Managed Mobility Gets Even Sweeter

College basketball has the Sweet 16 in March. Our kids have chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and gooey marshmallow Peeps in April. And springtime kicking harsh Old Man Winter to the curb to bring in baseball’s Boys of Summer is pretty sweet.

At GSA, we’ve got more sweet news. We recently launched the Mobile Lifecycle & Expense Management (ML&EM) component of GSA’s Managed Mobility Program.

ML&EM solutions can reduce agency mobile costs, saving up to 25% during initial rollout and 8-10% savings thereafter. The larger an agency’s mobile footprint, the higher expected efficiencies and cost savings, but value grows for any agency as its mobile strategy evolves and mobile usage trends up.

Re-cap of Mobile and Wireless

We originally launched the Managed Mobility Program in May 2013 with Mobile Device and Application Management (MDM/MAM). Our program started by identifying MDM/MAM industry solutions on existing government-wide contracts.

We also launched last May the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative Wireless blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) to save government costs on wireless. One agency is saving 30% on wireless service and mobile phones as compared to their prior agreements. All four major wireless carriers provide national coverage. One cool feature is account-level voice and data pooling to reduce overages, further lowering costs.

The New Sweet Spot

To sweeten the mobile management solution mix for agencies, GSA and a cross-government working group most recently documented common government requirements for ML&EM. We identified industry partner solutions that meet the bulk of the requirements and mapped solutions to existing government contracts.

On March 31, we posted links to these ML&EM sources of supply on our website.

ML&EM solutions give agencies resources and expertise to manage wireless expenses and service selection throughout the lifecycle. This includes managing wireless expenses, invoice consolidation, optimization of service plans, managing inventory, invoice/cost distribution, and resolving disputes with carriers. Identified sources of supply can initially examine an agency’s wireless service plan mix, usage trends, and more to see where you might save, and will do this on an ongoing basis to increase an agency’s wireless ongoing cost savings. Contract Optimization standards comply with OMB Circular A-123 and Presidential Executive Order 13589.

In today’s government, we know we need to continually seek ways to save taxpayer dollars on IT. Using Wireless BPAs is one way. Using an ML&EM solution can be another.

Need help on using GSA’s Managed Mobility Program or FSSI Wireless BPAs? Find out how we can assist you through our new Need Help Page. And be sure to follow us and continue the conversation on Twitter @GSA_ITS.

Applying Lessons Learned To Telecom Transition

GSA’s strategic network services program is critical to the services and missions of almost all civilian and
defense agencies. Our telecommunications and IT contracts are designed to reduce risk and increase efficiency for government agencies.

The government completed the FTS2001-to-Networx transition about a year ago. The transition took longer than expected, but here’s the great news: In FY13, the Networx contract saved US taxpayers over $678M and agencies purchased over $1.3B using it.

Networx offers significantly better pricing than FTS2001, typically 10% to 40% depending on the service. By leveraging this buying power of government, agencies can procure the services they need at lower prices, and they can avoid the costs and risks of creating and managing their own contracts and support systems.

Networx enables government agencies to save taxpayer dollars, meet many mandates such as Trusted Internet Connections and IPv6, modernize networks, and use advanced technologies as they become available.

GSA did a lot to support agencies in the Networx transition. We performed transition planning and provided extensive transition assistance, including:

  • Transition Credit Reimbursement
  • Direct technical support
  • Inventory and billing systems
  • Operating a Transition Coordination Center
  • Acquisition support for some smaller agencies

Networx benefits and successes are clear, but we can do better! The Government’s transition to Networx took longer than anticipated, resulting in lost savings opportunities. Transitioning an agency’s enterprise network is complex, there are considerable costs associated with transition, and many stakeholders that must work together.

Apply Experience

We recognize the need to apply lessons from the past to enhance future transition success. We’ve analyzed lessons learned over the past few years to plan better for a future transition and follow-on contract and program.

And we are also working on implementing recommendations from the recent GAO report on Networx Transition.

