This column was originally published on Roger Waldron’s blog at The Coalition for Government Procurement and was republished here with permission from the author.
This week, the General Services Administration held its Federal Marketplace Industry Day, inviting stakeholders from across the procurement community to participate in a dialogue on the future of GSA’s key Federal Marketplace Initiative.
The industry day featured Administrator Emily Murphy’s Keynote address, “Reimaging the Acquisition Experience,” followed by a presentation on the key features of the Federal Marketplace Initiative by Crystal Philcox, assistant commissioner, Office of Enterprise Strategy Management.
These presentations set the stage for a day-long procurement conversation. The morning session focused on the “Future of the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program” and the next steps in the MAS consolidation effort, and the Coalition was honored to participate on the panel addressing this subject. The afternoon session addressed the “Commercial Platforms Initiative: Phase II Update.”
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[ad align=”left”]The commercial platforms initiative implements Section 846 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, “Procurement Through e-Commerce Portals.” Beginning this week, with the future of the MAS program, and continuing over the next two weeks, the FAR & Beyond blog will highlight the key takeaways from the industry day.
In many ways, 2018 has turned out to be the year of the GSA MAS program. GSA took a series of steps to streamline MAS processes and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the MAS program, which continues to deliver best value mission support for customer agencies through sound business opportunities for industry.
Among the best value wins for GSA’s customer agencies and industry partners were the following:
Together, these achievements demonstrate the increasing relevance of, and trust in, GSA and its programs to deliver the best value for customer agencies and the American people.
With the launch of the SSI, GSA can cement these gains and continue the momentum towards MAS transformation. The initiative brings both challenges and opportunities.
First, among the key challenges, there must be unity of effort toward the strategic goal of a single schedule. Second, modernization of GSA’s customer- and contractor-facing systems will be critical to the success of SSI. GSA’s systems will need to keep pace with, if not stay ahead of, actual contract consolidation to ensure customers can find the products, services, and solutions they seek efficiently and effectively via the MAS program.
In turn, contractors must be able to update and manage their contract offerings quickly and accurately to represent their latest, best offerings. In a sense, SSI creates the environment for systems transformation in support of MAS transformation.
In addition to these major challenges, GSA will need to address:
Next week’s blog will focus on GSA’s Commercial Platforms Initiative, which was also discussed during the Federal Marketplace Industry Day. The Commercial Platforms Initiative ultimately may have a significant impact on the schedules, as both programs will co-exist in the Federal Marketplace.
The Coalition appreciates GSA’s commitment to stakeholder outreach through this week’s Industry Day, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue on these issues and supporting GSA in its mission to deliver best value solutions to government agencies and the American taxpayer.
Roger Waldron is the president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, and host of Off the Shelf on Federal News Radio.