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GSA’s Professional Services and Human Capital Categories 2020 Highlights

GSA’s Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories would like to thank our customers and industry partners for another successful year! Here are some of the highlights:

 

Improving Our Contract Offerings

 

Completed the OASIS On-Ramp Awards. In April, 2019, GSA's OASIS program released the solicitation for SB Pools 1, 3, 4 and 8(a) SubPools and later OASIS Unrestricted Pools 1, 3 and 4 to increase the industrial base on the OASIS Small Business (SB) and OASIS Unrestricted (UR) Pools 1, 3 and 4, and provide for the establishment of 8(a) sub-pools under each OASIS SB Pool with task order history. Our goal was to sustain a flexible, vibrant, and experienced pool of Best-in-Class (Tier 3) industry partners; ensure robust competition in the most widely used pools; and provide more BIC contract opportunities for small business. During its on-ramping efforts, the program answered 2,351 questions, evaluated 1,662 proposals, and made 730 contract awards. We issued the last of our Notices to Proceed on November 13, 2020 to:

  • 446 contractors for OASIS Small Business Pools 1, 3, and 4
  • 160 contractors for OASIS Small Business 8(a) Sub Pools 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5b
  • 124 contractors for OASIS Unrestricted Pools 1, 3, and 4

Post on-ramp, the OASIS contracts are better than ever - now with more than 1,100 OASIS BIC contracts, approximately 70% of which are awarded to small businesses. Equally important, our new industry partners have access to more BIC procurement opportunities. Today, our new contractors are fully integrated into GSA systems, including GSA eLibrary and e-Buy, and are eligible to formally compete for task order opportunities. Information about all of our OASIS contractors, ordering guides, and updated reference materials can be found at GSA.gov.

 

Added HCaTS 8(a) Pool 1 and Pool 2. On December 22, PSHC “on-ramped” or added 41 new vendors to the Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCaTS) 8(a) contract. The Best-in-Class (BIC) HCaTS contracts are government-wide contracts that provide reliable, flexible, fast and efficient ways to obtain complex, customized human capital and training services to all federal agencies. The award notification and awardees list have been posted on Beta.SAM.gov under Solicitation Number 47QREB-20-R-0001 (link). As a result of this on-ramp, customers can use HCaTS 8(a) for 8(a) direct awards and 8(a) competitive awards task orders. By using HCaTS 8(a), customers will receive credit toward their 8(a) small business set-aside goals and BIC goals. For more information on the HCaTS contracts see

GSA.gov

 

Completed Phase 2 of the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Consolidation. Organized similarly to the governmentwide categories and subcategories, it’s now easier for customers to search within large categories to find and purchase the products, services, and solutions they need to meet mission requirements. Because the new Special Item Number (SIN) structure better aligns with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, it is easier to identify the NAICS code applicable to each order. For industry, the single MAS contract vehicle is organized in a more logical format with streamlined and consistent terms and conditions. In addition, the category structure is similar to the governmentwide categories and lets suppliers offer total solutions with the flexibility to add SINs from across the MAS program. This new Schedule lets suppliers offer total solutions with the flexibility to add SINs from across the MAS program. For a closer look at the MAS Professional Services and Human Capital  categories offerings, visit GSA.gov

 

Published Acquisition Planning Packages. To support customers with their MAS professional services acquisitions, we developed a series of acquisition planning packages that help program and contracting professionals develop requirements and create solicitations. The acquisition planning packages, available on GSA.gov, include 9 unique buyers guides, a task order RFQ template, a BPA RFQ template, vetted sample evaluation factors, 119 Statement of Work/Performance Work Statement samples, 8 Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE) templates, 21 Request for Information samples, and a market research report template. We welcome feedback from agencies and industry on these resources. Please email professionalservices@gsa.gov with questions, general comments, and suggestions on additional documents to be included.