Among the many lessons we and our partner agencies learned from the Networx transition are that improvements are needed in:

  • Project planning
  • Executive visibility
  • Coordination between IT and acquisition personnel
  • Managing complex acquisition processes to avoid duplicative contracts
  • Technical and contracting telecom expertise across government and need for more GSA support

We recently posted the Network Services Programs Lessons Learned Overview and Network Services Programs Lessons Learned Report to and are working to create a Lessons Learned government database for agencies to search and access.

Network Services 2020, or NS2020, is our strategy for our next-generation telecom and IT infrastructure portfolio. We’re applying lessons learned and proactively engaging our stakeholders to define the complete set of service offerings under NS2020.

Successful transition involves many steps that require executive-level attention and dedicated resources:

  • Transition Planning – Establishing a Transition Working Group, recommending a standard process, developing Statement of Work (SOW) and Fair Opportunity templates, developing a Transition Management Plan, creating a methodology to compute transition credit reimbursements, defining transition tracking metrics, and customer education
  • Direct Transition Preparation – Implementing agency education program and developing requirements by agencies, including drafting Task Order statements of work
  • Active Transition – Making Fair Opportunity decisions, ordering services, and transitioning the services
  • Inventory Management – Agencies, with assistance from GSA as needed, must continuously manage and validate their service inventories; it’s not just a one-time event to be conducted during a set transition period

Our Next Steps

  • Develop our successor to Networx and our regional contracts
  • Incorporate lessons learned to fully address improvements for transition, contracts, the program, acquisition strategy, ordering, billing and inventory management – we want to reduce duplicative contract vehicles, and continue savings to federal agencies
  • Establish an inter-agency Transition Working group
  • Establish clear and realistic end-to-end transition schedules and milestones
  • Recommend establishment of a senior-level “Transition Transparency Group” to provide needed visibility, transparency and focus
  • Offer full life-cycle support options to enable agencies to succeed in any transition step
  • Continue to engage IT and acquisition stakeholders (including industry) early and continuously throughout the process
  • Work with OPM to identify skills needed and skill gaps or resource shortages and strategies for

As we move into a new phase of government telecom, we take with us applied knowledge and those lessons from the past to aid the transition. We continue to be committed to offer a marketplace that provides agencies with buying options, access to data and information, access to expertise, an improved buying experience, and continue to deliver significant savings.

Find out how we can assist you through our new Need Help Page. And be sure to follow us and continue the conversation on Twitter@GSA_ITS.

FY14: Savings, Savings, Savings

In our most recent blog post, we shared how much money federal agencies and taxpayers save by using GSA’s Networx program. And while it’s a significant amount of money, there’s more to the savings story.

Across government we are challenged with constrained budgets and acquisition resources while simultaneously focused on improving procurement and ultimately delivering successful projects and programs. FAS and ITS are drastically rethinking how we can serve our customers by creating a marketplace that will provide agencies with buying options, access to data and information, access to expertise, an improved buying experience, and at the same time deliver significant savings.

Government’s IT Marketplace – Delivering Savings

ITS is government’s go-to source for IT products, services, and solutions. We are committed to helping agencies understand acquisition options and find solutions. This year, we set out with an ambitious goal of bringing $1.35B in savings to our customers and I am happy to report that we were able to meet our goal. Here are some of the savings highlights:

  • The Networx program saved its subscribing agencies $678 million in FY13.
  • One agency is expected to achieve 20% cost savings by using Networx.
  • We helped an agency that needed to connect securely to the public Internet with Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Service (MTIPS) to achieve an estimated 20% cost savings.
  • Most agencies using GSA’s USAccess Program (HSPD-12 Identity, Credentials and Access Management) shared service save between 4 and 9 times the amount it costs to do it themselves.
  • Using the SmartBUY BPAs, agencies saved $775M in software costs compared to commercial prices.
  • The FedRAMP program takes a “do once, use many” approach to Authority to Operate (ATO), which can help save agencies up to a year in time and $100,000 versus conducting their own ATO process.
  • As of September 30, 2013, the new site delivered 17 federal agencies an average savings of 7.27% ($161,549 in savings).

