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Updated source selection procedures have been published. See DPC's Contract Policy page for competitive source selection. It's a great place to find latest documents as well as Peer Reveiw information for your competitive procurement.
[Updated link 5/26/2022]
GSA plans to roll up OASIS, OASIS Small Business, and
two other professional services contract vehicles under its GSA Services MAC (“BIC MAC”), with an RFP anticipated in
2022. [BIC=Best in Class; MAC= Multiple Award Contract]
How many folks are using OASIS/OASIS Small Business?
The Court of Federal Claims Decision on a post-award bid protest for a sole-source award in response to FEMA's request to the Army Corps of Engineers for debris removal following tornados in 2021 provides insights into writing a good J&A.
[Open this announcement to follow the link.]
Although there are specific circumstances here, you can pull that J&A rationale from the court's full decision. You will have to modify it based on your situation, as the details in this case likely won't be present in your situation. But rational that is clearly thought through including an analysis of why other acquisition methods would not suffice will lead you to a better J&A.
In this post-award bid protest, the plaintiffs, Ceres Environmental Services, Inc. (“Ceres”) and D&J Enterprises, Inc. (“D&J”), challenge the award by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) of a sole-source contract issued without competitive bidding to DRC Emergency Services, LLC (“DRC”) for debris removal in Graves County, Kentucky, following a tornado that struck on December 10, 2021.
[Open announcement to access the link] The Army obligates more money to acquire services than products. On average for the previous three fiscal years, the Army’s procurement of services represents nearly $67B of total contractual execution. Services acquisition is a big deal, requiring disciplined oversight and management to ensure the Army receives expected performance outcomes and deliverables that are cost effective. DoD Instruction 5000.74, Defense Acquisition of Services mandates the Services Requirement Review Board (SRRB) process. SRRBs are designed to institutionalize proper life-cycle and portfolio management of services requirements.
Check out the Army Tip FY22 #02 for SRRB actions and minimum analysis requirements.
July 18, 2022 UPDATE! Nondisplacement Rule For Contractors Coming Back! The Biden Administration just issued a proposal to reinstitute the nondisplacement rule, which requires services contracts that succeed contracts for the same or similar services-as well as solicitations for such contracts-to include a clause offering qualified service employees under the predecessor contract a right of first refusal of employment.
Contractors will be familiar with this rule, which existed during the Obama Administration-albeit with a few differences-and was canceled during the Trump Administration. Contractors should keep in mind the following to help ensure compliance:
Unlike rules under the Obama administrate, the new rule applies to contractors performing work at a different location than the predecessor contractor.
The departing contractor is responsible for providing the contracting officer a list of the names of all service employees employed under the contract and subcontracts within the last month of contract performance. The departing contractor must also provide written notice to service employees of their possible right of first refusal for employment under the successor contract.
The incoming contractor cannot fill any openings for positions subject to the Service Contract Act before first making good faith offers of employment to incumbent employees, although the offer need not be for the same position as the employee had previously held. The incoming contractor also retains the right to determine the number of employees necessary for efficient performance and can hire more or fewer employees than the previous contractor.
The incoming contractor is not required to offer a right of first refusal to an employee where, based on reliable evidence of past performance, the contractor or its subcontractors reasonably believe that there would be just cause to discharge that employee.
Stay tuned for that new clause!
July 21, 2021. Is there a Biden Administration action that reverses this?
On Oct. 31, 2019, a President Trump Executive Order revokes EO 13495 of Jan. 30, 2009, which gave Service Contract Act employees’ Right of First Refusal with a successor employer. This is the Final Rule published in the Federal Register implementing this action.
This podcast is about 80 priority DoD recommendations including: Inadequate metrics, incomplete data, decreased readiness due to deployments
In March 2020, the OUSD(A&S) made the CMMC version 1.02 available to the public. The document was removed in November 2021 and replaced with version 2.0 and the Way Forward was published in the Federal Register. Version 2.0 of the model:
Send me outher resources and I will share if appropriate.