 

MAS Identity Protection Services SIN Designated as Best-in-Class. In September, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated the Multiple Award Schedule Identity Protection Services (IPS) Special Item Number  (SIN 541990IPS / Data Breach Response and Identity Protection Services) as a Best-in-Class (BIC) solution. In accordance with OMB Memo M-16-14, like the former Blanket Purchase Agreement, 541990IPS is the preferred source for data breach services in order to maximize Federal agency use of a government-wide solution for acquiring identity protection services when needed. Memorandum M-16-14 requires, with limited exceptions, that when agencies need identity protection services, agencies address their requirements by using the GSA vehicle, in this case the SIN 541990IPS please note that the guidance will be updated to reflect the SIN information. Taking advantage of the GSA SIN 541990IPS ensures agencies can meet their needs for expeditious delivery of BIC solutions from pre-approved and vetted companies at competitive pricing and reduced administrative costs. Ordering agencies are encouraged to visit www.gsa.gov/ips for a complete detail of services and GSA eLibrary for a list of sources. 

 

Implemented Section 889 Contract Modifications. Section 889 Part B of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) went into effect on August 13, 2020, prohibiting the Government from entering into a contract (or extending or renewing a contract) with companies that use any equipment, system, or service that uses prohibited telecom as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system, unless a waiver is obtained or an exception applies. Protecting our supply chain is a critical value proposition GSA provides to our customer agencies. As of early December 96% of OASIS vendors, 100% of HCaTS vendors and 99% of MAS vendors had accepted the required modification. Industry can identify contracts that have agreed to the reporting clause on the 889 Part B Contract Vehicle Modification Status Tracker posted on D2D. This dashboard is updated daily.

 

Reached Scope Review Milestone. In 2020, PSHC completed hundreds of scope reviews including more than 500 for MAS, 450 for OASIS (surpassing more than 1,000 since the contract was stood up), and 57 for HCaTS. Our complimentary scope reviews help federal acquisition professionals determine which GSA contract, MAS SIN, OASIS Pool, or HCaTS Pool best supports the planned procurement and proposed task order requirements. This benefit helps customers reduce the risk of protests and streamline the acquisition process. To request a scope review email professionalservices@gsa.gov.

 

Supporting COVID-19 Response

 

Established Enhanced Entry Screening Services Acquisition Resources. In response to requests from local, state and federal agencies, GSAconducted initial market research and prepared ordering guidance and procurement resources to help agencies quickly procure Enhanced Entry Screening Services (EESS) at government facilities within the United States and its territories in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample procurement package includes: 

 

PSHC periodically updates the EESS resources as the situation evolves. To learn more about the Enhanced Entry Screening Services procurement packages, visit the Acquisition Gateway.

 

Created Disaster Purchasing Guide for State and Local Customers. GSA's Disaster Purchasing Program lets state and local governments buy supplies and services directly from all GSA Schedules to facilitate disaster preparation, response, or major disaster recovery. In April 2020, PSHC created a two-page Disaster Purchasing Guide for Professional Services to assist state and local agencies needing to buy professional services during the current pandemic. The guide includes Special Item Numbers (SIN), SIN descriptions, and examples of the types of services that can be bought under those SINs. Recovery related purchases must be made in response to a Stafford Act Presidential declaration. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the list of declared disasters

 

Provided COVID-19 Purchase Card Related Micro-purchase Reporting. In support  of OMB Memorandum M-20-21 GSA’s Center for Charge Card Management (CCCM) provided monthly COVID-19 micropurchase spend reports to OMB  for agencies using their servicing GSA SmartPay contractor banks. CCCM consolidated data from both contractor banks (Citibank and US Bank) alleviating reporting burden on  agencies during the pandemic response.

