Friday Flash 03.10.17

FAR & Beyond Blog:

When is “Re-opening” a GSA Schedule Really Closing a Market Channel for Commercial Offerings and Small Businesses?

In 2010, the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), in the name of “Demand Management,” closed Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) 75 – Office Products and Supplies (Schedule 75) to new offers.  Under FAS’s Demand Management strategy, Schedule 75 was closed because of the high number of contractors and corresponding program management costs, which effectively resulted in supplier suppression.  At that time, FAS stated that the schedule would reopen in 24 months.

Over six years later, however, Schedule 75 remains closed to new offers, limiting market access for new firms (especially small businesses) who hope to utilize the MAS program as a key channel to entry into the federal market.  The six-year closure also is impacting long-standing GSA industry partners under Schedule 75 whose contracts are expiring with no opportunity to submit a new offer to maintain contract coverage.  As a result, former, medium and large Schedule 75 contractors are and will continue to be locked out of the Schedule 75 marketplace.

Schedule 75 Request for Information

On December 15, 2016, FAS issued a Request for Information (RFI) setting forth its acquisition strategy for “reopening” Schedule 75.  According to this strategy, FAS will not reopen the entire schedule to new offers.  Rather, it will create a new Enhanced Special Item Number (SIN) 75 2XX that will “incorporate all of the Best in Class (BIC) features of FSSI OS3 while using the robust structure of MAS 75.  FSSI OS3 has achieved enhanced vendor requirements, improved pricing and savings, data spending tracking capabilities and vendor accountability.”  See page 2 of the RFI.

The new Enhanced SIN 75 2XX, incorporating the BIC features, will be open to new offers, but only for a limited period of time every two years.  At the same time, the current SIN 75 200 – Products, and SIN 75-210 -Services, will merge into a new revised SIN 75 200.  The revised SIN 75-200 and 75 85 – Restroom Products will remain closed to new offers.

On January 17, 2017, the Coalition submitted comments responsive to the RFI on behalf of its members.  The Coalition strongly supports immediately reopening all current Schedule 75 SINs and reestablishing continuous open seasons for new offers.  Continuous opens seasons promote increased access to the commercial market, increased opportunities for small business concerns, and the benefit of increased competition and innovation for the government over the long term.

The Ramifications of Enhanced SIN 75 2XX

According to the RFI, the new Enhanced SIN 752XX will “include all of the enhancements that made FSSI OS3 a Best in Class solution” and will “consolidate FSSI OS3 into one acquisition vehicle.”  In addition to the proposed “enhancements” laid out in the RFI, the new SIN 75 2XX will charge customer agencies a two percent Contract Access Fee (CAF) rather than the current .75 percent Industrial Funding Fee.  The proposed two percent fee for SIN 75 2XX mirrors the current OS3 fee of two percent.  The acquisition strategy creating SIN 75 2XX raises a number of questions among GSA’s industry partners.

First, as a threshold matter, continued use of the term “Best In Class” raises procurement policy and legal questions highlighted in the Coalition’s comments on the proposed Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-XXX, Implementing Category Management for Common Goods and Services.  The “Best in Class” criteria outlined in the draft circular focused on a series of process/reporting requirements that are inconsistent with commercial practices and add little or no value to contract performance.  Moreover, the draft circular prompted significant questions regarding OMB’s legal authority to designate Best in Class contracts for mandatory use.   In addition, designating “Best In Class” contract programs without industry partner input/feedback regarding commercial best practices, undercut the effectiveness and legitimacy of such an approach.

Second, the market has spoken, and the current Schedule 75 remains the contract vehicle of choice as compared to OS3.  While OS3 has been in place the last two years, approximately 80 percent of the total dollar volume of office supply purchases through GSA have been via Schedule 75.  OS3 has accounted for approximately 20 percent.  Perhaps it is the two percent fee.  Perhaps customer agencies do not see the value in the “enhancements” included in OS3.  Perhaps Schedule 75 provides greater choice, competition, and value.  Perhaps it is all three!

Third, through the proposed Enhanced SIN 75 2XX and the continued closing of the rest of Schedule 75, FAS appears to be attempting to centralize and define the market for both customer agencies and contractors.  Following the approach to its logical conclusion, the only viable offerings via Schedule 75 will be through SIN 75 2XX with its “enhanced features” and higher fee structure.  Here, GSA is defining requirements for customer agencies rather than allowing customers and contractors independently to define, compete, and perform requirements at the task order level that deliver best value consistent with each customer agency’s unique environment.  The proposed creation of Schedule 75 2XX appears to continue an effort to transform the Schedules program into a market centralizer rather than a market facilitator.