First, with the Back to Basics (BtB) memo (also available on the Policy Tab here in the community), things are changing. I think more seats will become available for our non-acquisition personnel performing services acquisition functions. Last year we had 81 Priority 9s graduate from an ACQ265 (38) or ACQ265V (43)--slightly more once ACQ 265 went virtual. Currently, for FY21 there are 14 ACQ265Vs in ATRRS and 4 are just about full. NOTE: the schedule only goes out to 2QFY21, so I expect to see more offerings added after the new year.
If you are a non-acquisition workforce member, you're a priority 9. What that means is you will be waitlisted for any of these offerings until 1 month out. At one month out, if there's a seat available, it's filled from those Priority 9s that are on the waitlist. It's your seat now--you won't be bumped. The other trick is to contact DAU and attempt to gain a seat from any no-shows on the first day of class. Ask if you can get access to the ACQ265 pre-classroom work so you are ready for class on day 1. On average, I fill one seat per class this way. So if you are proactive and have some flexibility, you have a much better shot at getting into a class.
Here's my Second thought: With the BtB and the six functional areas streamlining the required training, more seats are likely to be available when ACQ265 is no longer required (currenly ACQ265 is on a pick list for Logistics and Contracting). This isn't locked yet, but it's my prediction (Stroup, editor, ACE for Services). Hopefully we still see contractiong and logistics professionals in ACQ265 as they find a need to learn about services acquisitions.
Third. Rules for use of credentials are to be written. The BtB memo tasks Human Capital Initiatives (HCI) with revising DoDI 5000.66 and a lot of thought needs to go into the policy about use, prioritization, expiration of credentials. My input on the matter is that re-qualifying ought to be something much more engaging then retaking the current exam (that should keep me busy in the future). You'll find the current rules on the DAU Credentials page.
I'd be happy to hear your thoughts! And a reminder that there exists great training for services acquisition that has no waitlist because it's entirely on line. ACQ 1650, ACQ 256 (that's the tools course), CLM 006 (soon to be ACQ 0060) (Cost Estimating), all OLTs, had over 2500 Priority 9 grads last FY. Stop by the training tab here on the ACE for Services home page for more info on DAU Learning Assets. Happy new fiscal year! Ad
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released an important new report entitled “GAO-21-171 Information Technology: Federal Agencies Need to Take Urgent Action to Manage Supply Chain Risks.” This is particularly timely given the December 2020 discovery of a breach of SolarWinds Worldwide LLC’s network-management software Orion, which is widely used by U.S. agencies and companies.
This blog by Bill Kobren will connect you to the report and provides additional blogs on Supply Chain Management Risks. To go directly to the GAO report select GAO-21-171. [NOTE: you may have to click on the title of this article to access the two links.]
It's out! CON 0150 deployed 16 October 2020. It will take you about an hour to complete, but it is the latest DoD content available for category managers as well as the workforce procuring services and goods for the DoD. The number of continuous learning points will be posted in about a month as we use actual student data to determine CLPs. Visit the Category Management Community for more detailed information devoted to Category Management!
GAO's Watchblog provides a snapshot of Government-Wide Contracting for FY19 with DoD at the top of the list. Out of the department's $381.2B in contracts, Services account for $189.7B versus $191.5B for products and Aircraft, fixed wing, leads the list of products bought. What else can we learn from these data?
Since GAO's 2017 High-Risk Report, their assessment of all five criteria remains unchanged for DoD Contract Management. DoD continues to demonstrate top leadership support for addressing challenges in its (1) acquisition workforce, (2) service acquisitions, and (3) operational contract support (OCS), which is defined as planning for and obtaining supplies, services, and construction from commercial sources in support of joint operations. GAO noted that DOD continues to take action to meet the demonstrated progress criterion—with additional management attention needed for service acquisition.