 

Professional Services and Human Capital Category Management Initiatives

 

Hosted the First Professional Services Category Forecasting Event. This year, the governmentwide Professional Services Category hosted the first annual virtual Forecasting Event for industry partners featuring speakers from EPA, Navy, and Air Force. The event was held to provide industry greater visibility on upcoming high value procurements and to strengthen the industry and government partnership. The presentations included trends in spend, small business utilization, and opportunities one to three years into the future. Missed the virtual event and want more information? Check out the presentation and session recordings here

 

Conducted Civilian Services Acquisition Workshops (CSAW). As part of the ongoing work to improve services acquisition, the governmentwide Professional Services Category delivered the first ever cohort facilitated in-person Civilian Services Acquisition Workshop (CSAW) with the Office of Personnel Management and the first virtual workshop with the Department of Transportation. The facilitated workshop is built around a specific acquisition and its multi-functional integrated project team. The workshop walked the core team through the performance based acquisition (PBA) process from beginning to end. CSAWs focus on getting the actual work product started (and possibly completed), giving the team the tools to continue the process through to completion and building a team commitment to continuing to work together. Learn more about CSAWS and Steps to Performance Based Acquisition.

 

Completed Annual Best- in-Class Designation Review. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), with the support of the Government-wide Category Management Program Management Office (GWCM PMO), recently announced that 36 Best-in-Class (BIC) solutions including HCaTS, OASIS and GSA SmartPay have successfully completed their annual reviews and will retain their BIC designations. The BIC initiative is part of the overall category management strategy to optimize the government's buying power and create an atmosphere of cooperative excellence among customer agencies, vendors, and solution owners. OMB and the GWCM PMO review the BIC designations annually to ensure sustained performance, identify opportunities for improvement, and evaluate compliance with ongoing BIC reporting requirements. The foundation of those discussions were one-page summaries (key metrics and narrative) of how each solution supports category management principles in general and their solution's operational objectives. All one-pagers can be found here, on the Acquisition Gateway. 

 

Opened the Awards Exploration Tool for Industry. The Professional Services Category was instrumental in helping open the Awards Exploration Tool to industry.The Awards Exploration Tool combines the Federal Procurement Data System with the category management taxonomy. It can help industry partners use the category management framework to identify expiring contracts (and potential business opportunities) by filtering for Dept/Agency/Office, Obligation Classification, Award Details, and Vendor Details. Originally designed as tools just for the federal acquisition workforce, the dashboards layer category management taxonomy (like categories of spend and contract vehicle tiers) in a way that provides context to how the government is using data to be a better steward of taxpayer dollars. 

 

Stakeholder Engagement

 

Hosted SmartPay Training Forum Virtually. In the beginning of the pandemic, GSA’s SmartPay team quickly pivoted to host the 2020 GSA SmartPay Training Forum virtually with approximately 3,800 participants earning over 27,000 CLPs and 1,551 qualified to receive the GSA SmartPay Program Certification! GSA SmartPay Virtual Training Forum continues to be the premier training event for charge card program managers. The event featured a comprehensive training schedule covering all aspects of how to successfully manage agencies’ charge card programs.  

 

Improved our GSA.gov Presence. Recognizing the evolving needs of our customers and industry partners, we’ve reformatted our GSA.gov content for HCaTS, OASIS and the MAS Professional Services Category. The pages were restructured to better present the guidance, resources, and tools federal agencies and industry use. 

 

Grew Twitter and LinkedIn Connections. We continued to expand our social media presence with innovative content to support our customers and industry partners. Be sure to follow, like, retweet, and tag us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Trained Thousands through Office Hours, Spotlights, Industry Partner Briefs and more. In the past 12 months, we trained more than 1,400 Contracting Officers (COs) and project managers through our monthly office hours; were joined by more than 1,000 representatives from the acquisition workforce for our Spotlight webinars; and reached more than 2,500 industry partners with targeted training and outreach. That does not include our conversations with industry associations, blogs, news coverage, and new videos shared on PSHC YouTube. And, of course, Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) training for OASIS and HCaTS

 

Thanks to our federal customers and industry partners for another successful and collaborative year!  

 
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