It should not be news by now that GSA is setting up a “prices paid” comparison tool so that buyers and others can have near-real-time pricing information when purchasing from GSA Schedule contracts. Where is GSA going to get this data? From you, the contractor. GSA is moving toward requiring all Schedule contract holders to provide information on all Schedule transactions to populate its database. A mere 20 years after getting away from the need for transaction-based information, GSA is coming full circle and is poised to demand it, at least for Schedule transactions, again. Read more
New Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung released her three-pronged approach to acquisition reform last week. While there are few surprises, the framework does provide a look into OMB thinking on acquisition and can serve as a general guide to contractors trying to anticipate “What will the government do next?” Read more
Congress is poised to pass funding for at least most of the federal government next week. Are you ready? Your company needs to be prepared for the new trends and budgets that will shape the next 9 months. Did you know IT procurement methods are changing? How about your favorite agency’s budget? Are you prepared for the zealotry that comes with anything more than the most benign contract compliance problems? If you’re not sure, you need help from Allen Federal. Allen Federal knows FY’15 budget trends and can help keep you from being the target of the next DOJ investigation. Contact Allen Federal today to schedule your training at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yesterday was the 73rd anniversary of the “Day that will live in infamy” that drew the United States into World War II. Take time today to give thanks for the freedoms we have, including the freedom to complain. Also worth contemplating is what comes to our shores when we don’t pay attention trouble beyond them.
Noting that the government is moving into an era of increased transparency and real-time pricing information, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini stated last week that “everything should be on the table” when discussing the future of the Multiple Award Schedules program. Tangherlini also questioned the role of the Schedules when agencies can have information on other government procurement programs at the touch of a button.
Tangherlini, who’s primary expertise is in real estate, an area in which he spends most of his time, may not be fully aware of all that the Federal Acquisition Service does, including programs like GSA Advantage or E-Buy. While Advantage needs a makeover, it was one of the first digital marketplaces in government. Should Tangherlini choose to direct some of his 18F innovation firepower at Advantage, it could again become the government’s leading digital marketplace.
While it is true that government buyers have multiple choices for purchasing IT solutions, there aren’t abundant, if any, choices outside of that segment where federal buyers can easily make purchases for common items. BPA’s, frequently cited by some as alternatives to Schedules, are, in fact, Schedules-based and not stand-alone contracts. Even in the IT sector, it would take approximately 5 Alliant programs to equal the sales made through the IT Schedule.
None of this even begins to touch the robust small business success of the Schedules program, where fully 30% or more of all dollars go directly to small business contract holders. More money flows to small business dealers and subs. One would think that GSA has already caused itself enough small business aggravation in Congress with its nascent FSSI attempts.
Companies and federal buyers that rely on the Schedules program need to make sure that message gets to Mr. Tangherlini. Even though he’s a numbers guy, the $30-38 billion that goes through the Schedules each year doesn’t seem to register. The fact that customers and contractors use the program more often than any other Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract should.