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2016 Top 10: Improving GSA’s Professional Services and Human Capital Categories

It’s been a great year for GSA’s Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories (PSHC). In no particular order, here are highlights of our team’s work:


1. OASIS Pool 2 On Ramp.  For the first time in federal procurement history, we are competitively on-ramping companies to an existing contract. The OASIS team has released the final Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Small Business Pool 2 On-Ramp, which is available on FedBizOpps. The solicitation closing date for the on-ramp is January 10, 2017. This on-ramp is being conducted to increase small business participation and to expand competition within Pool 2 (Offices of Certified Public Accountants, Tax Preparation Services, Payroll Services, Other Accounting Services and Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities). The goal of the on-ramp is to sustain a flexible, vibrant and experienced pool of industry partners on behalf of our federal agency buyers. 


2. Two Contracts Designated Best-in-Class. GSA’s SmartPay and Identity Protection Service Blanket Purchase Agreement (IPS BPA) were designated "Best-in-Class” vehicles. Best-in-Class (BIC) is a contracting and acquisition designation used across government to denote contracts that meet rigorous category management performance criteria as defined by the Category Management Leadership Council, which is chaired by the Office of Management and Budget and includes representatives from the seven biggest buying agencies. The BIC designation recognizes these contracts as ‘good-for-government’ purchasing solutions which should be used by all agencies.  


3. Navy and DPAP “4th Estate” Commit to OASIS. The U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) organization signed Memorandums of Understandings (MOU) to use GSA’s OASIS and OASIS Small Business (SB) contracts for the procurement of professional services. OASIS serves as a first-of-its kind contract that provides the government with maximum flexibility at the task order level. This ensures clients can access the right mix of suppliers and solutions to meet their professional service needs. Click here for a list of all the MOUs.


4. HCaTS Contract Awarded. The Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCaTS) contracts are now “open for business” and federal agencies government-wide can begin using the innovative solution to address their customized training and development, human capital strategy and organizational performance improvement service needs.


5. FY 16 and FY 17 Governmentwide Professional Services Category Strategic Plan Completed . In May 2016, the federal Category Management Leadership Council (CMLC), a governing body that sets the direction of the government's category management initiative, reviewed and approved the FY 2016 governmentwide Professional Services Category Strategic Plan. The FY 2016 plan, shared on the Acquisition Gateway (select Non-federal Government & Public users at the log in screen), was developed by an interagency team comprised of agencies with the top 10 spend in professional services. This initial plan documented the first steps the federal Professional Services category took to more effectively manage the federal government’s second largest category of spend. The Version 2.0 Strategic Plan was completed and approved by the CMLC in November and can also be found on the Acquisition Gateway (note: you must be logged onto the AG to view).


6. Professional Services Transactional Data Rule Pilot Participation. On June 23rd, 2016, GSA published a final General Services Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) rule to capture transactional data on procurements across all of its Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) and Governmentwide Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, including Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs). As part of the strategic implementation of the rule across all GSA contracts, the agency will introduce the transactional data reporting requirement with a pilot of select products and services in the MAS program.  The Professional Services Category will be participating in the pilot for professional engineering services starting January 2017.


7. OASIS Turns 2.  In May 2016, we celebrated OASIS’ 2nd Birthday. GSA awarded OASIS and OASIS SB in 2014 to provide federal agencies a flexible and innovative solution for their complex professional services requirements. In these two years, the OASIS Program Office has conducted 191 Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) training sessions to more than 5,500 Federal employees. It has delegated Ordering Contracting Officer (OCO) authority to over 1,650 qualified Contracting Officers in over 377 Contracting Offices across 35 Federal agencies, worldwide. Since 2014, 598 task orders for complex professional services worth an estimated $11.6 billion over the task order’s duration have been awarded against the OASIS contracts. We expect usage to increase in 2017 and beyond as agencies experience the success of acquiring quality professional services through the flexible, easy-to-use OASIS acquisition platform.


8. Space Launch Integration Services added to the Professional Services Schedule. In addition to legal, language and logistics services, federal agencies can now buy commercial  satellite integration launch services from the GSA’s Professional Services Schedule (PSS). Satellite launch integration services are the engineering services needed to integrate, launch, and deploy satellites from a rocket, or other launch vehicle. Years ago, rockets could only carry and launch one satellite at a time. Through the satellite launch integration services on the PSS, federal agencies can tap industry experts to develop the specifications, design, testing, prototypes, and related logistics needed for mounting satellites to rockets and launching them into space.


9. Six Informational Acquisition Gateway Videos. We created six short, informational videos introducing the Acquisition Gateway and the wide range of available digital tools including:


Each video is designed to assist the federal acquisition community use the digital tools to efficiently navigate purchasing channels and effectively manage cost by assisting in smart buying decisions. The Digital Tool series can be found on the GSA You Tube channel as well as individual links located above.  Happy viewing!


10. Building Professional Services Digital Tools. Digital tools are allow the contracting community to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently are a critical component of category management. The Professional Services Category is well represented in the newly relaunched Acquisition Gateway Document Library. More than 70 of the 235 procurement templates and examples approved by the document librarian can help procure professional services. The relaunch increased the library’s capacity to accept acquisition documents, covering the entire acquisition lifecycle and it’s easier than ever to contribute new ones. The Contract Awarded Labor Category (CALC) tool is one of the most visited digital tools on the Gateway with more than 41,000 unique page views this year. CALC features labor rates for more than 55,000 labor categories awarded under more than 2,356 GSA contracts for professional services and 1,721 contracts awarded for IT services under Schedule 70.



My sincerest thanks is shared with PSHC team and federal acquisition community for developing strategic as well as effective contracts and digital tools!


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