Friday Flash 4.22.22

Announcing the Spring Training Conference: The Federal Customer Experience: June 15-16

After two years of virtual meetings and conferences, we are thrilled to announce our 2022 Spring Training Conference: The Federal Customer Experience, taking place at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, VA on June 15-16 (Summer isn’t technically until June 21!). The first day will be dedicated to healthcare topics and issues, while the second day will have a governmentwide focus. We encourage you to dust off your dress shoes and join us in-person for this two-day conference where we will hear from a multitude of government speakers and enjoy the comradery we have so deeply missed over the years. That being said, we recognize and appreciate everyone’s unique personal perspectives as we navigate the return of in-person events and are happy to share that we will offer a hybrid attendance option for those who still wish to participate virtually!

Day one (Healthcare Focus) will kick off with a keynote address, where we have invited Guy Kiyokawa, Assistant Secretary for Enterprise Integration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to provide opening remarks. We will then move to several panel discussions, including Customer Experience: VA Procurement & Logistics; Cybersecurity Certifications and How They’re Evolving to Meet Future Threats; and Medical Supply Chain Resiliency. We have invited Dawn O’Connell, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), HHS, to provide a lunch time keynote, and the day will conclude with Customer Experience Breakout Sessions, including DLA Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) Program and ECAT; VA Pharmaceuticals; VA Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor; VA Medical/Surgical Supply BPAs; Update on Drug Pricing Oversight; and VA Non-expendable (NX) Equipment.

Day two (Governmentwide Focus) will follow a similar format as we have invited Sonny Hashmi, Commissioner of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), to serve as our opening keynote. Panel discussions will include FAS’s Role in Meeting Agency Mission Requirements; Cyber Security Requirements; Buy American and Supply Chain Resilience; and OTA’s. We have invited John Tenaglia, Director, Defense Pricing and Contracting, as our lunch time keynote, and will wrap up the day with Customer Experience Breakout Sessions, including E-Commerce Platforms and FEDMALL; Cloud Marketplace; Furniture; Professional Services Category – GSA (Services MAC and Schedules); GWAC/MAC/IT Schedules; Assisted Acquisition Services; GSA Systems; and Global Supply and Services Breakout Session.

We are equally excited to end day two with a networking reception as there is a lot of catching up to do! Please help us gain a firm understanding of interest and participation in our 2022 Spring Training Conference: The Federal Customer Experience by registering today! For food and beverage purposes, it’s vital you indicate on your registration whether you plan to attend in-person or virtually (and which days if attending in-person). Please note, after answering the registration questions, you will need to click the “Save Responses” button before clicking “Complete Registration.” The registration fee includes access to both days, and all sessions will be recorded and available to all registrants to listen to at their convenience if there are any conflicts.

Lastly, calling all sponsors! Review exciting sponsorship opportunities and benefits for each day HERE! Please contact Matt Cahill at 202-315-1054 or mcahill@thecgp.org for commitments or questions. We truly appreciate your support and can’t wait to see you in June!

 

New Guidance Requires Infrastructure Projects to Use U.S. Made Materials 

On April 28, the Administration issued new guidance that requires projects funded by the $1 trillion infrastructure package to use construction materials produced in the United States. The guidance states that the requirement can be waived if there are not enough domestic producers or if the price of the U.S. materials is too high. The goal is to see a reduction in the number of waivers over time as U.S. manufacturing capacity increases. The Administration hopes that the new guidance will help to create more American jobs and reduce supply chain constraints. The bipartisan infrastructure package, which was signed into law last November, included a requirement that beginning May 14, agencies may not use the funds allocated to them unless “all of the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in the project are produced in the United States.” 

 

Next Steps for GSA’s Ascend Cloud BPA

The General Services Administration posted an update on its new Ascend Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) that focuses on commercial cloud technologies and aims to simplify cloud acquisitions. The Ascend BPA will provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and cloud-related IT professional services based on GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS). Ascend will not replace current GSA cloud offerings available through the agency’s Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) and MAS. Customers will still be able to use the fixed pricing model. The Ascend BPA looks to offer a number of benefits for agency customers as well as suppliers, including:

Agencies: 

  • Compliant solutions through vendors that meet cybersecurity and Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) standards; 
  • Accelerated movement to secure cloud services; 
  • A well-managed contracting vehicle to help meet category management requirements; and 
  • Access to standardized transactional and consumption data.  

