GSA, OPM set the table for the next-generation HR services contract

The General Services Administration released two much-anticipated solicitations Monday that could change the way agencies buy human resources services.

The Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCaTS) requests for proposals would replace the Training and Management Assistance (TMA) contract run by the Office of Personnel Management for the last two decades.

“This acquisition solution ultimately will make it easier for federal agencies to get what they need in human capital services, when they need it,” said acting OPM Director Beth Cobert in a statement.

OPM and GSA are partnering on the governmentwide acquisition contracts as HCaTS is part of the Obama administration’s category management initiative. The Office of Management and Budget estimates agencies spend about $3.6 billion a year on HR services. OPM will oversee the policy side of the contract, meaning how human resources policies are represented in the GWAC today and going forward. GSA will administer the contract and charge agencies a 2 percent fee for using it. The contract has no dollar ceiling and would be available for a five-year base with one five-year option.

“The HCaTS procurements are an excellent example of federal agencies partnering to develop new contract solutions that help them deliver on their mission,” said GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth in a statement. “The result is a reliable, flexible, and efficient way for federal agencies to obtain best-value solutions for their complex human capital and training service requirements.”

The unrestricted and small business set-aside versions of the GWACs would give agencies a place to buy a host of HR services.
GSA and OPM say HCaTS will focus on three main functional areas:

  • Customized training and development services
  • Customized human capital strategy services
  • Customized organizational performance improvement.

Across those three functional areas, the RFP states HCaTS will help agencies meet six objectives:

  1. Improving the management of human capital in accordance with the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) and other OPM policies.
  2. Increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of critical business processes.
  3. Providing professional development opportunities to the workforce.
  4. Undertaking effective change management initiatives.
  5. Developing effective metrics to assess progress in carrying out human capital strategies.
  6. Maximizing the return on investment in training and development, human capital, and organizational performance improvements.

“The objective of HCaTS is to provide federal agencies with a total integrated and customized solution for training and development services, human capital strategy services, and organizational performance improvement services at all levels (e.g., enterprise, unit, individual),” the RFP states. “Ultimately, solutions at the task order level should align with the principles of sound human capital management. Federal agencies have the flexibility to award task orders that encompass any and all knowledge service areas (KSAs) for any portion of their workforce at any organizational level. The KSAs identify general lifecycles and specific disciplines, however, these are not meant to be all inclusive and [agency contracting officers] have the authority to define requirements and award task orders that meet their specific needs so long as the scope falls under the definition of one or more KSA(s).”

Bids from vendors are due Oct. 16. Questions about the RFPs are due Aug. 28.

The release of the HCaTS RFPs ends a nearly three-year effort to replace TMA.

OPM initially released a solicitation for a new training and management contract in 2012, but faced 11 protests between May and July 2013 before the Government Accountability Office dismissed them on the account the agency took corrective action and let the bidders back into the mix. OPM eventually canceled the multiple award contract that some estimated to be worth $2 billion.

GSA and OPM teamed up to develop and award the contract in April 2014 and released a request for information to industry later in the year. GSA expected the RFP for HCaTS to be out in May, but it was delayed until recently.

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