UPDATE (9/3/13): Amendment 3 to the OASIS SB solicitation and Amendment 2 to the OASIS solicitation are now available on FedBizOpps. I haven’t had a chance to review them for major changes, but please be aware that they are out there!
GSA released the final Request for Proposals (RFP) for the OASIS and OASIS SB contract vehicles this afternoon to FedBizOpps. Keep checking in with Aronson’s FedPoint for more details about the solicitations (as soon as I can read them) and be sure to sign up for our complimentary webinar, To Bid or Not to Bid: An Overview of the GSA OASIS and OASIS SB Solicitations, on August 6th to get the latest scoop on this multi-billion dollar opportunity!
UPDATE (8/27/13): USfalcon has withdrawn its protest of the OASIS solicitation. The company’s protest, a USfalcon spokesperson said, was addressed and satisfied by changes incorporated in Amendment 1 to the OASIS solicitation, issued August 23rd. OASIS still has a pending protest from consulting firm Aljucar, Anvil-Incus, and Company (AAIC). GSA’s General Counsel filed a motion to dismiss AAIC’s protest for lack of standing; however, the motion was denied therefore the protest is ongoing.
First of all, some OASIS news – two agency protests were already filed early this month in response to the final OASIS Unrestricted solicitation. The first contends that the evaluation criteria is arbitrary, restricts competition, and does not allow agencies to select the contractor or contractors that best suit the government’s needs by not allowing Contractor Teaming Arrangements (the FAR Subpart 9.6 kind of CTA, not the GSA Schedules kind). For relief, the protest requests that GSA allow for the use of teams at the master contract level to meet the requirements. The second protest found the evaluation criteria overly restrictive and likewise contests the inability of bidders to form Joint Ventures in order to respond to the solicitation. According to the Federal Acquisition Regulations, agencies receiving an agency-level protest must stay the awards and decide the case within 35 days.
Moving on, thank you to all of those people who attended our GSA OASIS: To Bid or Not to Bid webinar last week; we had a good crowd for the event and I hope that attendees found it helpful. If you were unable to participate, you can download the presentation or listen to a recording of the webinar through Aronson’s website. There were a large number of questions submitted throughout the webinar and I was unable to answer all of them in the time allotted. As promised, I am posting a complete list of questions and responses here (multiple questions on the same topic were combined). You can also contact me directly with further questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 231-6253. The responses are based on my interpretation of the solicitations in conjunction with my historical knowledge of the procurement. I have included citations to the relevant solicitation sections wherever possible. Please note that formal questions to GSA about the final OASIS and OASIS SB solicitations must be submitted to email@example.com by 4:00pm CST Tuesday, August 20th. (Section L.3.5)
Q1: Tough question, but what is your guess of the minimum number of points required to justify bidding?
With so many acquisition planning, support and vehicle options available – particularly within the Information Technology arena – potential Government customers can be overwhelmed by all the possibilities and choices. As a part of their normal course of business, GSA focuses considerable effort towards educating their customer Agencies on all of the resources that they have available for them. To assist in this effort, GSA recently announced their IT Solutions Navigator. This online tool is intended to help Federal Government Agencies conduct market research, identify the IT solutions that best meet their requirements and evaluate GSA’s IT and telecommunications solutions. The tool also provides online guidance in selecting and using GSA’s various contracting vehicles. Below is an excerpt from the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of the IT Solutions Navigator site. There they offer the following guidance:
“Q: What is the IT Solutions Navigator tool?
A: The IT Solutions Navigator tool is a decision support system aimed to assist customers in evaluating GSA’s Integrated Technology Services (ITS) solution categories and identifying an appropriate acquisition vehicle to meet their business needs.
Effective June 2013, GSA Schedule contractors can now sell to National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster (NVOAD) through their Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) contracts to facilitate emergency preparedness and disaster relief. Section 2 of the Federal Supply Schedules Usage Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-263), states that the Administrator of General Services may provide for the use of Federal Supply Schedules, by other qualified organizations to facilitate emergency preparedness and disaster relief. GSA, pursuant to this Act, has authorized the NVOAD members to access Schedules when purchasing in furtherance of emergency preparedness and disaster relief. GSA Order ADM 4800.2H, Eligibility to Use GSA Sources of Supply and Services has been updated (from .2G to .2H) to reflect this new eligible ordering activity. Under the Act, the term “qualified organization” means a relief or disaster assistance organization as described in section 309 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5152).
A recent Federal Times article (using data compiled by Deltek) noted that 2012 GSA schedule sales were 2.9 percent lower than those in 2011, making it the second year in a row that sales were down. Sequestration could be the simple explanation but it is the tightening of federal dollars resulting from the sequester that GSA believes could turn the schedule sales’ tides: ‘“Right now, as budgets tighten across the federal government, the (GSA) is uniquely positioned to support our partner agencies so that they can focus their energy and funding on their own important missions,’ (GSA Administrator Dan) Tangherlini told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on July 15.”
The article also notes that only about 12 percent of federal procurement dollars that could have gone through GSA in 2012 actually did. GSA officials have confidence their share is growing and say they’re expecting to hit 17 percent by the end of 2013 with a goal of 90 percent within the next decade.