Next Wednesday, March 15th, the House Subcommittees on Information Technology and Government Operations will be receiving testimony during their hearing titled, “Reviewing Challenges in Federal IT Acquisition.”  Among the potential topics for discussion may be the relevance of GSA’s MAS program in accessing the commercial marketplace to deliver best value mission support for customer agencies.

The Coalition strongly believes that the unique statutory and regulatory framework of the MAS program provides a unique, powerful capability to streamline processes and embrace commercial best practices.  The Coalition stands ready work with all stakeholders towards that goal.

Senate Votes Down Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

On Monday, March 6, the U.S. Senate announced that it has passed a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act disapproving the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (FPSW) final rule. Significantly, if the President signs the joint resolution, it would prevent agencies from implementing any of the rule’s requirements, as well as prohibit the issuance of any new rules which are “substantially similar” to the FPSW rule.

In 2014, the Executive Order 13673, “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces,” was released requiring Federal contractors to disclose certain labor and safety violations. The FPSW rule was finalized last August, but the majority of its requirements were put on hold when a district court judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction last October. The rule’s paycheck transparency requirements, however, became effective on January 1, 2017. The joint resolution will now head to the White House, where it is expected to be signed by President Donald Trump.

Take the Contract Duplication Survey Today!

We ask that members please take a moment to complete the Coalition’s Contract Duplication Survey. The Coalition is specifically seeking member feedback on:

  • Number of duplicative contracts that members participate in
  • Costs associated with bidding on duplicative contracts
  • Impact that contract duplication has on small businesses

The Coalition will be using the results of this survey to update our 2012 study on contract duplication that examined industry costs associated with contract duplication. In September, Coalition President, Roger Waldron, shared the results of the original study with the DoD Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations (809 Panel) and the updated survey will be presented to the panel once it is completed.

 

DoD Realignment of AT&L

Last week, Defense News reported that Robert Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense, sent a two-page memorandum to the House Armed Services Committee pledging to have a final report regarding the realignment of the responsibilities of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics (AT&L) to Congress by the late spring or early summer 2017. In addition to outlining the various changes related to the AT&L realignment, the report will also provide lawmakers with information related to the possibility of creating a Chief Management Officer Pursuant to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, (NDAA) the Department of Defense is required to realign the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics (AT&L) position into two separate offices: Acquisition & Sustainment and Research & Engineering. The NDAA required an interim report be submitted to Congress by March 1, 2017, and that the positions are created by February 1, 2018.

 

Meet the New IT Category Leadership at GSA, March 14

keith and joseOn Tuesday, March 14 at 10:00am, the IT/Services Committee will be hosting guest speakers, Jose Arrieta, Director of Schedule 70 Contract Operations, and Keith Nakasone, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Acquisition. Mr. Arrieta and Nakasone will provide members with an update on GSA’s IT Category.

There will be a 30 minute networking session from 10:00am-10:30am, where Coalition members can meet directly with Mr. Arrieta, Mr. Nakasone, and Kay Ely, FAS Deputy Assistant Commissioner for ITS. Members that will be attending the meeting virtually have been asked to call in at 10:30am (after the networking session).

To attend, please RSVP to Jason Baccus at jasonbaccus@thecgp.org. RSVPs are required at our host facility for security purposes.

 

New Deputy CTO & Special Assistant for Technology Appointed

Last week, Fedscoop reported that Grace Koh, previously the deputy chief counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, has been appointed to serve as a special assistant to the President for Technology, Telecom, and Cybersecurity Policy. During her previous role on the hill, Ms. Koh was responsible for providing the Committee with advice regarding policy and legal issues related to the telecommunications and technology sectors.

In addition, earlier this week, Federal Computer Week reported that a former executive at Thiel Capital, Michael Kratsios, has been appointed to serve as the Deputy Chief Technology Officer (CTO). The CTO and deputy CTO positions are relatively new, having been formally established in 2009, and are responsible for advising the President on policies related to science, engineering, technology, data, and innovation.

 

 

Webinar on Presidential Transition, March 15

On Wednesday, March 15 at 12:00 pm, the Coalition, along with Crowell & Moring LLP, will be hosting a webinar on The Trump Administration’s Acquisition Policy Agenda. Speaking will be Rob Burton, Partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, Steve McBrady, Partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, and Kate Growley, Counsel at Crowell & Moring LLP. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Social and Economic Policy
  • Cyber and IT Policy
  • Category Management
  • Other Acquisition-related Topics

To register for the webinar, click here.

