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What to Expect at the Spring Training Conference!

What to Expect at the Spring Training Conference!
As the weather heats up and the beginning of May quickly approaches, the Coalition’s excitement for the 2023 Spring Training Conference continues to grow! The Spring Training Conference – Procurement Watchwords for 2023, will take place on May 2-3 at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, Virginia. The two-day event focuses on four procurement “watchword” themes and how they will continue to serve as driving forces on the procurement system in 2023 and beyond. These watchwords include Market ContinuityCybersecuritySupply Chain Security, and Sustainability.

As always, the goal of the Spring Training Conference is to deliver the latest information on what is happening in government procurement. As we enter the second quarter of the calendar year, there have been a number of important developments that have had an impact on both the Federal Government and industry partners. Below is a snapshot of just some of these key policy and program updates, and why you can expect to learn more about them at the conference!

OMB Memo to Create More Diverse and Resilient Federal Marketplace
On February 17, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memo on Creating a More Diverse and Resilient Federal Marketplace through Increased Participation of New and Recent Entrants, with an emphasis on small business entrants. The memo establishes common definitions for “new entrant” and “recent entrant” into the Federal marketplace, and provides agencies with guidance on how to use newly developed tools to track progress and identify organizations. At the Spring Training Conference, we are thrilled to have invited Lesley Field, OMB Deputy Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, to deliver the opening Keynote Address. During the Keynote, Ms. Field will discuss her priorities and initiatives as Deputy Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, especially as they relate to this recent OMB memo.

VA Posts Q&A Regarding Supply Chain Modernization
On March 27, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) posted answers to questions from industry regarding its Supply Chain Modernization acquisition, which is currently in the pre-solicitation phase. The Q&A is intended to help potential offerors with preparing proposals for the VA’s upcoming Supply Chain Modernization RFP. During the conference, we are fortunate to have multiple sessions with VA leadership that will touch on not only VA Enterprise Supply Chain Modernization, but also other initiatives, such as Pathfinder and category management. To kick off the healthcare day, Michael Parrish, Chief Acquisition Officer and Principal Executive Director for the Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction (OALC), will give the Keynote Address. Following Mr. Parrish’s remarks will be a panel of VA OALC leaders, including Dr. Angela Billups, OALC Executive Director and Senior Procurement Executive, and Phil Christy, OALC Deputy Executive Director.

White House Releases National Cybersecurity Strategy
On March 2, the White House released its National Cybersecurity Strategy. The strategy, which builds upon previous actions from the Biden Administration, aims to provide a comprehensive approach to ensure that the national digital ecosystem is safe, reliable, and secure. The strategy highlights two fundamental shifts, including moving the burden of cybersecurity away from individuals, small businesses, and local governments, as well as realigning incentives towards long-term investments in cybersecurity. On both days of the conference, there will be panels addressing recent cybersecurity policies and programs and what contractors can expect. On May 2, the Cybersecurity Panel includes Kevin Funk, GSA Supply Chain Risk Management Expert, Larry Hale, GSA Deputy Assistant Commissioner for IT Category Management, and Townsend Bourne, Partner at Sheppard Mullin. On May 3, the panel of Moshe Schwartz, President of Etherton and Associates, James Kim, Partner at Arnold & Porter, and Stephen Ruscus, Partner at Baker & Hostetler, will touch on cybersecurity as it relates to healthcare contracting specifically.

GSA Provides Updates on OASIS+ and Alliant 3
Over the first quarter of 2023, GSA provided major updates involving two of its upcoming procurement vehicles, OASIS+ and Alliant 3. On March 30, GSA posted a notice that the agency intends to issue the final solicitation for OASIS+ within the next 30 days. Prior to this announcement, the Coalition issued comments in response to the second draft RFP and held a member meeting with Tiffany Hixson, FAS Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories. We are pleased to announce that Tiffany Hixson will be returning at the Spring Conference during the FAS Executive Panel. In addition, the second set of Market Continuity Panels on May 2 includes a GSA Professional Services Category session with Adam Soderholm, Acting Director of Program Operations, Keith Jeffries, Director of the Office of Contracting Operations, and Ana Eckles, Director of Human Capital Solutions, R2.

At the beginning of March, GSA also published a notice that the Alliant 3 RFP will be released no earlier than the first quarter of fiscal year 2024. During the first set of Market Continuity Panels on May 2, we will hold the GSA IT Category session, which includes guest speakers Larry HaleCheryl Thornton-Cameron, Executive Director (SES) Office of Acquisition/SCRIM Operations, Joel Lundy, Director of IT Software Category, and Patricia Waddell, Supervisory Management and Program Analyst. During this session, the panelists will address GSA’s GWACs, including Alliant 3, along with the cloud marketplace and the Multiple Award Schedule program. 

VA Releases MSPV Gen-Z 1 Distribution and Supply Management RFP
The VA’s Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) program supporting the healthcare supply needs of VA healthcare facilities is extending to the next generation through its MSPV Gen-Z V1 Distribution and Supply Management contract. The MSPV Gen-Z V1 Distribution and Supply Management RFP was released on January 3. Craig Hilliard, Division Chief, MSPV Supplies, Katie Hulse, Director, Acquisition Services 3, Strategic Acquisition Center (SAC), and Mike Easley, Deputy Program Manager, Medical Supply Program Office Commodities, will be presenting at the conference on May 3 during the MSPV Market Continuity Panel.

CISA Stands Up Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management Office
In January, it was announced that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) established a new Supply Chain Risk Management (SCR-M) project management office. The office is tasked with developing new training courses for the Federal Government, state and local governments, and industry to help them implement recently issued CISA policies and guidance related to supply chain security risk. The office is headed by Shon Lyublanovits, former GSA Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity. We are excited to share that Shon Lyublanovits will be speaking at the Spring Training Conference during the Supply Chain Security Panel on May 2. The panel gives attendees the opportunity to hear Lyublanovits’ priorities and initiatives for the new office, as well as its impact on the Federal contracting community. She will be joined on the panel by John Tenaglia, Principal Director of Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC), Cameron Reid, Director at Baker Tilly, and Susan Cassidy, Partner at Covington & Burling.

Proposed Rule on Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate-Related Financial Risk
On February 13, the Coalition submitted member comments on the Federal Government’s proposed rule regarding greenhouse gas emissions disclosure and climate-related financial risk. The proposed rule, issued by the FAR Council in November 2022, would add new climate-related reporting requirements for contractors with over $7.5 million in annual Federal sales. On both days of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear discussions from government and industry experts on sustainability-related policies, guidance, and programs, such as the proposed rule.

The Sustainability Panel on May 2 features Holly Elwood, Senior Advisor of the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Troy Cribb, Director of Public Policy at the Partnership for Public Service and Co-Chair for GSA’s Acquisition Policy Federal Advisory Committee. On the healthcare day, Crowell & Moring Partners Paul Freeman and Lorraine Campos will participate in a special Lunch Panel focusing on how sustainability requirements, such as the greenhouse gas emissions proposed rule, will impact healthcare contractors.

The Coalition is excited to host this dynamic Spring Training Conference with panels and guest speakers that will dive into these topics and much more! We encourage you to check out the full draft agenda, which provides more information on the diverse selection of sessions available throughout both days. To register for the conference, click here.

As always, we would like to thank our current sponsors of the Spring Training Conference for their continued support. Sponsors include:
Platinum Sponsors: AvKARE, Covington, and McKesson
Gold Sponsors: Amazon Web Services, Dell, Four Points Technology, and Raytheon
Silver Sponsors: GDIT, The Gormley Group, and Sheppard Mullin
Coffee & Networking Sponsor: SAIC

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