It’s no secret that FAS and ITS focus on increasing the use of GSA acquisition solutions and programs by federal, state, local and tribal governments. By using existing contract vehicles that are flexible and customizable, every agency gets what they need but doesn’t have to recreate the basic procurement process. We aim to reduce the need for duplicate contracts, improve consistency in terms and conditions, improve the chance of successful project outcomes, and of course save agencies money. We leverage the full buying power of the government which gives us the ability to negotiate and drive down prices for everyone.

Initiatives to Reduce Costs in FY14

We’re happy with FY13 results, but this is a marathon and not a sprint, and there is more that we can do. We’re hard at work making FY14 more successful than FY13 with the goal to increase our ability to serve as the government’s marketplace:

  • We want to help agencies make smarter decisions through data: We are piloting prices-paid initiatives for some of our contracts now, including Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition (FCSA) and Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), making prices-paid data available thereby enabling better buying decisions.
  • We have been conducting a full-scale review and “modernization” of the GSA Federal Supply Schedules contracts to ensure they are best suited to meet today’s needs.
  • We are focusing our offerings around “categories of spend” to streamline offerings and channels to the market.
  • In FY13, we set the groundwork to help government through our Managed Mobility Program that includes a managed mobility information center and our FSSI Wireless BPAs to deliver agency savings in FY14. We are reducing price variability on wireless service plans, and less variation will help agencies make better cost-saving business decisions. Agencies can save 15-20% on wireless service annually and eliminate mobile device costs entirely since zero-cost devices are bundled with service plans.
  • And, we just recently launched the Request for Quote on the FSSI Large Desktop Publisher BPAs, part of the SmartBUY program, which will drive even greater savings for government software.

The underlying purpose of each initiative is to allow us to better serve agency customers and deliver more cost savings. And there are more to come. Not only will our FY14 initiatives serve government needs, but prices-paid data, modernization of contracts, and aligning acquisitions to seller buying patterns help industry partners compete, reduce costs, and make it easier to do business with the government.

Contact us via one of our customer service channels if you have questions or need assistance. And be sure to follow us and continue the conversation on Twitter @GSA_ITS.


Our Push to Best Customer Service

I often hear about different tactics to improve customer service, some are good ideas and some not as good. This isn’t to say every idea isn’t worth exploring but rather, successful customer service comes from one core thought:

Customer service starts with understanding the customer.

So we asked, and we listened carefully. We understand that with such a diverse group across government, we have to maintain multiple options to ensure we are able to meet our customers’ needs. We believe in empowering our customers by providing self-service options on our webpages, offering a variety of incoming channels and extended hours so customers can explain and clarify issues, and having a plan to better define and rapidly solve complex challenges.

Understanding GSA’s IT Customers

Our agency customers are each one of you who come to GSA for IT acquisitions and rely on us for customer service. Initially, you come to GSA for a wide array of technology solutions without the added cost and time of going Open Market. But, you will be more likely to continue to use GSA IT contracts to achieve cost savings if you know GSA is here to assist when needed.

You want to know what available solution(s) are best for your organizations, if the solutions can be customized, how to most easily order, and how to get specific questions answered.

We want you to have a positive experience you’ll remember and share with others. If we do our job right, we help save money for you and for U.S. taxpayers. If we don’t have the right solution and know of one elsewhere, we’ll tell you.

I’m proud to say that we’ve often been praised for providing outstanding service and many returning customers are a testament to that.  However, we also know that there are times we’ve missed the mark.

So, we are taking some actions to help enhance our customer service.

Opening up New Channels

To start, we want to make sure you know the latest self-service options available at your fingertips anytime, anywhere. We’ve added to our Need Help webpage more links to self-service tools so you can easily find answers and guidance on your own.