 

House Passes $578 Billion Defense Spending Bill

On Wednesday, March 8, Politico reported that the House passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, which would provide the Department of Defense with $584 billion in funding. The measure, which passed by a vote of 371 to 48, would represent a $5.2 billion increase in funding for DoD compared to FY 2016. The bill also authorizes a 2.1% military pay increase. Notably, the bill includes a $6.8 billion increase in procurement funding compared to former-President Obama’s budget request.

In addition to the bill, which has received bipartisan support in the House and in the White House, DoD is preparing a supplemental budget request for $30 billion in order to boost readiness funding.

 

DoD Asking for Input on Draft Guidebook for Commercial Acquisitions

Last month, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) published a draft Department of Defense (DoD) Guidebook for Acquiring Commercial Items. The draft is divided into two parts, Part A, which focuses on commercial item determination, and Part B, which focuses on pricing commercial items. Once finalized, the Guidebook will provide a critical resource for procurement specialists which will enable these individuals to make quicker and more effective determinations and pricing decisions for commercial item procurements.

Comments on both parts of the draft is due by May 1, 2017.  Members who have input on the draft please contact Aubrey Woolley at awoolley@thecgp.org.

 

GSA Blog: MAS Transformation Progress 2015-2016

On Wednesday, March 8, Tom Sharpe, the Commissioner of the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), published a blog detailing progress made over the past two years related to transforming and improving the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program. Ultimately, GSA hopes to make the MAS program into a more valuable resource that is easier to use.

Specifically, Mr. Sharpe highlighted GSA’s Horizontal Pricing Analysis Tool, Professional Services Schedule, Collection of Standard Part Numbers (SPNs) as critical aspects of the MAS program transformation over the past two years. To view an infographic detailing all of GSA’s efforts, click here.

 

DISA to Utilize Other Transaction Agreements to Improve Procurement

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced that it will begin utilizing Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) in order to speed up their procurements.

DISA is copying the practices of the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental—which used OTAs as a method for working with non-traditional contractors. Through these efforts, DISA hopes that it will be able to streamline the acquisition process and shorten the time to awards.

 

FEDERAL MARKET MATTERS

The Full View: Measuring the Success and Savings of Acquisition

In our current era of shrinking budgets, the Federal government often touts the effectiveness of its procurement processes by looking at the savings that its programs have delivered to the taxpayer. For instance, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) announced earlier this year that Category Management has saved the government more than $2 billion. GSA also has claimed that, over the last five years, its Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) has saved more than $500 million. This article examines how savings rates are calculated, how this impacts Federal procurement, and how the government should be measuring the success of its programs.

Based on publicly available information, in both FSSI and Category Management, savings are calculated by comparing the Schedule prices and prices paid, which raises several questions. First, the estimates do not account for the total acquisition costs of implementing these programs (whether it is FSSI or Category Management). Second, the methodologies measure savings by looking at the difference between a Schedule price and a new contract price. Using this methodology to measure savings is misleading, and it ignores one of the fundamental principles of the Schedules program, which is that competition under the Schedules program occurs at the order level. Using Schedule prices to account for savings ignores the fact that the Schedule price is not always the price paid by the customer, and that there are different terms and conditions at the order level. Finally, many of the savings rates do not account for the long-term effects of programs that focus on getting the lowest price instead of best value.

 

Measuring Savings

There are many ways to measure savings. One effective method for calculating savings is through the following equation:

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This equation (also known as a cost-benefit ratio) shows how much benefit is received for every $1 spent. When the outcome is greater than 1, benefits outweigh the costs of the project. Notably, any increases in savings could result from either an increase in benefits or a decrease in costs.

This analysis should not be surprising; consumers make decisions like this every day. For example, a consumer may ask if another helping of ice cream is worth the extra cost and the extra calories, or if the more expensive car is justified because it has a more powerful engine. When looking at the Federal market, however, which accounts for more than $400 billion in spending and around 2% of the entire American economy, measuring costs and benefits is not nearly as simple as it is for an individual consumer. Still, the government has a duty to collect, asses, and publish data on the overall costs and benefits of implementing major acquisition programs, such as FSSI and Category Management.

 

Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative

According to GSA, FSSI is a program which seeks to leverage agency purchasing power to reduce contracting costs. The overarching goal of FSSI is to achieve lower prices. FSSI is comprised of a series of Federal contracts and blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) managed by GSA.

