Last week’s blog took a detour to focus on the Department of Veterans Affairs Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program.  This week’s blog, as promised, follows up on the January 5, 2017 blog, “Reducing Hurdles in the Procurement System,” with the Coalition’s “Common Sense Procurement Resolutions for 2017”. The Coalition would like to see federal acquisition agencies embrace the following set of “Common Sense Procurement Resolutions” that can drive savings, innovation, and value.

  1. Put “commercial” back in commercial item contracting by maximizing the use of commercial terms consistent with the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) and FAR Part 12 to reduce barriers to market entry and to increase government access to innovation
  2. Simplify participation in, and incentivize use of, the Multiple Award Schedules Program (GSA and VA) to reduce administrative burden and cost
  3. Reopen the entirety of Schedule 75 to the commercial market to reap the benefits of competition
  4. Undo the Commercial Suppler Agreement Deviation so that commercial terms and conditions are utilized to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with the intent of FASA
  5. Eliminate government-unique reporting requirements to the maximum extent practicable
  6. Invest in internal systems to effectively manage logistics data
  7. Embrace performance-based contracting that measures outcomes rather specifying the method of performance
  8. Measure, manage, and report Total Acquisition Cost (TAC) (direct and indirect costs)
  9. Eliminate inappropriate duplicative contracting programs
  10. Invest in commercial website solutions that offer a user friendly, transparent purchasing experience to the federal market, and, in this regard, create a GSA Mall for such a user-friendly, transparent, electronic buying for commercial services and products
  11. Invest in acquisition professionalism and the workforce
  12. Leverage “assisted services” centers of excellence
  13. Improve requirements development through centers of excellence
  14. Address the procurement oversight culture that creates disincentives for innovation, risk-taking, and growth
  15. Reinstate the GSA Expo (which operates at no cost to the Government) that provided thousands of cost-effective training hours to government and industry acquisition professionals

We will elaborate on these issues over the coming weeks. On this historic day, we recognize and witness a significant manifestation of American exceptionalism with the peaceful transition of Administrations. The Coalition looks forward to working with the new Administration and the procurement community at large to promote a cost-effective procurement system that delivers best value mission support for customer agencies and the American people.