GSA, OPM end 4-year training contract saga with awards

The long-awaited contract to change the way agencies buy human resources services is finally here. The General Services Administration awarded the unrestricted and small business versions of the Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCaTs) contracts May 15 to a total of 109 vendors.

The 20-year HCaTs contract has a ceiling of $11.5 billion and replaces the Training and Management Assistance (TMA) contract run by the Office of Personnel Management for the last two decades.

OPM has been trying to replace TMA with a new vehicle since 2012 only to outsource it to GSA in 2015 as part of the category management initiative.

“The HCaTS contracts allow federal agencies to not only take a highly efficient and innovative approach to their human capital and training requirements, but also to lean on OPM’s expertise in human capital and category management,” said Beth Cobert, acting director of OPM, in a release. “This contract vehicle makes it easier for agencies to procure the high-quality human capital support they need to meet their mission requirements efficiently and effectively.”

Under the HCaTs vehicles, GSA awarded spots to 72 large businesses and 37 small businesses to buy:

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

Unlike the TMA vehicle, which was a highly popular contract for almost 25 years, agencies will not have to go through OPM to buy these services. GSA is giving agencies direct procurement authority, though customer departments will have to pay a 2 percent fee to use the contract.

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HCaTs also lets agencies use all contract types and do pricing at the task order level.

All of these features of the contract are part of the Office of Management and Budget’s efforts around category management.

OMB estimates agencies spend about $4.1 billion a year on HR services.

Anne Rung, the OFPP administrator, said agencies should expect to save 4 percent-to-14 percent for these services. HCaTs also is expected to reduce the number of duplicative HR services and training contracts by 5 percent in its first year.

Rung recently named category “CEOs,” including Rob Briede as OPM’s interim Human Capital Category Manager.

OPM has been working on a replacement for TMA since 2012, but the initial plan was beset by protests, and eventually canceled in 2014. OPM and GSA teamed up in 2015 to release the solicitation.

It’s unclear how many vendors bid on HCaTs, but if there were any successful vendors, they have 10 days after their debriefing to protest to the Government Accountability Office.

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