FSSI vehicles include, but are not limited to, Office Supplies (OS3); Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO); Janitorial and Sanitation Supplies (JanSan); Managed Print Services; and Building Maintenance and Operations (BMO).  BMO was only awarded in March 2016; print management FSSI expired at the end FY2016 and was not renewed. The remaining three vehicles (OS3, MRO, and JanSan) will be the focus of this analysis.

GSA has stated that, in FY15, the JanSan saved $3.4 million, MRO saved $11.2 million, and OS3 saved $37.5 million. In addition, GSA claimed that, overall, the FSSI vehicles resulted in savings of $128 million in FY15. GSA provided the following savings methodology for JanSan and MRO FSSIs:

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In this case, the baseline unit price is the “current MAS lowest quartile price,” which means it is the MAS price halfway between the lowest MAS price and the median MAS price. The FSSI unit price is the “price available to agencies under the FSSI solution.” The tier unit discount is “further price reductions obtained from tiered pricing or other discounts in the FSSI solution.” GSA noted in its analysis that this final element may not be included when calculating savings in order to avoid complicated volume assumptions.

These savings calculations raise several questions. The first, which the Coalition has raised before, is that the methodology compares Schedule prices and prices paid. Measuring savings based on discounts off a Schedule price is unremarkable. Comparing a Schedule price with an order price is not an “apples-to-apples” comparison, as the terms and conditions of a contract will drive pricing, and a Schedule contract with guaranteed minimum of only $2,500 is not the same business commitment as an agency-specific blanket purchase agreement or order with volume tier discounts. Fundamentally, the Schedules program encourages competition at the task order level. This competition leverages agency-specific requirements and leads to instantaneous market-based price reductions. As such, comparing FSSI and Schedule prices is not a valuable metric of savings, particularly when agencies buyers are already capturing discounts at the order level.

Second, this metric also does not account for the total acquisition costs involved with establishing these FSSI vehicles. The costs of creating the new vehicles, evaluating proposals, awarding the vehicles, and managing these FSSI programs for the contract term are not accounted for in the methodology.

Third, the savings methodology does not account for the small business impacts of FSSI. Even though the FSSI vehicles have higher small business participation rates than Schedule contracts, there are significantly fewer small businesses on FSSI than on Schedules. For example, in FY2015, there were 432 contract holders on Schedule 75 for Office Supplies. 404 of those contractors were small businesses. On Schedule 75, $300 million of sales went to these small businesses. In contrast, OS3 only has 23 small business vendors. If all office supply sales were shifted to OS3, then almost 400 small businesses would lose $300 million in sales.

Finally, the savings methodology has no measure for the value of the good or service provided. Over time, driving towards the lowest price will encourage contractors providing higher quality goods and services or favorable terms and conditions to leave the market as their margins fall. This drive to the lowest price will have serious implications for the Government’s supply chain if programs that encourage these methodologies are institutionalized.

So, even though most of the products on FSSI vehicles had lower prices than the Schedule contracts, there are serious questions about (1) how much actually was saved because of FSSI pricing, (2) how much it cost to achieve those savings, (3) what was the impact of FSSI on small businesses, (4) how would an agency-specific BPA compare to the FSSI BPA’s, and (5) what is the impact on the supply chain if vendors choose to leave the market.

These discussions about the pricing and saving methodologies for office supplies can seem very esoteric. Recent events surrounding the expansion of Category Management, however, give new life to these discussions.

Category Management Savings

On October 7, 2016, OFPP released a draft Category Management Circular, a document that seeks to institutionalize the principles of Category Management. The Coalition raised concerns with the draft circular and submitted comments on the circular in early November.

The draft circular provides guidance on how the savings from Category Management will be measured. It defines savings as “reductions in cost that allow the Federal Government to make better use of resources.” The draft circular also specifies the principles that will lead to savings, which includes, “reduced unit price based on increased volume or other strategy.”

The draft circular should be read in conjunction with the Government-wide Category Management Guidance, which was approved by the Category Management Leadership Council on May 21, 2015. There is significant overlap between the two documents, and the guidance contains additional information on the savings methodologies used under Category Management. The methodology to determine savings for Category Management should look familiar because it is very similar to the methodology used to determine FSSI savings. In this case, the baseline unit price could be the Schedule price, lowest price on a contract, or lower price from an existing vehicles identified by the Category Management Leadership Council.