For example, from Need Help you can link to GSA’s latest IT Statement of Work templates and Ordering Guides, and check out our new IT Solutions Navigator tool, which will help you evaluate GSA’s IT and telecommunications solutions. Use it to conduct market research and identify IT solutions that best meet your requirements. We’re working hard to develop even more self-service tools for our customers.

We’ve also added new options to make it easier to reach us anytime—

  • Phone: 1-855-ITaid4U (1-855-482-4348) 24 hours a day, Monday-Friday
  • Live Chat: When a representative is available to interact with you via an online chat box, a blue Live Chat button will appear on the Need Help webpage. Use the Live Chat button to type in questions and connect immediately in an online chat box with a customer representative.
  • E-mail:

The 1-855-ITaid4U (1-855-482-4348) centralized toll-free number is geared specifically for answering your questions about GSA IT solutions and contracts (including IT Schedule 70). Centralizing our help desk lines should make it easier to provide you customer service and provide less confusion just like MAS Schedules also did recently for non-IT related GSA schedule questions.

We’ve also set up a new Customer Advocate team assigned to resolve your more complex issues, including those that span multiple contract vehicles and technology programs. If at any point during your inquiry or issue resolution you require a specialized program expert to meet your needs, ask us to escalate your issue to a customer advocate.

Our customer service mission is simple: We want to understand what you need—and deliver it.

Tell us what you need via our new multiple channels. And be sure to follow us and continue the conversation on Twitter@GSA_ITS.


GSA’s Reverse Auction – A new tool that saves you time and money

Note: This is a guest blog written by Erv Koehler, Regional FAS Commissioner, Southeast Sunbelt Region. His National IT Commodity Program Team in Atlanta has spearheaded the GSA Reverse Auction tool.

GSA is on a roll and literally rolling out new tools to help the government buy smarter by making the acquisition process better, faster, and cheaper.  On July 1, we were proud to launch GSA’s Reverse Auction Tool.  The tool is ideal for commercial items and simple services that can be purchased on a low price technically acceptable basis.

How does Reverse Auction help government?

As we enter the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2013, GSA aims to help agencies acquire goods and services more effectively while helping them save money. During these austere times we want to assist agencies to buy smarter so they can stay focused on their missions. Let’s look at some of the ways GSA’s Reverse Auction Tool can help:

Better  – There is no additional fee for GSA’s Reverse Auction.  12 GSA Schedules, 6 VA Schedules, and multiple Schedules-based Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) are already loaded.  The system is familiar and easy to use because it is based on GSA’s eBuy and eLibrary.  Even users’ Reverse Auction and eBuy logins are the same.  The tool also assists agencies and contracting officers in meeting FAR Compliance. The small business set-aside capability of Schedules and the fair opportunity process of eBuy are already built in.

Faster – A typical reverse auction lasts five days, and multiple bids are received.  Although Reverse Auction does not eliminate multiple quote requirements, it does offer a method of getting the quotes faster and provides the bid history to show price reasonableness based on competition.

Cheaper – Typical reverse auctions show an average savings of about ten percent when comparing the final price to the Independent Government Estimate (IGE).  And best of all, there is no additional fee for the use of GSA Reverse Auction.

Since our launch, we’ve already seen great interest in the tool. Eight agencies have already initiated more than 40 reverse auctions using GSA’s new reverse auction platform.

For more information, please visit us at and contact us at or (855) 372-1094. We offer training sessions regularly.

How to Save More Using Networx

If you had to take a course about Networx called “How to Get the Most from Telecommunications,” would you pass with flying colors, fail, or just get by?

If you know what Networx is, what options are available, and your organization has placed orders using Networx, congratulations, you’ve passed Networx 101. If you want to learn how to get the most from Networx for your organization, you’d be advised to take a 200-level course, or just read this blog post.

Today, not every agency is taking advantage of some of the newer Networx technologies that offer savings and enhanced features to support agency missions. Think of this blog as the Networx 201 cliffs notes, outlining acquisition choices you can make under Networx that may deliver more savings, allow you to take advantage of improved technologies Networx partners offer, and add value without raising your costs.

