Just one more GSA Schedule workshop before year’s end

If your business is thinking about going after a GSA Schedule contract, you have one more chance to obtain expert instruction and consulting before the end of the year.

 

The last GSA Schedule Proposal Preparation Workshop for 2014 — presented by Georgia Tech’s Contracting Education Academy — will be presented on Nov. 17 and 18, 2014 on the Georgia Tech campus in midtown Atlanta.  (Click here to register.)

So far, 52 persons have attended Georgia Tech’s GSA Workshop since it was launched at the beginning of the year.  Folks came from 10 states to attend the Workshop, and 100% of the attendees rate the Workshop as having met or exceeded their expectations.  More importantly, every single businessperson who’s attended has either prepared their proposal or submitted it to GSA for award.

What Attendees Are Saying

Here are typical statements made by attendees:

  • “I received a vast amount of information on how to apply for a GSA Schedule contract.  I valued the one-on-one question-answering provided by the instructors.”
  • “I expected a canned presentation consisting of a lot of theoretical advice, but I received practical and specific help to understand the GSA application.  I really valued the instructor’s knowledge and communication skills.”
  • “This workshop provided excellent advice and training, walking through all the documents in detail.  I valued the relaxed environment, the ability to work at my own pace, and the ability to ask lots of questions.”
  • “I now have a complete understanding of the step-by-step process to complete my company’s proposal to the GSA.  The workbook, examples, templates, and the presentation – all very well put together.”
  • “I expected a great presentation from Georgia Tech, but was afraid of information overload.  The presenter and the presentation were fantastic …. I now have a much clearer idea of how to get on a GSA Schedule.”
  • “I received one-on-one assistance with filling-out various proposal forms and walking through the submission and upload process.  Fantastic!”
  • “I received significant information and background on what GSA reviewers and contracting officers are looking for, and I valued the forms for completing my GSA Schedule proposal and building my pricing.”

The Facts about GSA Schedules

Is your company considering going after a GSA Schedule contract?  Maybe you should consider these facts:

  • The federal General Services Administration (GSA) awards about $50 billion in blanket contracts known as “Schedules” to hundreds of companies each year.
  • Eighty percent (80%) of Schedule contractors are small businesses who are successful at 36% of those sales.

The process to win a GSA Schedule contract begins with a proposal, an arduous task that often takes several months to prepare. But, now, thanks to Georgia Tech’s Workshop, a GSA proposal can be actually completed during the Workshop.   If a business is not prepared to submit all the documentation at the time of the Workshop, the GSA proposal preparation process easily can be shortened to within 30 days following the Workshop.

Workshop Benefits

By attending Georgia Tech’s GSA Schedule Proposal Preparation Workshop, you will:

  • Save time and money with an instructor-guided, do-It-yourself approach.
  • Avoid mistakes that can delay or stop a GSA Schedule proposal from being considered.
  • Receive expert guidance, valuable instruction, and answers to all of your questions.
  • Be given access to exclusive templates and sample narratives based on successful GSA Schedule offers.
  • Receive up to 4 hours of consulting after the Workshop to review your package and receive further advice.
  • Earn 15 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

Registration Details

Remember, Nov. 17 and 18 is your next chance to attend.  Don’t miss out!  To register, simply click here. If you have questions or need further information, please email info@ContractingAcademy.gatech.edu.

GSA Schedule Contract

Former GSA official Jeff Neely indicted for fraudulent claims

A former high-ranking official General Services Administration official has been indicted for making fraudulent reimbursement claims.

Jeff Neely, the former region nine administrator at GSA, organized a lavish 2010 Las Vegas conference that cost almost $823,000 and prompted an investigation that forced the resignation of top officials at the agency and the firing of several others. He told conference organizers he wanted the conference to be “over the top.”

Neely was indicted by a federal grand jury for making fraudulent reimbursement claims for personal travel and expenses on trips to Las Vegas, California, Guam and Saipan. Neely told employees those expenses were for official business.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20140926/MGMT/309260014/Former-GSA-official-indicted-fraudulent-claims

Reps ask GSA to affirm commitment to AbilityOne

The letter comes in the wake of a move by GSA earlier this year to decentralize some of their distribution methods, contracting with vendors to handle parts of the supply chain. The National Industries for the Blind, which the GSA formerly contracted through directly, initiated the letter from congressional representatives to remind the agency of its legal commitments under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act and AbilityOne program.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20140919/ACQ01/309190015/Reps-ask-GSA-affirm-commitment-AbilityOne

Contracting officers: Take a look, it’s in a book

A bill to reform how the government buys and manages technology came up this week at a hearing about the security of HealthCare.gov — but contracting officers willing to plunge into some heavy reading may discover they already have a lot of the capability they need.

While Republicans grilled Obamacare officials about a recent hack — and other vulnerabilities — of their signature website, one Democrat used the occasion to plug what may be his favorite piece of pending legislation: The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA.

“Isn’t information security related to how well we’re managing our IT assets?” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., asked officials. He gave a brief description of what FITARA would do for IT managers; the bill actually has plenty of support and seems only to await action.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/emerging-tech-blog/2014/09/you-already-have-power-procure-it-look-within/94607/

The GSA Digital Service’s TechFAR Handbook can be found at: https://github.com/WhiteHouse/playbook/blob/gh-pages/_includes/techfar-online.md

The case for experimenting on federal buildings

The government wants to try out new and potentially “transformational” green technologies on its buildings through a program that could give private sector participants a leg up in the future.

The idea is to evaluate emerging green technologies and use the findings to “inform decision-making within GSA, other federal agencies and the real estate industry in deploying the technologies studied,” the General Services Administration said in a call for information.