Suppliers: 

  • A phased acquisition strategy that allows suppliers to participate in an initial award and be eligible for later award pools; 
  • Access to high-quality business leads for BPA holders; and 
  • Opportunities for small business awardees offering cloud-related IT professional services. 

GSA plans to issue a draft solicitation for the first pool, which will consist of IaaS and PaaS solutions, within the coming weeks. GSA will follow up with an industry day that will give suppliers the opportunity to provide feedback. The agency will continue to collaborate with industry as pools are established. To submit any suggestions to GSA related to Ascend, contact cloudinfo@gsa.gov. 

 

GSA Releases Equity Action Plan 

On April 14, GSA released its Equity Action Plan as part of the Administration’s goal  to advance racial equity and to support underserved communities. GSA aims to increase equity in three high-impact focus areas: Federal procurement, Federal buildings and Federal technology design and delivery. GSA has worked to advance equity across its office and platforms and will continue to do so. GSA is now implementing strategies that will advance equity by improving success for underserved businesses, enhancing technical assistance for underserved communities, ensuring equitable technology design, increasing small and disadvantaged business participation in the Multiple Award Schedules program, and enhancing supplier diversity. In addition, GSA will focus on determining the economic and environmental justice impacts of current and future Federal buildings. GSA will also prioritize equitable design while delivering digital services and improve the performance of older devices for mobile, rural, and low-bandwidth users. 

 

GAO Report on Cost or Pricing Data Changes

On April 14, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report on the implementation of changes to cost or pricing data requirements at the Department of Defense (DoD). Section 811 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 increased the dollar threshold above which offerors must submit certified cost or pricing data from $750,000 to $2 million for certain awards, including subcontracts and modifications. The Act required DoD offerors, when certified cost or pricing data are not required, to submit data other than certified cost or pricing data if requested by the contracting officer to determine whether prices are fair and reasonable. Both DoD and NASA have stated that this threshold change only affects about half a percentage of their awards and therefore have not formally assessed the effects of Section 811 after implementation. Neither agency foresees the change in pricing data requirements having a significant effect on regular business.  

 

VA MSPV-Z Dialogue on May 16

Please join the Medical/Surgical Subcommittee for a dialogue on the acquisition strategy for the VA’s MSPV-Z on May 16 at 2:30pm EST. The guest speakers for the virtual meeting will be:

Andrew Centineo
Executive Director
Office of Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Christopher Parker
Associate Executive Director
Strategic Acquisition Center
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Request for Questions
Mr. Centineo and Mr. Parker will brief members on the VA’s plans for the MSPV program moving forward.  They are very interested in what topics and/or questions members would like them to cover.  Please send your suggestions to Aubrey at awoolley@thecgp.org.  A list of questions that we’ve received thus far is posted here.  

Register to Attend
To register to attend the meeting, click here.
(Please note that the Coalition has a new process to attend member meetings.  Rather than sending an RSVP, please register using the link above. All registered members will receive the login information via email a few days in advance of the meeting. If you need any assistance, please contact Joseph Snyderwine at jsnyderwine@thecgp.org.) 

 

DoD Plans to Increase U.S. Tech Innovation 

On April 20, DoD announced plans to increase the production of microelectronics in the U.S. through the development of “microelectronics commons.” According to the Department, microelectronics commons will increase the marketability and viability of new microelectronics innovations developed in the U.S. Currently only approximately 12% of global microelectronics production is in the U.S. DoD reports that most research labs do not have the funding to create a large number of prototypes that will support marketability and production. The goal of the establishment of these commons is to get the attention of investors and the funding needed to support the innovations reaching production. Currently many microelectronics innovators must go to Asia to take their innovation from concept to production.  The DoD is concerned that a reliance on non-U.S. vendors could be a threat to national security. DoD’s goal is to change that dynamic and have more microelectronic innovation and production in the U.S.