Networx 101: The Basics

GSA’s Networx offers agencies access to major telecommunications companies and industry partners. In total, the federal government buys over $1.3 billion annually in networking and telecommunication services through Networx.

Acquiring services under Networx Universal or Networx Enterprise gives you the ability to focus your agency resources on building seamless, secure operating environments while ensuring access to the best technology industry has to offer to connect your enterprise.

We’ve saved more than $8.4 billion taxpayer dollars (compared to commercial prices) and lowered telecommunications costs for agencies by aggregating and leveraging our collective buying power since 1999 with Networx and FTS2001.  We’ve saved about $350 million through the first half of FY13.  Last year, the Networx program saved taxpayers over $700M.

Agencies that use Networx save 30%-60% over the cost of most services at commercial rates. This money can go back into agency mission areas.

So, how do we do even better?

Networx 201: Unleashing Better Value

Tip #1—Take advantage of our Unit Pricer and Agency Pricer tools. You can call us at 855-ITaid4U (855-482-4348) or email to request we help run some pricing numbers for your enterprise or project. This allows you to view and compare prices across Networx vendors. We can also show you exactly how much you spend, where it goes, and how much you’ve saved.

Agencies can continuously access new services priced both separately and as a customized solution through contract line item number (CLIN) and fair opportunity ordering. You can see pricing by carrier, which drives down pricing up to 80% over the life of the contracts for some technologies.

Tip #2—Most to-date savings with Networx come from a move away from legacy telecom/network services into newer Networx technologies that offer more for less. So what are some of these technologies that offer better value?

I’ll touch on a few here, but there are others. Please contact your Technology Service Manager (TSM) to learn more about how you can optimize your Networx acquisition choices.

Network-Based IP VPN services account for nearly half of Networx usage today. This is expected as voice, data, and video traffic “converged,” or consolidated, into enterprise-wide IP based wide area networks. If you haven’t explored this service yet, you may want to.

Cloud-based services like Web Conferencing, which provides more benefits than an audio service, requires no capital investment, and is more fully featured since it offers the ability to share information via your desktop.

Common Security Services can increase savings and utility, such as Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Service (MTIPS) since it provides a universal platform to comply with government mandates.

Yes, we’ve seen cost savings and value over the years with Networx. But we don’t have to stop here.

Networx includes all the services that FTS2001 did, but it also has some gems not everyone has found yet. Check out your options thoroughly. Ask questions. Call your TSM. When technologies and services available to us do more, do it better, and cost less, our choices become a lot easier.

Please share comments or additional ideas in the comments section below, or follow us on Twitter@GSA_ITS to join the conversation.

Managed Mobility Myth-Busters

In my last blog, we talked about FSSI Wireless. Today, let’s take a closer look at GSA’s other new complementary program: Managed Mobility.

How does Managed Mobility complement your wireless plans and devices? What are the benefits of Managed Mobility?

Think baseball and sunshine. All your resources are gathered (bats, balls, uniforms, players, coaches, stadium, field, fans, food) and you’re ready to go. But take away the sun and add dark clouds and rain, things don’t go quite as planned. It can be miserable and hard to manage. FSSI Wireless is where you go for your main mobile resources (plans and devices), and Managed Mobility sheds a light on how to best use them.

Our Managed Mobility Program, which launched in May, will help agencies improve enterprise-wide mobile management and keep pace with mobility management best practices and solutions.

With other federal agencies, we launched the Government-Wide Mobile Device Management Program as part of the Administration’s Digital Government Strategy (DGS). We’re hoping to transform government services and use of mobile technology in line with 21st century expectations.

So, to help you understand the Managed Mobility program offerings and benefits, let’s clarify what is true and what is not:

Mobile Management and FSSI Wireless are the same.


These two complementary mobile technology solutions pack a one-two punch. You can buy mobile plans with devices from FSSI Wireless, which will transform how government buys wireless service plans and devices and lower prices.

