GSA moves forward with new professional services vehicle

The General Services Administration is moving ahead with a new contract vehicle for buying professional services.

Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Commissioner Steve Kempf approved the internal business case for the Integrations program earlier this month, according to GSA’s Integrations Blogger’s Blog on the agency’s “Interact” website.

While no dollar value has been attached to the contract’s ceiling, the government spent $79.5 billion on professional services during fiscal 2010, according to GSA data.

Integrations will be a multiple-agency indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract. The Integrations contract is expected to include commercial and non-commercial services, that may include program management and consulting services. GSA is also considering having logistics services, professional engineering services and financial services on the menu. GSA is designing the contract vehicle to address needs for professional services that span several types of services that are often difficult to specify or quantify before making an award. However, the contract will elevate risk as a result, wrote Lisa McGuire, program manager for Integrations.

Mary Davie, assistant FAS commissioner for the Integrated Technology Service, said GSA’s Schedules program offers technology and other professional services on an a la carte basis. But agencies want more.

“Agencies have asked us to provide a total professional services solution, which often requires acquisition of multiple services across separate functional areas,” she wrote Feb. 21 on her Great Government Through Technology blog.

Davie said agencies want flexibility. About half of all government spending on complex integrated professional services in fiscal 2010 took place under cost-type contracts.

“That is why we are planning to include all task-order types in Integrations, including cost reimbursement,” she wrote.

Officials intend to make the acquisition process more flexible for all sorts of contract-type task orders and other direct costs at the task-order level, McGuire wrote.

At this point, the Integrations program team is working on a project schedule.

So far though, officials have said they are developing a customer working group, and, for industry, they plan to post draft documents for feedback as the working group meets. GSA wants to make the acquisition planning process to include input from industry and customers. GSA also has to register the contract vehicle with OMB’s MAX Federal website.

Davie is planning a “Tweet Chat” Feb. 29 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. She wants to interact with customer agencies and industry on a range of topics about Integrations. She will be answering tweets to @GSA_ITS with the hashtag #ITSChat.

About the Author: Matthew Weigelt is a senior writer covering acquisition and procurement for Federal Computer Week. This article appeared Feb. 21, 2012 at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2012/02/21/gsa-integrations-program.aspx?s=wtdaily_220212.