Federal agencies spent $10.4 billion via Other Transaction Authority from 2008 to April 2018 according to a new NextGov article published last week. While some spending went toward traditional OTA projects such as prototyping and specialized technologies, significant money was also spent on professional consulting services and a variety of IT projects. Another surprise is that the TSA has been a leading OTA agency, along with traditional user DOD. The Read more
As part of its Section 846 implementation project, GSA is considering an option that would enable certain “GSA Approved” commercial e-commerce providers to handle transactions up to the $250,000 Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT). This may be important to companies outside the spectrum of those initially concerned about the impact of the Section 846 e-commerce portal project on their Schedule or other government business. To qualify for the higher dollar level E-commerce portal companies would have to setup controls that would ensure compliance with all applicable rules for SAT procurements. It is too early to say whether any company would sign up for this deal, but it is important to keep in mind that such a move would possibly mean that all portal buys between the Micro-Purchase threshold and the SAT would be set aside for small businesses. These transactions are not Schedule sales and, as such, the open market set-aside rule could apply. In addition, product sales could also be impacted even if they’re part of a larger solution. Customers excited about using their new e-commerce authority, for example, could decide to buy the product components of their need via a portal and then expect the solution provider to integrate those products into a final solution. It is clear that the Section 846 project should draw the interest of all GSA Schedule contractors to at least some extent. The agency is having its second industry day on June 21st and registration is open on the Interact site.
It used to be that GSA training classes for industry were few and far-between. They usually consisted of an unfortunate junior contract specialist being thrust into a class with someone else’s slide deck and not much else. Similarly, information on what was happening with GSA programs was something less than transparent. GSA, though, has stepped up actions on both fronts. Contractors can no longer say that the agency isn’t making a solid effort to train industry on a variety of Schedules-related topics, most recently the implementation of the OLM contract clause. In addition, the agency is seeking input on their Professional Services Schedule and other planned Schedule changes. Allen Federal had at least one e-mail a day from GSA in the past week announcing a training class, event, or seeking input from industry. We’re not that special and we’re not over-subscribed to Interact news lists, either. The agency is clearly making strides to better communicate with its industry partners. While not all the agency has to say may find agreement from industry, there can be no credible allegation that it is not making a credible effort to improve communication and transparency. The end result of these actions is also something all can support: A Schedules program that better meets the needs of agency customers.
Allen Federal doesn’t just harp about compliance issues, we’ve also done forecasting for many government contractors on what the future of their federal market looks like. Right now could be a good time to do that with the end of the fiscal year drawing near. Whether it’s a business forecast, compliance help, or an all-purpose “sanity check” on your government business, Allen Federal can tailor a solution or class to your specific needs. Find out what we can do for you. Just send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The trade press was alive late last week with word that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a protest brought by Oracle involving a multi-million dollar cloud award made by DOD using Other Transaction Authority (OTA). While the size of the initial contract award – over $900 million – was certain to draw scrutiny, the question now becomes whether this case will be the high water mark for OTA’s or other innovative acquisition methods. The Read more