The Managed Mobility Program will also transform how government manages those devices after buying them. We want to help you better embed mobile management seamlessly into your entire IT portfolio in a way that meets your agency’s needs.

The Managed Mobility Program is a contract vehicle or Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA).


Managed Mobility is not a BPA or other governmentwide vehicle. This program instead identifies and evaluates potential solutions currently on existing contract vehicles that can be procured today. The program creates and maintains a list of potential sources of supply, which meet the greatest number of government requirements.

We don’t need a new contract vehicle for mobile management today.


Based on fluidity, ongoing market evolution, and federal policy space, our cross-government team found the best approach today is to highlight solutions assessed to meet shared enterprise-wide needs. As the market and policy mature, we will revisit what we are doing today.

You can buy a Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), and Mobile Life-Cycle (MLC) solution on the list.


You can use the Managed Mobility program’s central repository, information, and staff to identify the solutions that best meets today’s requirements.

You can buy non-mobile IT equipment on the Managed Mobility Solutions list.


Non-mobile IT equipment and services and IT-focused management solutions are not part of this program. You can check out all GSA’s IT solutions.

Buying mobile management solutions from GSA can save acquisition time.


It takes less time to procure an MDM, MAM, or MLC solution than you might think. Much of the work to define requirements, identify potential sources of supply, and secure some baseline pricing to budget your acquisition has already been completed. The time frame for procuring an MDM, depending on the requirements, is much shorter than the typical procurement cycle.

Agencies must procure solutions on the potential solutions list to comply with the Digital Government Strategy (DGS). 


Other solution providers may have solutions that better fit your agency’s need.

If your requirements are not reflected in this program, contact our Managed Mobility Program.


We will continue to assess the requirements and MDM market to meet the greatest governmental need.

I hope I’ve debunked some myths and helped you better understand GSA’s Managed Mobility Program. For more information, read more about our Managed Mobility program.

Share comments or additional ideas in the comments section below, or follow us on Twitter@GSA_ITS to join the conversation.

Managed Mobility: Game On

Think of GSA’s Managed Mobility Program as having two VIP players working together to give government a slam dunk when it comes to increased access to cost-effective wireless devices and services and enterprise-wide mobility, data, and applications management.

The two key players are Managed Mobility and FSSI Wireless. You’ve heard a lot about FSSI Wireless’s steady progress and what immense value it will bring to government.

GSA’s Managed Mobility Program promises the same benefits.

First though, for those of you who have been glued to your television for “March Madness,” I want to thank you for tearing yourself away for a few minutes to read this blog!  But in case I lose you before you finish reading, let me make this one quick point:  While you are zombie-eyed watching the college basketball championships this month and knee deep in stats, brackets, and upsets, GSA and our cross-government Managed Mobility working group partners are busy evaluating responses due March 8th to our Request for Technical Capabilities, so that over the next month we can deliver a managed mobility win for government.

Blending Mobile into Enterprise-Wide IT
The challenge: Managed mobility is an emerging need of the federal government as our workforces and users increasingly demand mobile access and applications. Allowing agencies to better and more cohesively manage all aspects of mobile devices is a priority. This means everything from managing acquisition, configuration, and provisioning to security, finding lost devices, and remotely enabling and disabling features, to final disposal and disposition. Getting every agency’s mobile assets and applications seamlessly blended into the enterprise-wide IT effort is an ultimate goal.

Our Road to Win
Last May as college basketball teams across the nation started to plan and train for the upcoming season, the White House released its Digital Government Strategy. DGS #5.5 directed GSA to “set up a government-wide Mobile Device Management Platform.” Centralizing requirements gathering and solution evaluation reduces the burden on agencies while increasing their options’ quality and reducing cost government-wide.

GSA took the ball, did its homework, and teamed up with partners in DHS, DOJ, DISA, USDA, the White House Communications Agency, and other security, policy, and IT experts in industry and government.

