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Interact Question #6 – Standardized Information Technology (IT) Service Labor Categories

Thank you to all that have contributed here – your input is helping to shape GSA’s next GWACs and we appreciate your input.

So far we have discussed Standardized IT Service Labor Categories and – as many of you are aware – we are seriously considering this type of standardization as part of the Alliant 2 GWAC family of contracts in an effort to improve reporting capabilities and follow trends and indicators as the contracts move through their respective life cycle. 

This approach presents a couple of challenges concerning IT Service Labor Categories that emerge over time or specialized IT Service Labor Categories that a particular agency may require (for National Security needs as an example). 

Using a Time & Materials (T&M) Task Order (TO) as a model, our thinking in this area flows down two paths:

1)    We can allow the use of an IT Service Labor Category that is not on the Alliant 2 / Alliant 2 Small Business (A2/A2SB) GWAC standardized list, provided the Ordering Contracting Officer (OCO) requires the unlisted IT Service Labor Category to meet an immediate need and that OCO notifies the A2/A2SB Program Office at least 10 days before publication of a Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposal (RFP).  The A2/A2SB Program Office may (or may) not consider adding the unlisted IT Service Labor Category to the (A2/A2SB) GWAC standardized list.

2)    Industry or Agency may submit a formal single page written request to add an unlisted IT Service Labor Category to the A2/A2SB master contract at any time.  The A2/A2SB Program Office will review the formal request within 30 days and – if approved – take the necessary action to add the new unlisted IT Service Labor Category to the A2/A2SB master contract and provide all the information required for proposing and reporting this newly adopted IT Service Labor Category, that will then become part of the standardized list.  If the formal request is not approved, the A2/A2SB program office will respond to the Industry or Agency submitter why the newly proposed unlisted IT Service Labor Category was not adopted and also offer an alternative labor category from the (A2/A2SB) GWAC standardized list of IT Service Labor Categories that can be considered, if applicable.

While we believe the IT service market has reached a level of maturation as to make the need  infrequent for new unlisted IT Service Labor Categories to be added to the (A2/A2SB) GWAC standardized list, we also believe this approach offers the flexibility for OCOs to meet an immediate need for any specialized IT Service Labor Category that they may have to address (National Security, as an example) as well as the flexibility for A2/A2SB to add an unlisted IT Service Labor Category as emerging technologies evolve over the life of the GWACs while enabling government to do a better job of tracking and evaluating our contract’s performance in the marketplace.

With respect to flexibility, ancillary services not within the scope of A2/A2SB that are integral and necessary to complete a total integrated solution under an Information Technology Service based Requirement will still be allowed. Ancillary support services may include, but are not limited to professional and/or non-professional services; administrative support; data entry; subject matter expertise; and network communication services (non-tariffed).

As always, your thoughts are encouraged and welcome.  Please let us know what you think.

Thank you

 