Qualifying technologies must be “sufficiently mature that all required laboratory or other proof-of-concept work has been completed,” but not “already broadly in use and readily available in the marketplace,” the solicitation document said.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2014/09/case-experimenting-federal-buildings/94238/

Changes announced to GSA Schedules in professional services categories

The General Services Administration has announced a series of changes to its professional services Schedule offerings in order to reduce the number of contracts vendors manage and consolidate contract vehicles.

GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service removed the special item number of non-professional service from the current consolidated schedule, expect for information technology and human resources, the agency said last week.

Tiffany Hixson, professional services category executive for FAS, described the agency’s approach to contract consolidation last week ahead of this announcement (click here to read previous coverage).

GSA said it made the move to “eliminate the need to submit separate offers for professional services; firms would have the ability to submit a modification request instead – this equates to a substantial decrease in time required to add new services.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.executivegov.com/2014/09/gsa-details-professional-services-schedule-changes/

GSA’s OASIS contract cleared of bid protests

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued an official Notice to Proceed (NTP), effective Sept. 3, 2014, for One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS), a general contract procured through full and open competition among all interested businesses. As a result, both OASIS and OASIS Small Business (SB), GSA’s 100-percent small business set-aside contract, are ready for business, which means that agency customers can start using this solution set to address their complex professional services needs.

FAS Commissioner Tom Sharpe Said:  “OASIS and OASIS SB have already become the solutions of choice for some of our customers. These solutions have great potential to provide agencies with more flexible full-service contract vehicle options while driving down costs for the American taxpayer. The OASIS program will strengthen the federal government by minimizing contract duplication and improving efficiency, while also delivering solid benefits to the selected OASIS and OASIS SB industry partners and maximizing opportunities for small businesses.”

OASIS and OASIS SB have become the solution of choice for the United States Air Force. In December, the Air Force announced that it would use OASIS and OASIS SB for purchasing systems engineering services, research and development services, and a host of other complex professional services instead of creating three of its own multiple-award, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts. These services had an estimated value of $1.4 billion. By using OASIS and OASIS SB, the Air Force will save years of effort, taxpayer dollars, and resources over the life of the contracts.

Key Facts

The issuance of an NTP means that federal agencies can begin using GSA’s OASIS contract solutions to purchase both commercial and non-commercial complex professional services. The NTP for OASIS Small Business (SB) was issued earlier this summer.   Recently, both the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) and Government Accountability Office denied several protests filed on OASIS allowing GSA to issue the notice.

OASIS and OASIS SB were developed in response to the government’s substantial need for a hybrid, government-wide acquisition vehicle, and are designed to reduce duplication of contracting efforts across the government and provide federal agencies with comprehensive, integrated professional services contract options.

GSA expects these solutions to provide customers with best value for complex professional service requirements.

To learn more about OASIS, visit www.gsa.gov/oasis where there are details on how to request a Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) and attend mandatory training.

Taming the wild west of cloud acquisition

For acquisition professionals, buying cloud computing is a bit like stepping from a 21st-century city into the Wild West. Federal buyers must move from the known, predictable, more or less standard procurement world into one that is unknown, unfamiliar and as yet untamed.

It’s no wonder that in ASI Government’s polls of acquisition professionals at 110 federal organizations, 64 percent of respondents believe they lack the necessary technical expertise in cloud computing and thus are challenged in structuring contracts for it.

“There’s no exact fit for commercial cloud in the [Federal Acquisition Regulation],” Mark Day, deputy assistant commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Office of Integrated Technology Services, told attendees at a March conference on cloud acquisition.

Keep reading this article at: http://fcw.com/articles/2014/08/26/acquisition-matters-cloud.aspx

Proposed line item rule to trace contract funding

The U.S. Department of DefenseNASA and the General Services Administration on August 5, 2014  proposed changing federal acquisition regulations for line items in government contracts to standardize the system and make it easier to trace.

The DOD, NASA and GSA proposed to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation in fiscal year 2016 to establish a uniform line item identification structure providing pricing, delivery and funding information on items purchased, improving the traceability, accuracy and usability of federal procurement data, according to the proposal published in the Federal Register.

Funding traceability is currently limited to contract-level information, making it harder to implement governmentwide initiatives such as strategic sourcing, according to the rule. Tracking in the new line item identification structure, including keeping tabs on unit pricing in fixed-price contracts, will help trace funding from the time it’s obligated through the time it’s spent, the rule states.

“With this proposed rule, the federal procurement community continues to improve standardization of a unique instrument identifier, moving the procurement community in the direction of enhancing the uniformity and consistency of data,” according to the rule. “This, in turn, will promote the achievement of rigorous accountability of procurement dollars and processes.”

The new rule would apply to solicitations, contracts including governmentwide acquisition contracts and multiagency contracts, purchase orders, agreements involving prepriced supplies or services, and task and delivery orders, according to the rule.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.law360.com/articles/564299/dod-nasa-propose-line-item-rule-to-trace-contract-funding

Agencies often fail to report contractors’ performance

Most of the top federal government agencies have not complied with regulations requiring them to report contractors’ performance to a central database used by government purchasers, according to a recent report by Congress’s watchdog.

While the agencies showed improvement, only two of the 10 departments surveyed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) met their goal, investigators found, which stymies the government’s ability to know if it is dealing with reputable firms.

“Government agencies rely on contractors to perform a broad array of activities to meet their missions,” the GAO wrote. “Therefore, complete and timely information on contractors’ past performance is critical to ensure the government does business only with companies that deliver quality goods and services on time and within budget.”

The shared database acts like Yelp or Angie’s List — Web sites where consumers rate all sorts of businesses — for government purchasers, who spend billions of dollars annually.

Keep  reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/agencies-often-fail-to-report-contractors-performance/2014/08/08/87cc1f76-1f02-11e4-82f9-2cd6fa8da5c4_story.html