 

GSA Posts Notices on Refresh 11 and 12

On April 18, GSA issued a notice for MAS Solicitation Refresh 11. The refresh was issued on April 11 and revises FAR Clause 52.223-99, Ensuring Adequate COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors, and applies the Supplement to Class Deviation CD-2021-13 for Executive Order 14042 Injunctions. The Refresh and the Supplement are being issued in accordance with the injunction from the United States District Court of Arizona that prohibits the inclusion of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for Federal contractors and subcontractors domiciled or headquartered in Arizona, or where work will be predominantly completed in Arizona. GSA stated that FAR Clause 52.223-99 is considered to be self-deleting: 

  • in any contract or order issued after February 10, 2022, that meets one or both of the following criteria: (1) an entity domiciled or headquartered in the state of Arizona, including the state of Arizona, or any of its agencies, is a party to the contract, or (2) work under the contract is to be performed principally in the state of Arizona.   
  • for extensions, options or renewals, if work is either principally performed in Arizona, or where a party is headquartered or domiciled in Arizona.   

GSA also announced their plans to issue Refresh #12 with an associated mass modification (mass mod) in May 2022. Refresh #12 and mass mod will be issued to all existing contracts and include the following changes 

A: Changes to Overall MAS Solicitation:  

  1. Incorporate the following updates to SCP-FSS-001 (see GSA Interact notice attachment for revised text):
  2. Update SCP-FSS-001 to expand the Startup Springboard from the Information Technology Category to the rest of the MAS Solicitation.
  3. i. The Startup Springboard program will allow companies with fewer than two years of experience to submit a MAS offer under any Large Category in the MAS Solicitation.

B: Changes to Specific Large Category, Subcategory or SIN: 

  1. Facilities (B)
  2. Facilities Services Subcategory (B02)
  3. i. GSA will add a note to SIN 561210FS Facilities Support Services to highlight that this SIN is scheduled to be closed to all new offers and Add SIN Modifications on 6/1/2022 and retired on 6/30/2022.

 

  1. Information Technology (F):
  2. IT Solutions Subcategory (F05)
  3. i. Add new SIN 518210FM – Financial Management Quality Service Management Office (FM QSMO) Core Financial Management (FM) Solutions and IT Professional Services. This is a joint effort between GSA/FAS/ITC and the Department of the Treasury/Bureau of the Fiscal Service/Financial Management Quality Service Management Office (FM QSMO) based on an OMB directive. This SIN establishes the FM QSMO marketplace consisting of commercially available FM solutions to support agency requirements for cloud computing services and Cloud Related IT Professional Services.

 

SIN 518210FM consists of 4 Subgroups:  

  1. Core Financial Management Solutions (Core FS)
    2. Additional Financial Management (FM) Solutions
    3. Financial Management (FM) Service/Solution Adoption and Transition Services
    4. Financial Management (FM) Technology Operations Support Services 

 ii. GSA will add a note to SIN 541519CDM Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Tools to highlight that this SIN is scheduled to be closed to all new offers and Add SIN Modifications on 6/1/2022 and retired on 6/30/2022.  

 

GSA is hosting a webinar to discuss Refresh #12 and mass mod on May 3 from 1 – 2 pm. The webinar will be listen-only format. Join the webinar here. If you have any questions or comments for GSA about Refresh #12 and/or the mass mod, submit them on this Interact post 

 

 

GSA Identifies 200,000 Products of Concern

Federal News Network reported that GSA identified nearly 200,000 products “of concern” based on a supply chain risk assessment conducted over the past year.  GSA conducted its assessment to identify potential threats in products that the agency offers. The marketplace currently contains over 75 million products. During the assessment, GSA analyzed the top 20 percent of companies who supply 80 percent of the products the agency offers across the Government. Products were segmented into high-risk categories such as industrial control systems and security cameras. GSA worked with suppliers to collect information on their supply chain and also looked at data from Federal threat intelligence. To assess risk, GSA looked at evaluation factors including foreign ownership, foreign sources of material, and cybersecurity risks.  Federal Acquisition

Service Commissioner Sonny Hashmi said that after identifying the products of concern through this approach, GSA can take actions such as suppressing some of the products or removing them. The assessment also looked for products that were incorrectly labeled as U.S. made, identical products that were offered at different prices, and unauthorized sellers. A GSA spokeswoman stated that the assessment process is known as a “Robomod” which uses “data analytics and automated acquisition processes to remove products from multiple contracts at the same time.” GSA announced in January that the agency is planning to use a new Robomod to remove unauthorized sellers from the Multiple Award Schedule.