Our next challenge was to make a game plan. The Managed Mobility Team recognized the managed mobility space is fast-moving and always changing, a bit like college basketball, so we needed a winning strategy. We initially developed a set of sought and desired Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) capabilities.

Secondly, we knew there were managed mobility solutions already available on existing, easily accessible contract vehicles. We wanted to leverage these resources rather than initially set out to build a new franchise from the ground up. The benefits of this game plan are faster, easier access to existing solutions without significant initial dollar investment as the emerging market continues to change.

Today, GSA and our partners are evaluating responses to our RFTC to identify solutions already available and opportunities to create new IDIQs and Schedule 70 BPAs if it makes sense. We will create a central repository so stakeholders can quickly find and scan solutions with links to contract vehicles and directions to acquire each one.  In addition, we will track and share best practices, and implement strategies and mechanisms for the Managed Mobility Program to grow, evolve, improve, and respond to changes in mobile technology, policy, and requirements.

Beating the Time Clock
GSA takes our Digital Strategy Directive #5.5 seriously. Working with our government and industry partners, we will identify the GSA managed mobility toolset and make our central repository available to agencies ahead of the DGS deadline of May 23, 2013. When we launch our repository, government agencies will be able to access managed mobility solutions seamlessly in an easy-to-use, secure, integrated solution. At that point, we will prepare for the next game in the tournament, responding to the evolving MDM commercial market and the needs of our federal customers.

So, you’ve made it to the end, thanks for sticking around to the final buzzer. Now, you have a clear understanding of GSA’s Managed Mobility Program strategy and updates, what progress we’ve made, and what you can look forward to.

Please share comments or additional ideas in the comments section below or follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS to join the conversation.

The Twelve Facts of HSPD-12

Physical and Cybersecurity are more critical than ever.  Identity management is an important part of securing our government facilities and data.

Identity management is addressed through HSPD-12, and we are often told how complex, expensive, and difficult to implement Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credentialing solutions.

Periodically stories emerge, often from agencies in the throes of implementing HSPD-12 or OMB Memorandum 11-11, that FAS’s PIV card offering is either too expensive or not flexible enough to meet the agency’s needs.

GSA’s USAccess Managed Service offering is over 5 years old. It’s time to take stock of some facts.

In the spirit of the season, I present “The Twelve Facts of HSPD-12”:

    1. GSA serves all of government: GSA has 99 customer agencies participating.
    2. No agency is too big or too small: These agencies range from 3 to 115,000 cardholders.
    3. No agency is too complex: We have experience in deployment and onboarding processes across complex agency structures, geographically diverse locations, and widely different operating environments.
    4. We have the experience: USAccess has completed credential issuance for over 800,000 Personal Identification Verification Cards.
    5. We offer breadth of service: USAccess offers a full range of services needed to support the PIV lifecycle, including certificate re-key, credential reissuance, and renewal.
    6. We value transparency: The cost of cards can easily be calculated at
    7. We calculate total cost of ownership: The website not only contains cost figured for basic enrollment and maintenance, but also enrollment station infrastructure costs that can be matched to an agency’s need.
    8. We are affordable: Total annualized program costs for agency
      customers (including all PIV issuance infrastructure, system development, card issuance, and lifecycle maintenance from the GSA USAccess team) are under $40 per card holder.
    9. We offer a Shared Service: Individual agencies can save further and get “Shared First” credit with OMB by sharing the enrollment infrastructure with other agencies.
    10. We continue to compare prices: GSA continues to do research regarding deployment and startup costs for agencies and has never found an individual agency with a lower cost to deploy and operate.
    11. We save the government money: Most agencies pay between 4 and 9 times more doing this themselves!
    12. We encourage others to share information: The next time you hear “I can do it cheaper myself!” please engage us in dialogue that may help us improve our services and the services we offer to the federal government.

While I don’t think this would do very well as a holiday song, I hope it clarifies some common misconceptions of our HSPD-12 program. If you have any questions about our HSPD-12 or any other identity, credentialing, or access management offering, please visit for more information. From all of us here in ITS, I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.