A little less than five years ago, the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) launched the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) professional services contract vehicles. As the program rapidly approaches its five-year anniversary, a significant milestone whereby GSA can extend the OASIS contracts by exercising the vehicle’s options, this week’s blog takes stock of what has been a highly successful, best value contract management program.
OASIS Unrestricted (U) and OASIS Small Business (SB) are unique Multiple Award Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (MAIDIQ) vehicles for the acquisition of complex professional services. As the first of their kind, these contract vehicles feature the following core disciplines:
Program management services;
Management consulting services;
Scientific services; and
OASIS U and OASIS SB awardees are selected based on a technical evaluation of their capabilities, experience and past performance, using a weighted, point scoring methodology. Cost/price is evaluated only for fair and reasonableness. This approach identifies top performing professional services firms across the federal market. Under the OASIS U and OASIS SB, task orders are competed in accordance with FAR 16.505 and can be performed on a cost, fixed price, time and material, or labor hour basis.
Since OASIS’ inception in 2014, the market has endorsed OASIS as a core, best value professional services contract management program. Agencies have obligated more than $9.7 billion using OASIS, which has an estimated total value of almost $21 billion. Last year, spending on OASIS grew by more than 61 percent, and the market is not slowing down. Indeed, OASIS has already grown by 20 percent this year and there is still more than a month left in the fiscal year. Significantly, more than 48 percent of obligations ($4.7 billion) have gone to small businesses. This number is impressive and, when combined with the 36 percent of obligations on PSS and 27 percent of obligations on the Alliant GWAC that went to small businesses in fiscal year 2017, demonstrates the depth of quality small businesses on OASIS and across the FAS professional services portfolio.
During the same period, according to data gathered by the Government-wide Professional Services Category, annual spending for professional services on PSS has increased by more than $700 million. Accounting for the increased spend on both PSS and OASIS, GSA has been able to successfully address an additional $3.7 billion customer professional services needs.¹
The market has spoken. OASIS’ robust growth reflects a program that is successfully meeting customer agencies’ complex professional services needs. Identified as a best-in-class contract by the Office of Management and Budget, OASIS is reducing duplicative administrative contracting costs and streamlining acquisition. The combination of the streamlined, competitive ordering procedures, the high-quality contractors, access to high performing small businesses, and disciplined program management and data reporting features have delivered value for customer agencies.
In April of this year, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis testified before the House Armed Services Committee on the National Defense Strategy and the effort to restore our comparative military advantage. As part of his written testimony, Secretary Mattis discussed efforts to reform the department’s business practices for performance and affordability. He stated, in part, that, “[w]e will continue to establish a culture of performance where results and accountability matter on every expenditure, thereby gaining full benefit from every single taxpayer dollar spent on defense.” The OASIS program, in delivering cost-effective, best value mission support to the department, is a strategic asset in supporting this vital effort.
Looking to the future, the Coalition commends FAS for its ongoing efforts to add, via on-ramps, new small, medium, and large business concerns to OASIS SB and OASIS U. The infusion of new contractors means that, over the next five years, the OASIS program will be well-positioned to continue to deliver best value mission support to meet customer agency needs.
Roger Waldron is the president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, and host of Off the Shelf on Federal News Radio.
¹ More than 60 percent of the obligations under OASIS U and OASIS SB were performed on a cost basis, reflecting the continuing demand for the acquisition of knowledge-based services using cost-type contracting approaches. In particular, the Department of Defense continues to utilize cost-type orders. As such, OASIS compliments the PSS by providing customer agencies with the cost-type option for their professional services requirements.