67.3%) have at least one award.  On Alliant SB, 63 out of 68 primes (92.6%) have one or more awards. On VETS, 100% of the current SDVOSB contract holders have an award.

Next Generation Contracts

In addition to a focus on current contracts, the SB GWAC Center is currently working on three new acquisitions:

  • 8(a) STARS II (set-aside for 8(a) firms) is currently conducting evaluations on an open season held in mid-FY15. This open season will provide opportunity to additional 8(a) firms to join the contract, increasing the pool of quality vetted 8(a) firms to meet federal agency requirements.
  • VETS 2 (set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses) issued a draft RFP in 2015. This follow on contract will build upon the success of the original VETS contract, and include the capability to issue cost-type task orders. A final solicitation for VETS 2 is anticipated in FY16. For those interested in more information on the VETS 2 procurement, visit our VETS 2 Interact community.
  • Alliant 2 Small Business (set aside for small businesses) held industry one-on-one sessions in FY16 for to develop the draft RFP. This next generation contract solicitation is anticipated to be issued in the spring of 2016. GSA invites interested government and industry partners to join our Alliant 2/Alliant 2 SB Interact community.

We are thrilled with agency interest in and use of the SB GWAC programs and are predicting a very successful FY16 as well. For more information on the SB GWAC program and how it brings small businesses and federal agencies together, please visit the SB GWAC website.

And, as always, please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join the conversation.

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Collaborating for Better Government

Posted by Mary Davie
on September 16, 2015

Wikipedia defines “collaboration” as “working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals.” According to the Free Dictionary, collaborating is a partnership, working as a team, or being in concert.   

For GSA, collaboration is more than just a buzzword or standing at a podium talking to stakeholders. It is a dialog a give and take that includes understanding and respecting everyone’s needs, goals, and values.

Successful collaboration happens when everyone is committed to the core principles of trust, understanding, and compromise– and the end result is a better outcome for all parties.

Creating the IT Portfolio of Solutions

At GSA, collaboration is a driving force as we re-shape many of our government-wide programs and contracts. For those of you working with GSA, you’ve seen or been part of any number of working groups, industry days, interagency meetings, and requirements teams. You’ve contributed thousands of ideas and comments on our RFIs, draft RFPs and in our Interact communities.  You’ve rolled up your sleeves and helped shape our offerings from adding a new Special Item Number (SIN) on IT Schedule 70, to developing OASIS, Alliant 2, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS), Network Services 2020 (NS2020), cloud strategies, identity management solutions, mobility and wireless solutions, satellite solutions, software, hardware and so much more.  

The Government’s shift to Category Management (CM), has also guided our planning and resulting solutions. We have experts that know telecom, software, IT hardware, IT services and IT security. The category hallways within the Acquisition Gateway provide access to many government-wide contracts, tools, pricing information, buying guides, templates, best practices and access to other buyers across government so you don’t have to figure things out on your own and are able to leverage work others have already done.

Our collective work has led to a very clear strategy for GSA’s next generation of IT and telecommunications solutions.  As a result, GSA is implementing solutions that better meet agencies’ needs, provide flexibility in acquiring IT/telecom, provide savings, reduce duplication and are reflective of technology market offerings. The graphic below shows exactly what we’ve mapped out and what we’ve used to guide our solutions development. 

This graphic shows exactly what we’ve mapped out and what we’ve used to guide our solutions development.

Reducing Duplication While Providing Flexibility

Our category management approach ensures that our contract solutions provide different ways to buy technology based on agency collaboration and feedback. We’ve been asked why you see similar technology or services available on more than one of our contracts. Some might say this also results in “duplication” or confusion, but our customers are telling us that they  need flexibility to buy technology products and services in different ways based on what I refer to it as, “the nature of the buy.”  

