GSA FedSIM tests innovative contracting approach

Chris Hamm, GSA's director of FedSIM, plans to take a different approach to using FAR Part 16.

DALLAS — The General Services Administration’s FedSIM program is going to experiment with the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Chris Hamm, the director of FedSIM, said he believes his organization is the right candidate to take a risk.

“We are going to do a pilot using FAR Part 16,” Hamm said during his sessions at the National Contract Management Association’s World Congress Tuesday. “We are inventing a new process within Part 16. We are trying to take the paperwork out of the process.”

More specifically, Hamm said FedSIM will use FAR Part 16.505, (b) Orders under multiple-award contracts. He said this section is a fairly straightforward section that calls for agencies to do three basic things: provide fair opportunities, consider price as an evaluation factor and offer unsuccessful bidders with a debriefing.

Hamm said FedSIM plans to test out this concept with one of its own procurements in the next few months with the hope that this new approach would halve the time of a typical acquisition.

He said FedSIM issued two requests for information to industry already and hopes that this innovation is accepted and understood by vendors.

FedSIM already is well used by the government. Hamm said his organization spent $1.17 billion on acquisitions last year with an average project size of $100 million. It also handles contracts worth as much as $1 billion over the project lifetime.

Oh and they are successful, boasting a 55-2 record with bid protests.

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