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Comments

JSmith
<p>Suggestion: We have experienced many exceptional requirements in Alliant Task Orders where we had to take exception to standard labor categories. To avoid future high use of Labor Cat 9999, some consideration, usually to exceed the celling rate value for a Labor Cat, needs to be additive for:</p><p>a. Experience -- required years of experience above the Standard Labor Cat&#39;s for the following customer driven requirements. Often we have had SME requirements will be more than double the years of experience specified in the Standard Labor Cat.</p><p>b. Certifications &ndash; Certifications are specified that are now part of the Standard Labor Cat.</p><p>c. Specialized and Named Systems Experience &ndash; AF HQ Applications, AF ACC Battlefield Systems, AFSPC LRTS Destruct System, &hellip;</p><p>d. Clearances -- Classified Program requiring Cleared Personnel (S, TS, TS with Poly, etc.). Each security level comes typically with a market increase in salary given the current scarcity of clearance personnel and the long time requirements for new professionals to obtain clearances.</p><p>e. OCONUS Work Locations -- especially OCONUS Work Locations near and in Contested and Highly Contested Regions.</p><p>f. SCIF Work &ndash; the operational costs for SCIF work space are above the facility rates used in creating a contractor site rate.</p><p>g. QRC (Quick Reaction Capabilities) &ndash; These are resources needed with typically short notice for a short duration to perform this work. Often, the QRC requirement is also OCONUS and Classified work to complicate the rate calculation.</p><p>h. Specialized and Named Information Technology Skills and Experienced (e.g., Oracle Siebel Dynamic Pricer using IBM&#39;s Model 204 DBMS with a TS Clearance and fiver years of experience with HADOOP).</p><p>i. SaaS/Cloud/Data Center Hosting - Data Center and Hosting via some service based approach has costs associated with these services above labor rates at the contractor site that we have been asked in the past to build into our proposed rates. Usually, some plug-in is provided by the customer after this request receives a large number of associated questions.</p><p>j. Warehouse/Equipment Procurement, Configuration, Testing, Storage, and Shipping/Transport including ITAR requirements.</p><p>h. Other</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a7664a74-a409-7d10-b0e0-39d1c4108219"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@JSmith: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></span></p>
George Hansen CSC
<p>CSC agrees with the comment from SRA reagrding the need for flexibilty to introduce new labor categories in order to ensure a total solution is provided in response to a client&#39;s requirements.&nbsp; This could be especially beneficial when new technologies are developed and introduced that require new labor categories.&nbsp; CSC has no issue with the 2 options presented in the quesiton other than the 10 and 30 day timeframes provided may be excessive under some circumstances and excelptions should be allowed, on a cas-by-case basis and with OCO and GSA approval.&nbsp; Further, CSC also agrees with the thirs option SRA proposed.&nbsp; Again, this ia practice (or&nbsp;a very similar practice) was employed successfully on previous contracts and should be considered on Alliant 2.</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a7664a74-a406-cc5f-19e7-c17a682c725c"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@George Hansen CSC: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></span></p>
Geoffrey.Vance
<p>Vencore (Formerly QinetiQ North America) has reviewed Question #6 and we have the following comments/suggestions:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Path 1) </strong>We do not believe that Path 1 is realistic in practice. &nbsp;This path assumes that the Ordering Contracting Officer (OCO) would know if a labor category should be added to address the requirements in an RFI or RFP at an early stage in the procurement process. &nbsp;Typically, it is industry that identifies the need for an additional labor category after doing a thorough review of the RFI/RFP requirements.&nbsp; Often, additional labor categories might be required as a result of emerging technology trends.&nbsp; For example, in areas such as cyber security or some other field to be anticipated, a new labor category may be warranted. &nbsp;The important consideration is that the OCO will not often know this in the early stages of the procurement process.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Path 2)</strong>Path 2 is a viable option for adding labor categories.&nbsp; Industry should be able to propose specialized IT Services Labor Categories when proposing task order support; however, we suggest that the OCO should be able to determine whether circumstances merit the use of specialized professional skills. &nbsp;Whenever possible, this specialized&nbsp; labor shall be mapped to the BLS SOC. If the use of specialized IT services labor becomes frequent, additional labor categories and their associated ceiling rates may be added via bi-lateral modification to Alliant 2.&nbsp; Another consideration regarding modification to the Alliant 2 labor categories is the use of a &ldquo;fast-track&rdquo; capability within the PMO to add labor categories in a quick timeframe to the master contract.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Additional Path)</strong>&nbsp;Allow contractors to propose new labor categories on specific task orders when the requirements dictate the need for them.&nbsp;&nbsp; The acceptance of the proposed new labor categories needs to be allowed at the Task Order level and approved by the OCO. With short RFP response times, a lengthy process to allow these labor category additions is not in either industry or the governments&rsquo; best interest. The contractor will need to provide justification for the addition.&nbsp; The Alliant 2 PMO can consider adding these new labor categories and ceiling rates to the master contract via bi-lateral modifications.&nbsp; This could be accomplished on a bi-annual basis or some other routine basis.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a7664a74-6682-7deb-3de8-d2c4094986e7"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@Geoffrey.Vance: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></span></p>
annahogan
<p><span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>SRA agrees that the need to add new LCs is an infrequent occurrence and thus we have no issue with either Option 1 or Option 2.&nbsp; However, we offer the following observations.&nbsp; Option 1 provides the flexibility at the Task Order level to customize the solution to an Agency&rsquo;s needs which we see as a positive benefit.&nbsp;However, we do foresee a potential issue with the 10 day rule and the inevitable over-worked OCO. &nbsp;Option 2 offers both Industry and Agencies the ability to request new LCs with appropriate justification which is also an appropriate feature.&nbsp; However, the 30 day response time could be problematic in some cases.&nbsp; For example, we would most often expect to see Industry identifying the need for a new LC during their proposal preparation in response to a specific TO RFP, and the 30 day timeline would not meet the normal RFP response window.&nbsp; Although it doesn&rsquo;t allow pre-approval of new LCs prior to TO proposal submission, you may want to consider a third option which allows industry to include a new LC and associated justification in their TO proposal, and both the OCO and GSA could review that request during the proposal evaluation process.&nbsp; Assuming it is approved, the LC could be added at the vehicle level after TO award.</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p>@annahogan: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.&nbsp;</p>
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