ITS prides itself on providing both general and niche solutions for IT and telecommunications products and services to federal, state and local agencies.  These solutions draw on GSA’s acquisition and IT expertise and they help our customers by allowing them to direct more resources into focusing on their core missions. About 30% of federal IT spend flows through ITS contracts and programs. We hold ourselves accountable for increasing federal procurement efficiency, reducing costs for both government and industry, and helping government achieve better results.  Reducing overlapping and redundant contracts is important to ITS. We’ve taken a true portfolio approach to planning our solutions and ensuring we provide maximum flexibility for government buyers as they make complex procurement strategy decisions.   

For example, agencies today are procuring wireless services and devices in a number of ways.  Our FSSI Wireless BPAs offer certain terms and conditions, plans, features (such as aggregated pooling of minutes and data) and pricing for services with devices provided as part of the overall solution. On IT Schedule 70, agencies have the option of buying just devices or service plans and devices and constructing their own terms and conditions.  If an agency were to use Networx for the wireless services/devices, they may be doing so to consolidate mobile services on a broader enterprise platform implementation.  

Cloud is another great example. We have cloud-based services available on IT Schedule 70, on our IaaS and EaaS BPAs, through GWACs (especially where integration or transition services are also needed) and through our network services contracts (off premise hosting or data center solutions are examples).  Our network services contracts are telecommunications focused but also recognize broader, related products and services may need to be part of the overall solution. EIS will provide best in class virtual private network services, Ethernet, voice, and managed network services at significant discounts.  These services may also be related to an agency’s enterprise implementation of data centers or call centers — either on-site or cloud-based.  While these are just a few examples, you can see it really doesn’t make sense to try to define, “bucket,” and limit technology solutions to individual contracts.

Guiding Agencies to the best choice

GSA’s job is to understand the market, listen to agency and industry partners, and use what we’ve learned to create solutions. While creating solutions will involve some overlap, we want to act as an honest broker and help agencies get to the best solution for them. Sometimes that includes guiding agencies to other non-GSA enterprise contracts that might be a better fit for their requirements.

We are making it our responsibility to help agencies through the process, especially when overlap could cause potential confusion about which vehicle is optimal for certain requirements. We will accomplish this through our continued proactive management approach with both customers and vendors. Through collaboration, scope reviews, and relationships, we want to better understand the core requirements and make the best acquisition recommendation.

As I pointed out earlier, we don’t take a “one size fits all” approach. If an agency has a cloud requirement that is within the scope of multiple contracts, we will work with that customer to understand their requirements and help assess their acquisition choices. We will make the best recommendation to ensure the agency requirements are being met in the most efficient and effective manner with the highest quality vendors possible.  On contracts such as our GWACs, Networx, and EIS, GSA performs pre-award and post-award scope reviews ensuring requirements are not only within the scope of the contract but that the contract is being used most effectively.  In addition, on our GWACs and on EIS, training is mandatory for contracting officers who use these contracts prior to GSA issuing them a delegation of procurement authority.

Final Thoughts

Even with slight overlap, these vehicles will deliver flexibility to buyers across government through pre-existing, pre-vetted contracts, which ultimately saves government and industry from investing time and money on new and redundant open-market contracts.

A few final, important thoughts I want to share with you about collaboration:

  • Collaboration allows us to be responsive continually to existing and emerging needs of government agencies and industry
  • Continual collaboration is always a goal, often a challenge, and clearly an opportunity
  • We always look for ways to make IT acquisitions seamlessly support agency missions, rather than hinder them. We also work to align to industry partners’ business goals, when they do not detract from government goals
  • Customer convenience, flexibility, and choice will always matter

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join GSA’s ITS’s overall acquisition conversations.

Join us for a live webcast demonstration of the Acquisition Gateway with Q&A on Wednesday, October 07, 2015 at 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, Noon MT, 11 a.m. PT. There’s no charge for this training, and you can earn one Continuous Learning Point (CLP). This webcast is open to all and only federal government agency personnel. Register today!

