The General Services Administration chose 21 companies for its latest Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Office Supplies contract (OS3) — 20 of which are small businesses. GSA said it expects this newest generation of contracts to build on the savings and success of OS2 and particularly benefit small businesses.
The Office of Management and Budget will collect spending and budget information from agencies to ramp up personnel security. This management priority accompanied other requests in a memo released Friday, which also included agency’s benchmarking and providing customer service data.
We’re learning a bit more about the General Services Administration’s move toward a “category management” approach to federal purchasing. GSA’s working on a new concept called “hallways” — the first one’s coming this fall. It’ll deal with information technology. GSA says one person will manage a team of experts that will create new standards and best practices for a specific area of acquisition. Roger Waldron is President of the Coalition for Government Procurement. He explained how the hallways approach can help GSA expand its strategic sources contracts on In Depth with Francis Rose.
Under the Obama administration’s strategic sourcing cross-agency priority goal, new commodity managers will oversee “hallways” for information technology, administration and human resources across government. The hope is that the managers and their teams of experts will be able to offer guidance and best practices to agencies when it comes to strategic sourcing.
Ford Heard, the Veterans Affairs associate deputy assistant secretary for Procurement Policy, Systems and Oversight, said his office will launch the acquisition corps and program management framework in the coming months to further professionalize the agency’s acquisition workforce. A Federal News Radio survey of chief acquisition officers and other senior acquisition managers says workforce training and retention remain among their biggest priorities and challenges.
Eleven vendors submitted protests to GAO over GSA’s desire to extend the OS2 contract another six months. The contractors say GSA’s extension would violate the Small Business Jobs Act because they didn’t do a contract consolidation impact assessment.
Reps. Grace Meng and Tim Walberg introduce a provision in the Defense authorization bill to require GAO to study the impact of strategic sourcing on small businesses. GSA also is facing more than two dozen protests over its current and future office supplies contracts and now OASIS.
Robyn East, Treasury’s chief information officer, said users previously were not excited to move to an enterprise content management system, but a better understanding of the value of shared services has helped them come around.
In this edition of Inside the Reporter’s Notebook, Executive Editor Jason Miller shares news and buzz about the IT and acquisition communities. GSA and SBA continue their ongoing quarrel over the Office Supplies 3 contract, and April marks the three-year anniversary of NSTIC’s release.
SBA said GSA’s impact analysis failed on two main accounts. SBA said it disagreed on GSA’s claim that OS3 is a follow-on contract to OS2 and therefore is not a consolidation of contract requirements subject to the provisions of the Small Business Act. SBA also said GSA’s argument that it is “contrary to law” to provide an economic analysis on the consequences of small business on a consolidated contract is wrong.