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As with the FSSI methodology, the Category Management methodology fails to consider the “full view” of total acquisition costs and faces the same shortcomings, specifically, it compares prices paid to a Schedule price and fails to account for the total acquisition costs of the programs. This savings methodology is being used to determine the success of Category Management, but the holistic impact of Category Management cannot be measured using this methodology.

The best way to measure the success of Category Management is to look at the benefits the government receives and the costs it incurred to achieve those benefits, but it needs to be recognized that, as long as the savings calculations are measuring discounts from Schedule prices, then every action the Federal Government takes will be appear to be an incredible success, even as contractors face more regulations and increased costs. The focus on lower prices also hurts the quality of goods and services, and will lead to a worse outcome for customer agencies and higher prices in the long-run.

OFPP’s estimate that Category Management has saved $2 billion should be questioned because the data backing up the estimate were not provided and remain unsubstantiated. We do know that the benefits of Category Management are still uncertain, and that while the costs and benefits remain unclear, it is too early to institutionalize it through a circular.

As we mentioned earlier, savings can be achieved through decreasing costs or increasing benefits. The Federal Government should look towards efforts at increasing the benefits it receives from contracting. By reducing barriers to entry to the Federal market and reducing the reporting burden of contractors, the government would be able to lower the costs on contractors and get the innovation it so desperately desires. The goal of the procurement systems should be to help meet agency missions. Instead, we continue to see a focus on lowering prices, regardless of the long term impact it will have on the Federal market. In order to protect the long-term health of the procurement system, the government needs to renew its focus on value-based contracting.

Focusing on value and satisfaction leads to an effective procurement system. In 2008, Professor Steven Schooner explained that, “In the U.S., because of the potential for poor decision making due to the lack of appreciation of end user satisfaction, the 1990’s procurement reforms increased the attention paid to recipient satisfaction. The introduction of contractor past performance as a mandatory evaluation criterion…empowered the end user and reduced the likelihood that government buyers could effectively foist a poor performer on the user. This requirement reflected the idea that it was better to pay more to obtain a contractor with a good track record because of the likely increased odds of user satisfaction.” (Emphasis added) As this idea was true in the 1990s and in 2008, it is true today.

 

Legal Corner

DOJ Issues New Guidance on the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs

Lorraine M. Campos, Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP

Sarah Bartle, Associate, Crowell & Moring LLP

On February 8, 2017, the Department of Justice Fraud Section posted a new guidance document on its website entitled, “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” (“Compliance Guidance”).  This Compliance Guidance, comprised of a number of topics and questions, comes a little over a year after the Fraud Section hired Hui Chen as its resident compliance expert.  Tapping into her experience as both a prosecutor and a compliance professional at several large multinational companies, Ms. Chen has commented that an effective compliance program requires a whole-company commitment, and has emphasized the importance of leadership and key stakeholders in the compliance process. [1] Her vision is evident in the Fraud Section’s recently released Compliance Guidance, which provides some insights into the mindset of prosecutors tasked with corporate investigations. [2] The Compliance Guidance itself references two of the ten “Filip Factors,” [3] an enumerated set of factors used by prosecutors in making charging decisions related to corporate entities.  Although the Compliance Guidance cautions that the Fraud Section does not use a “rigid formula” to assess a company’s compliance program, the guidance provides a detailed list of compliance-focused sample topics and questions that the Fraud Section believes are relevant to its analysis.

The corporate Compliance Guidance is divided into 11 sections:

  1. Analysis and Remediation of Underlying Conduct
  2. Senior and Middle Management
  3. Autonomy and Resources
  4. Policies and Procedures
  5. Risk Assessment
  6. Training and Communications
  7. Confidential Reporting and Investigation
  8. Incentives and Disciplinary Measures
  9. Continuous Improvement, Periodic Testing and Review
  10. Third Party Management
  11. Mergers & Acquisitions

While policies and procedures addressing these 11 sections are an important foundation of a corporate compliance program, this Compliance Guidance is further evidence that prosecutors analyze more than the standard documentation and weigh the tailoring of such policies and procedures, implementation, communication and tone from the top.