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Next Generation GWAC Programs

Posted by Mary Davie
on June 3, 2015

Our governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) Program has been busy working on a number of updates and all of the hard work is starting to pay off. Each of our current GWACs has important milestones taking place:

  1. Alliant and Alliant Small Business announced draft Requests for Proposal (RFPs) for the sequel GWACs: Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business
  2. 8(a) STARS II notified stakeholders of open season and option initiatives
  3. VETS issued the initial Request for Information (RFI) for VETS 2

Federal agencies use GSA GWACs for a variety of IT services requirements including: data center consolidation, software development, systems integration, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and help desk support. Our GWACs have been prominent leaders in government and industry collaboration for many years, offering complimentary scope reviews, sample statements of work, acquisition templates and improved delegation of procurement authority (DPA) training.

Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business (A2/A2SB)

In looking to the next generation, our GWAC Program published the Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business (A2/A2SB) draft RFPs to FedBizOpps (FBO) on March 31st. These GWACs will be the sequels to the successful Alliant and Alliant Small Business (A/ASB) GWACs. The draft RFPs will be open for comments by industry and government on FBO for 90 days, so I highly encourage you to contribute.

A2/A2SB’s pre-solicitation phase has raised the bar in transparency and collaborative processes, involving both federal agencies and industry partners. The A2/A2SB team performed thorough market research and laid significant groundwork in the pre-planning phase with efforts including:

  • An A2/A2SB Interact group with more than 7,000 members
  • A publically reviewed business case on OMB MAX
  • Numerous presentations to interested agencies
  • A customer working group with 30 members from 11 agencies
  • An industry working group with more than 500 participants
  • Two RFIs through FBO
  • Two official industry days with more than 500 attendees
  • Face-to-face, one-on-one meetings between Industry and A2/A2SB staff with 350 registrants

Notable enhancements proposed in A2/A2SB include: scope improvements, new IT service labor categories, new cybersecurity standards, new environmental standards, and the inclusion of requirement contracting types.

8(a)STARS II Open Season and Option

As a result of the 8(a) STARS II GWAC’s success within the first four years of operation, our Small Business GWAC Division has begun planning for the future of the program. Activities began this Spring to enhance the contract and secure the ability to provide socioeconomic credit to federal agency users.

On May 19th, 2015, GSA’s Small Business GWAC Division issued an RFP for an open season for the 8(a) STARS II GWAC. The open season will allow additional firms to submit proposals to be evaluated for a contract award. GSA intends to add new awardees to the contract in late FY16 or early FY17.

In May, the SBGWAC Division also provided early notice to current 8(a) STARS II contract holders of the requirements for the August 2016 option period

This early notice allows stakeholders to make determinations about future activities:

  • Industry partners who will not receive an option can plan ahead for partnering opportunities on existing task orders
  • Government partners can determine the best course of action for tasks issued to firms who will not receive their option and
  • The Small Business GWAC Division can provide education and training to all stakeholders on next steps

Veterans Technology Services 2

Our Small Business GWAC Division posted on March 19th an RFI survey to FBO requesting feedback from the SDVOSB IT community for the VETS GWAC follow-on contract. The RFI remained open through April 4th and we will use feedback from the survey to develop VETS 2. Join the VETS 2 GWAC Community on GSA Interact to participate further in the conversation.

While our GWAC Division is planning ahead to ensure a bright future for this important vehicle, the ordering period for the current VETS GWAC isn’t set to expire until February 1, 2017 so there is plenty of runway on the existing contract.

To The Future

We couldn’t be more excited about the future of our GWAC Program. The relationships that we’ve built with our government and industry partners have been critical to the program’s success. The number of agency missions our GWACs have facilitated demonstrates GSA’s ongoing commitment to our government partners, the small business community and the American people. Our next generation of GWAC programs are a testament to that commitment.