  Commissioner Hashmi stated that he believes that supply chain risk management will be a problem for the next decade. He added that GSA is currently working with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to collaborate on supply chain security and to share best practices. 

 

Coalition Recommends GSA Test Additional e-Commerce Models in CPI

On April 15, The Coalition submitted comments in response to the Commercial Platforms Initiative (CPI) Request for Information (RFI). The RFI requested industry feedback on the CPI as GSA looks to increase industry participation. The Coalition recommended GSA test the three e-commerce models, which GSA has previously identified, in the next generation of the CPI. This recommendation is aligned with Section 853 of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which states that the CPI program will start testing other e-commerce models outside of the original model used for the CPI. Increasing the number of e-commerce models will support GSA’s goal of having more industry participation. See The Coalition’s comments here 

 

MHS GENESIS Rolled Out at More Military Health Facilities

Health.mil reported that 14 new military hospitals and clinics have deployed MHS GENESIS, the military health system’s new electronic health record. MHS GENESIS now has replaced legacy DoD electronic health record systems at 66 medical facilities across the United States. The system integrates medical and patient data across DoD, VA, and the U.S. Coast Guard. The newest locations to transition to MHS GENESIS include: 

  • Fort Bragg 
  • Seymour Johnson Air Force Base 
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune 
  • Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point 
  • Second Dental Battalion 
  • Fort Hood 
  • Fort Sill 
  • Fort Polk 
  • Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB) 
  • Little Rock AFB 
  • Tinker AFB 
  • Altus AFB 
  • Vance AFB 
  • Naval Air Station Belle Chase 

The goal is to have the system deployed across the entire enterprise by the end of next year. 

 

 IT/Services Committee Meeting with GSA’s IT Category Part 2, April 26    

The Coalition will be hosting its second virtual IT/Services Committee Meeting with GSA’s Office of Information Technology Category team on April 26 from 11 am – 12 pm EST. Guest speakers for this meeting will be Cheryl Thornton-Cameron, Executive Director, Office of Acquisition Operations, and Larry Hale, Acting Director, Office of IT Services. During the meeting, they will provide an update from GSA’s Office of IT Category. Please submit any questions or topics for the meeting to Michael Hanafin at mhanafin@thecgp.org.  To RSVP to attend, please email Michael at mhanafin@thecgp.org.   

 

Registration Open for GSA’s QPC Meeting, May 12 

The following announcement about the upcoming Quality Partnership Council (QPC) meeting is provided compliments of GSA:  

GSA’s Quality Partnership Council (QPC) will be hosting a VIRTUAL Furniture & Furnishings Industry Meeting on Thursday, May 12 from 1:00 – 4:30 PM PM EST. All furniture, furnishings, flooring, and office relocation suppliers are invited to join us. There is no cost to attend.
REGISTER HERE 

AGENDA Highlights 

  • Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program & Policy Updates  
  • GSA Catalog Management Briefing  
  • Insights on the Future of Federal Real Estate Footprint  
  • Small U.S. Manufacturer Spotlights (see below on how to apply)  
  • Interactive Breakout Discussions
    and more…  

Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email with a meeting link. All registrants will receive final agenda closer to the meeting date. 

Attention Small Furniture Manufacturers in the USA:
During this MAY 12 virtual QPC meeting, there will be two short small manufacturer spotlights. To be considered for a 2-5 minute pre-recorded video spotlight opportunity, please note your interest on the registration form or send an email to qpc@gsa.gov by April 25. Please DO NOT reply to this email with your submission. Use the subject line, Small Manufacturer Spotlight and include the following in your email:
Company name
GSA contract number
The type of furniture your small business manufacturers in the US
In 250 words or less, how your video spotlight might help those in attendance, including customers, large suppliers and dealers. 

Thank you for your partnership. We hope you can join us! 

Quality Partnership Council (QPC)
GSA Integrated Workplace Acquisition Center (IWAC)
qpc@gsa.gov