In keeping with Ms. Chen’s focus on the importance of leadership and key stakeholders to an effective compliance program, the Compliance Guidance includes questions about how senior leadership models behavior to subordinates, what concrete actions stakeholders have taken to demonstrate a commitment to compliance, and what compliance expertise is provided by the board of directors.  The Compliance Guidance also asks how corporate training programs are tailored for high-risk employees, and how companies measure the effectiveness of these training programs.  There is also significant focus on the internal compliance function, including how it compares with other corporate functions “in terms of stature, compensation, rank/title, resources, and access to key decision-makers,” and even delving into details such as the turnover rate for compliance personnel. [4]

Ms. Chen has likened the assessment of a compliance program to the assessment of a car and driver.  In this analogy, the “control panel” of data analysis, policies, and due diligence might be functioning, but the “driver,” in the form of corporate leadership and key stakeholders, might be impaired and thus undermine the functioning of the overall compliance structure.    These comments, taken in conjunction with the recently issued guidance, make it clear that a well-designed compliance program is likely not sufficient to protect a company whose leadership is not viewed as actively engaged in promoting a culture of compliance at all levels.

While not revolutionary in substance, the Compliance Guidance will serve as a useful framework for compliance professionals in crafting and strengthening corporate compliance policies, as well as an outline for counsel to use in navigating communications and disclosures to the Fraud Section.

[1] See Laura Jacobus, “DOJ’s Andrew Weissmann and Hui Chen Talk Corporate Compliance in Exclusive Interview,” Feb. 1, 2016, available at https://connects.ethics.org/blogs/laura-jacobus/2016/02/01/doj-interview.

[2] United States Dep’t of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” (Feb. 8, 2017).

[3] See Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations, United States Attorneys’ Manual, Title 9-28.300 “Factors to Be Considered,” available at https://www.justice.gov/usam/usam-9-28000-principles-federal-prosecution-business-organizations#9-28.300.

[4] United States Dep’t of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” (Feb. 8, 2017).

 

Furniture Updates

Schedule 71 Solicitation

GSA has announced the changes to the Schedule 71 Solicitation in the upcoming Refresh 17. The draft refresh includes the following changes:

  • Updates to packaged furniture program,
  • Clarifying that SCLS does not apply to Schedule 71 and removing references from the Solicitation
  • Clarifying sales and IFF reporting procedures under the SIN

According to the notice, the changes are scheduled to go into effect on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Comments on the draft solicitation are due on March 16, 2017. Members can submit feedback to Sean Nulty at snulty@thecgp.org.

Federal Prison Industries

The Coalition has prepared a brief fact sheet on DoD purchasing from FPI for our furniture members.

Last week, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy issued its annual list of product categories for which Federal Prison Industries (FPI) has a market share greater than 5%. Those product categories must be procured using competitive procedures in accordance with Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement 208.602-70. If FPI does not have a significant market share in a specific code then it must be acquired in accordance with FAR 8.6.

For the updated list, Product Service Code 7105 (household furniture) and 7110 (office furniture) are not on the list of codes to be competed. Product Service Code N071 (installation of furniture) is on the list of codes to be competed. The updated list of Product Service Codes to compete will become effective on Thursday, March 30.

 

Assisted Services Forum, April 4

assisted serv

On Tuesday, April 4, from 7:15 am – 12:30 pm, join the Coalition and government speakers from the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (FEDSIM) and Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS).  Participants such as Tom Howder, Assistant Commissioner for AAS, and several Region Directors will be discussing What is AAS and How Does it Work?; Chris Hamm, Director of FEDSIM, and Sector Directors will be discussing The Work of FEDSIM; an industry panel of current FEDSIM contractors will be discussing Why and How they do Business with FEDSIM; and Rob Coen, Strategy Director for FEDSIM, and Chris Hamm will be discussing Streamlining Acquisition.  The session will conclude with a Pipeline Analysis for AAS and FEDSIM.

 

GSA Training Symposium in Huntsville, April 25 & 26

Huntsville ImageThe Coalition is reprinting the following GSA announcement about the upcoming training in Huntsville.  We look forward to seeing you there.

The GSA Federal Acquisition Training Symposium will take place April 25 – 26, 2017, at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This event is specially designed to benefit federal government employees and military members who make or influence procurement decisions.

An invaluable experience for acquisition or program managers, the training and exhibition will provide you with many opportunities to meet with over 1,600 buyers. 

Space is limited to 200 booths so register early to secure your spot!

Please visit us at http://www.gsafas2017.com for more information and to register.

 

Spring Training Conference, May 11

The Coalition will be hosting its Spring Training Conference on Thursday, May 11, from 7:30 am – 6:00 pm at the Fairview Park Marriot. The working title of our Spring Training Conference is The First 111 Days – How the New Administration is Effecting Procurement Policy. The day will consist of a keynote and numerous panel discussions in the morning, followed by our famous Myth-Busters Breakout Sessions in the afternoon. Draft Agenda and additional details coming soon!