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Small Business GWAC Program

Posted by Mary Davie
on January 27, 2015

(This blog post is part of a multi-week series reviewing data and trends from GSA’s IT acquisition vehicles for FY14. Read previous posts at http://gsablogs.gsa.gov/technology/)

Small businesses are the backbone of job growth and constitute a major force in the U.S. economy. They generate a vital portion of our gross domestic product (GDP) and contribute to growth and vitality of economic and socioeconomic development. In particular, small businesses create jobs and spark innovation, which complement the economic activity of large organizations by providing them with products and services that contribute to their bottom line.

Here at GSA, we pride ourselves on helping the government utilize small business. We have multiple acquisition vehicles that connect government to small business. This provides agencies the flexibility to choose the best acquisition vehicle to meet their need. Some of these vehicles reside in our Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) program.

Small Business (SB) GWACs provide powerful and flexible contracts that support agencies’ complex projects and requirements. These contracts experienced a tremendous amount of growth in FY 2014. Total business volume growth increased by approximately $400M on our three active SB GWACs, comprising 8(a) STARS II, Alliant Small Business, and VETS, from FY13 to FY14; an increase of approximately 19%.

Scope Reviews: Lowering risk and increasing customer support

Part of that increase is due to our complimentary scope reviews for statements of work (SOW). The team works with agencies to help determine whether requirements are within scope of a GWAC within two to five business days. This service reduces the risk of protest.  The Small Business GWAC Pre-award Scope Review Team recently analyzed the pre-award scope review process to see how our contracts are being used.

The number of pre-award scope reviews conducted on our active small business GWAC increased by 12% (253 to 287) from FY13 to FY14.  Across all three of the small business GWACs, IT Support Services is the predominant type of work being considered.

During FY14, GSA conducted 285 reviews and performed those reviews in 1.3 days on average. Retrospectively, the scope review process provides a clear understanding of the requirements, establishes a baseline for proposal evaluation, reduces evaluation and negotiation time, and most importantly minimizes the need for future changes. Understanding the trends of these scopes gives us a better understanding of how to promote small business contracting and satisfy our customers’ needs.

Buying Trends

Some of the most popular uses were for IT Support Services like Help Desk, software maintenance, and system operations.

Small Business GWACs represent 45% of GSA’s total GWAC obligations for FY14.

  • The Alliant Small Business Program experienced a 17% increase in obligations for FY14 compared to FY13.
  • 60 of 80 Alliant small business primes have at least one task order award
  • The 8(a) STARS II GWAC is the follow-on to the very successful 8(a) STARS GWAC.  The contract was awarded August 31, 2011 and resulted in 645 awards in FY14 with over $641 million in obligations.
  • The 8(a) STARS II Program has seen a 41% increase in obligations for FY14 compared to FY13.
  • The Veterans Technology Services (VETS) GWAC has obligations from 16 different federal agency customers.  All contract holders have received task orders totaling over $1 billion in obligations. In FY14, VETS added 14 task orders with $17.1 million in obligations.

Looking Ahead

The future of Small Business GWACs is bright. We’ve seen agencies increase the use of our GWACs to reach their small business goals and meet their IT demands, and we’ve seen businesses grow beyond their small-business designation due to their participation on our program.

This next year is going to be an exciting time for our Small Business GWACs. We’re going to continue to exceed customer expectations by bringing additional value like our complimentary scope reviews and prices paid data. Our flexible vehicles and focus on customer service should help us continue to expand the usage of these vehicles as we look into the future toward our next generation Small Business GWACs.

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

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How ITS helps small business make government stronger

Posted by Mary Davie
on June 19, 2013

Small business helps America innovate, create jobs, and grow. These small businesses also play a critical role in moving government forward, and ITS is dedicated to providing ample access and opportunity to connect government to small business. With Small Business Week upon us, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at how ITS is helping small businesses and government work together.

