Our national body politic has gotten way out of shape. Whether it’s a diet from the frenzied, social-media driven 24/7 news cycle, or more responsible exercise of our civic responsibilities, the country needs to take steps to become healthier than it is today. July 4th is a great time to take a giant step back from perpetual partisan sniping and remember that there are many things that all Americans have in common. We want to live in good, safe communities. We want our families to flourish. We want the freedom to go about our daily lives without being assaulted, verbally or otherwise. Most of us are also kind to children, the weak, and animals. Benjamin Franklin was once asked what form of government the United States was going to have. He reportedly responded, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” We have a great responsibility to act appropriately in our public and private lives to ensure that we keep what Franklin and his contemporaries gave us. Let’s all remember that as we move forward and do our part to lessen the coarseness of our public discourse.
GSA officials announced, or added details to, a series of steps they intend to take to streamline acquisition, improve transparency and bring new companies into the government marketplace this week. Taken together, these initiatives indicate the agency’s intent to stay at the forefront of innovative acquisition. First, GSA is asking Congress for the ability to pilot test non-priced service schedules. The idea is that contract-level labor hours are only somewhat Read more
Those expecting GSA’s commercial e-commerce portal initiative to radically change the way the government buys commercial products can relax – for now. The agency intends to implement the program, sometimes known by its Congressional name “Section 846”, as a pilot, with only a few agencies, or even parts of agencies, participating in the first phase. In addition, GSA is considering the viability of having only certain products covered during this phase. These Read more
Long-time reader K. Kardashian writes, “I’ve been working with a potential customer to help create an acquisition my company wants to bid on. I’m not getting paid, but I’ve written half the scope of work. Could this be a problem when the RFQ is issued?” Every contractor wants to get an edge, K. Relationships matter in government acquisition and, as such, companies work to provide extra information to prospective buyers and recommend acquisition strategies. Read more
Two Requests for Information (RFI’s) released last Friday by GSA seek answers to a wide range of questions from both product suppliers and e-commerce portal providers as part of the agency’s Section 846 implementation work. The RFI’s are required reading by any company interested in this project and serious consideration should be given to submitting comments prior to the July 20th closing date. The portal provider RFI asks more questions than a parent of a teenager coming home after curfew. Spend analysis, spot discount capabilities, third party supplier agreements, and other implementation questions are all part of a 21 page document. The product supplier RFI, weighing in at 16 pages, asks questions about whether a supplier is willing to register in SAM and how companies sell through e-commerce portal providers currently. Significantly, GSA asks only how the implementation of e-commerce portals in government will help a supplier’s federal business, not so much on how it could be harmed. The RFI’s indicate that GSA is indeed serious about gathering as much information as possible from industry. Along with the June 21st public meeting, the agency is providing ample opportunity for comment, either pro or con. It is incumbent upon companies to respond and ensure their views are heard. See the links here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/15/2018-12891/request-for-information-from-platform-providers-of-commercial-e-commerce-portals