Rethinking cybersecurity on the GSA schedule

The General Services Administration’s IT schedule currently lists six different special item numbers (SINs) for cybersecurity products and services. GSA wants to know from agencies and vendors whether it would make sense to consolidate those six SINs into one major grouping called cyber and information assurance, then break the categories and subcategories down within that grouping.

GSA released a request for information Aug. 12 detailing some ideas and concepts to make this change.

“The purpose of this change would be to improve the way that GSA offers Cyber/IA products and services through IT Schedule 70, increase visibility, improve access to CyberIA offerings and to provide industry partners the opportunity to differentiate their Cyber/IA products and services from other IT related products and services,” GSA wrote in the RFI. “This effort would support initiatives to improve customer procurement of Cyber/IA offerings and enable agencies to take full advantage of Cyber/IA benefits to maximize capacity utilization, improve IT flexibility and responsiveness, and minimize cost.”

GSA is proposing to create a SIN that breaks down cyber/IA into three main categories:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Services

Within those main categories, GSA would further describe the products or services under subcategories such as virus detection, intrusion detection and prevention, network management, situational awareness and incident response and secure Web hosting.

The real question GSA is trying to gather information on is whether the current cyber and information assurance SINs just need to be improved or if a new one is needed.

GSA is asking for vendors to respond to 14 questions, ranging from identifying any pricing methodology/pricing escalation to identifying contract types federal agency customers use when buying cyber and information assurance products and services.

GSA also wants agencies to provide answers to three questions, including:

  • How does your agency typically procure cyber/IA offerings?
  • For example, what contract vehicles are used, and what contract types?
  • Does your government organization expect that this proposed SIN will improve the transparency and ease of use of acquiring cyber/IA offerings through IT Schedule 70?

GSA wants vendors and agencies to respond by Sept. 11.

This post is part of Jason Miller’s Inside the Reporter’s Notebook feature. Read more from this edition of Jason’s Notebook.

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