Moving government forward

I’ve worked closely with small businesses for over two decades and I’ve learned that the size of a business has no correlation with its potential impact. I’ve mentioned before that small businesses are the engine for innovation. They have major roles across government in meeting today’s technology demands and requirements. Just in the past couple of years, I have seen small businesses provide:

  • Consolidation of inefficient and costly legacy systems
  • Implementation and integration of cloud technology into agency IT infrastructures
  • 24 hour help desk and support for critical DoD and civilian IT systems
  • Comprehensive life-cycle support to complex IT projects
  • Subscription services to mobile satellite services
  • Access to the most innovative and efficient IT hardware and software
  • Continuous monitoring for cybersecurity

This is just a small sample of how small business has supported government through our ITS solutions, but there are too many to list. The skills, capabilities, and expertise among small businesses are world class, and the variety of ways government utilizes small business shows just how effective these businesses are in supporting agencies’ missions.

How ITS is helping

At ITS, we are dedicated to helping small businesses compete and grow in the federal marketplace. We have a variety of solutions for agencies to access small businesses that allow them  to compete and agencies to meet their requirements in areas like:

It is not enough to just provide access to these small businesses, but we need to help them succeed. We provide training to small business on how to build their federal business and to our large businesses on how to create optimal partnering and subcontracting opportunities.

We are diligently working to provide small businesses all the tools to compete, but the proof of our success in providing opportunities is in the numbers:

  • 85% of vendors on Schedule 70 are Small Business
  • Projected $6.22B small business revenue through Schedule 70 for FY13
  • 100% of small businesses under our Commercial Satellite Communications program have won awards with a total value of over $8M
  • More than $7.6B has been obligated to our SB GWAC program  since its inception including our current Alliant SB, 8(a) STARS II, and VETS GWACs
  • 79% of our largest SB GWAC, Alliant SB, have won task orders
  • $534M has been awarded to small businesses through subcontracting on our Alliant Enterprise GWAC, which is 42% of all subcontracted dollars.

We’re celebrating Small Business Week now, but we continue to be dedicated to the success of small businesses year-round. If you’re interested in learning how you can use a small business to meet your requirements, contact our customer service representatives or leave a message below!

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Big Opportunities for Small Businesses

Posted by Mary Davie
on August 12, 2011

At GSA, we promote small businesses because they are engines of innovation. They’ve got insights and expertise and I love working at an agency that helps them grow and compete in the federal marketplace.

So I’m thrilled that on July 29, 2011, 599 small businesses from across the country received awards on our 8(a) STARS II Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). Now in its third generation, 8(a) STARS II is a streamlined program making it easier for government agencies to purchase IT services and meet small business contracting goals. At the same time, the new contract creates real opportunities for these companies to grow in communities across 38 states.

I have seen first-hand what small businesses can do to help government operate smarter and more efficiently. They helped transform GSA’s IT systems, enabling one third of our employees to telework.  They are providing the Federal Acquisition Service’s Chief Information Officer with critical program and application management support. They are even helping us find more environmentally sustainable solutions for our operating environment, something that will reap benefits for years to come.

But don’t just take my word for it. The Department of Defense is now encouraging its acquisition community to use GSA’s Alliant Small Business, 8(a) STARS, and VETS GWACs to access small businesses’ creativity and innovation. The Navy is using Alliant Small Business as part of its IT Services Strategic Sourcing Initiative, something that will ultimately save them money and resources so they can focus on other mission critical activities.

At GSA our commitment to small businesses — such as the 8(a) STARS II program — is a big deal, and we remain committed to working with them and our agency customers to build a stronger America. Let me know how we can continue to do this by leaving a comment or reaching me on Twitter.

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General Sustainability Administration?

Posted by Mary Davie
on April 22, 2011

A recent blog post questioned GSA’s recent focus on sustainability as well as our ability to deliver innovative information technology (IT) solutions.

I think that GSA’s pursuit of sustainability is the best way to improve how we deliver innovative IT solutions.

The Business of Sustainability

The real issue here seems to be how we define sustainability—is it a separate environmental bonus or is it woven into the fabric of how we do business?

