The Technology Modernization Fund would be funded at its originally-anticipated $250 million level per House Appropriations Committee’s action this week. The Fund, which recently made its first three awards, was funded at only $100 million for the current fiscal year. The Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture collectively received $45 million of that amount earlier this month, with each receiving at least $10 million. Contractors and other federal agencies are closely scrutinizing those awards for clues as to what projects that the Technology Modernization Board overseeing the disbursement of the funds might approve in the future. In addition, the Board has posted extensive guidelines on how agencies can apply. Contractors interested in helping customer agencies apply for Fund money should definitely be familiar with these steps. Funds can go toward any qualifying new IT project that modernizes outdated infrastructure. It is important to remember that all fund money must be repaid by agencies that use the funds. As such, while the Fund may not have a sizeable amount of money to invest, it will be a perpetual source of seed money. IT contractors should definitely consider this funding source when talking to customers about new IT solutions.
For starters, it’s probably not Santa Claus. Your government contract is subject to review and audit by multiple government agencies. IG’s, DCAA, SBA, and Labor are just some of the organizations that can look at your contracting books. Not sure that they would pass a review? Allen Federal can help. We’ve reviewed dozens of contracts and contract files. We can point out your strengths and weaknesses AND make recommendations on how to ensure that your firm can successfully open the door wide to whoever wants to review your documents. Find out what we can do for you today by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
Federal agencies spent $10.4 billion via Other Transaction Authority from 2008 to April 2018 according to a new NextGov article published last week. While some spending went toward traditional OTA projects such as prototyping and specialized technologies, significant money was also spent on professional consulting services and a variety of IT projects. Another surprise is that the TSA has been a leading OTA agency, along with traditional user DOD. The Read more
As part of its Section 846 implementation project, GSA is considering an option that would enable certain “GSA Approved” commercial e-commerce providers to handle transactions up to the $250,000 Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT). This may be important to companies outside the spectrum of those initially concerned about the impact of the Section 846 e-commerce portal project on their Schedule or other government business. To qualify for the higher dollar level E-commerce portal companies would have to setup controls that would ensure compliance with all applicable rules for SAT procurements. It is too early to say whether any company would sign up for this deal, but it is important to keep in mind that such a move would possibly mean that all portal buys between the Micro-Purchase threshold and the SAT would be set aside for small businesses. These transactions are not Schedule sales and, as such, the open market set-aside rule could apply. In addition, product sales could also be impacted even if they’re part of a larger solution. Customers excited about using their new e-commerce authority, for example, could decide to buy the product components of their need via a portal and then expect the solution provider to integrate those products into a final solution. It is clear that the Section 846 project should draw the interest of all GSA Schedule contractors to at least some extent. The agency is having its second industry day on June 21st and registration is open on the Interact site.
It used to be that GSA training classes for industry were few and far-between. They usually consisted of an unfortunate junior contract specialist being thrust into a class with someone else’s slide deck and not much else. Similarly, information on what was happening with GSA programs was something less than transparent. GSA, though, has stepped up actions on both fronts. Contractors can no longer say that the agency isn’t making a solid effort to train industry on a variety of Schedules-related topics, most recently the implementation of the OLM contract clause. In addition, the agency is seeking input on their Professional Services Schedule and other planned Schedule changes. Allen Federal had at least one e-mail a day from GSA in the past week announcing a training class, event, or seeking input from industry. We’re not that special and we’re not over-subscribed to Interact news lists, either. The agency is clearly making strides to better communicate with its industry partners. While not all the agency has to say may find agreement from industry, there can be no credible allegation that it is not making a credible effort to improve communication and transparency. The end result of these actions is also something all can support: A Schedules program that better meets the needs of agency customers.