GSA is obviously motivated by environmental concerns—as demonstrated by Administrator Johnson’s Zero Environmental Footprint (ZEF) “moonshot” goal—but the real impact of our sustainability effort is more nuanced.

Sustainability is a platform through which GSA and all government agencies can tackle their most critical business challenges:

  1. Organizational Change: Sustainability acts as a North Star for government and industry, inspiring change and creating a ripple effect.
  2. Operational Effectiveness: Sustainability allows us to reframe the national conversation on budget cuts as an opportunity to create less waste and use our resources more intelligently.
  3. Innovation: Sustainability is what motivates us to develop and agencies to adopt cutting-edge IT solutions, such as cloud computing.

Driving an organization towards a sustainable future is not just about creating a greener, cleaner environment for future generations—it’s also about being smart about our limited resources, and inspiring lasting change and innovation for future efficiencies.

Do More with Less

Sustainability is not a problem; it’s the answer. Here’s why:

Sustainability is a major differentiator for GSA offerings because it’s something our customers want and need. For example, the federal government is the single largest consumer of energy in the United States. That means that when GSA provides an IT solution that requires less energy to achieve the same results, we’re not only going “green” for the environment, we’re also saving “green” for our customers by cutting costs and waste.

Including sustainability into our comprehensive IT solutions improves the acquisition process. For example, we’re incorporating sustainable acquisition into the IT Schedule 70 program as well as our large IT governmentwide contracts (GWACs), such as Alliant and 8(a) STARS, which have already broken records and outpaced many previous contracts.

Our GWACs save our customers time and money precisely because they are designed to meet every agency need:

  • achieving socioeconomic credit
  • improving cybersecurity
  • fulfilling mission goals
  • attaining sustainability

As I see it, delivering integrated services is a major driver to improving GSA’s ability to meet our agency customers’ needs. In fact, GSA can only be a leading IT solution provider by factoring sustainability into everything we do.

From the start, GSA’s sustainability initiative has been about delivering a more efficient, cost-effective, and innovative government for the American people.

Let’s continue this conversation. Leave me a comment. Tweet me. Post a link to your own blog. Open communication will only make us better.

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Small Business Set-Asides – a Good Thing and the Right Thing to Do

Posted by Ed O’Hare
on April 19, 2010

Small businesses drive the U.S. economy – we hear this almost every day on the news. According to a recent Washington Post article, “Firms with fewer than 500 employees employ just over half of the country’s workers and create nearly two-thirds of the country’s new jobs.”  It’s pretty clear: small businesses—veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, disadvantaged, women-owned and minority-owned businesses—are key drivers of innovation and job creation. They will be critical to pulling our nation out of the current economic crisis.

So what can we, government agencies, do to support the continuing recovery of the American economy?

One tool we have on hand is the small business set-aside. More than ever before, government agencies need to take a hard look at their procurement procedures and their progress towards meeting their small business goals. As part of our standard procurement process for all contracts, we consistently ask ourselves “could a small business fulfill these requirements?” I am proud to say that GSA met its small business goals last year.

If you’re an agency looking for a way to energize your small business procurement, GSA offers you a number of governmentwide IT acquisition contracts tailored to your varying needs, including VETS, 8(a) STARS, and Alliant Small Business. They offer time- and cost-savings, flexibility, worldwide geographic coverage, highly qualified industry partners and, of course, the procurement preference credit you need. We even have a Small Business GWAC Center that will help you walk through the process of choosing the right solution.

In addition, the majority of vendors in our IT Schedule 70 program are small businesses, which provides ample opportunity for agencies to fulfill their IT needs and meet their small business goals.

I know there also are a lot of small businesses out there who have questions about how to provide their innovative technology solutions through our GWACs and schedules. I invite you to come talk to us.

As we head further into our fiscal year, we have a chance to give our economy a boost. Choosing to contract with small businesses is a good thing and it’s the right thing to do.

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