Watchblog noted an increase of $20B in FY19 over the previous year; spend on DoD services accounted for a ~$15B increase ($175.0B in FY18). Within services, the top categories were Professional Engineering/Technical, General Health Care, Logistics Support, Professional: Other, and Maintenance and Repair of Aircraft Equipment. That's a lot of Knowledge-Based Services as has traditionally been the case.
To promote small business participation in federal contracting, there is a government-wide goal to award about a quarter of contract dollars to small businesses. DoD in FY19 awarded $75.7B to small business out of $318.2B, or 23.8%, exceeding the department's goal. The Office of Small Business Programs tracks DoD's goals over the years on their Goals and Performance page. You can also find goals for FY2020 posted.
To close, while the data do not reflect spending on COVID-19 response, a Coronavirus page provides blogs on this topic including one on the Military's pandemic response.
The recently released, DODIG-2020-079 Report on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud Procurement presents the reults of the DoDIG review.
On July 26, 2018, the DoD issued a Request for Proposals to obtain cloud computing services using a single-award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract. The Request for Proposals stated that the contract would have a maximum value of $10 billion, over a potential 10-year performance period, if the DoD exercised all option periods. Multiple protests of the solicitation and more recently the award ensued.
I find the section "JEDI Cloud Acquisition Strategy and Key Acquisition Milestones" particulary informative with respect to single award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contracts. The rationale selected by the USD(A&S) was use of a firm fixed price contract type. This was part of Oracle's protest. The DoDIG comments on this indicating that "regarding the firm-fixed-price exception under 10 U.S.C. 2304a(d)(3) (2018)" that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims concluded that the term “established” meant “at the time of” entering the contract. The JEDI Cloud contract left some future requirements open with respect to pricing.
DoDIG's Recommendation 1: We recommend that the Acting Director for Contract Policy, Defense Pricing and Contracting, consider developing and implementing appropriate policy to require some level of documentation and analysis supporting key acquisition decisions, including any legal reviews and advice, for contracts that exceed the $112 million threshold established by statute.
Feel free to reply to this post to discuss this and other points you find of interest. Adam Stroup, Editor, ACE for Services
IPPS-A is an online Human Resources (HR) system that will provide integrated personnel, pay and talent management capabilities in a single system to all Army Components for the first time ever. IPPS-A will improve the lives of Soldiers, and their Families, and how the Army interacts with them by transforming decades-old personnel systems to a 21st century talent management system. It will provide three essential capabilities to the Army: Total Force Visibility, Talent Management and Auditability.
A story in FNN reports Army National Guard moves to modern personnel system, gives soldiers mobile access. IPPS-A replaces the Standard Installation and Division Personnel Reporting System (SIDPRS), which was a giant leap in the early 1980s.
The system will also help the National Guard with the COVID-19 response. For example, soldiers can take a picture of a birth certificate, prove the birth of a new child and put it in the system without having to come in contact with another human and risk spreading the coronavirus.
The Army is now focusing on adding the other components (Active and Reserves) of the service to IPPS-A and building additional features.
Federal News Network headline from the annual WEST 2020 conference in San Diego reports on this initiative before congress for FY21. [Note: open this article to follow links]
The Defense Innovation Board in 2019 concluded in its final report that current “color of money” restrictions undermine DoD’s software acquisitions. According to the board, separation of software development into research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E), procurement, and operations & maintenance (O&M) appropriations and the use of cost-based triggers within each acquisition category causes delays and places artificial limitations on the program management office’s ability to quickly meet changing needs, resulting in increased lifetime cost of software and slower deployment. Further, modern, agile approaches used in commercial software development will result in faster deployment and significant cost savings when unconstrained by 'color of money' considerations..
UPDATE 26 June 2020: The Category Management Community is live. Look for Policy, Success Stories, Market Intelligence, BIRs/CIRs, Training Resources, Industry Reports and Organizational Newsletters.
The Category Management Community of Practice is a forum designed to facilitate the acceleration of the Department's Category Management efforts by:
UPDATE 12 DEC 2019: Coming soon, the new Category Management Community of Practice. Click on the title of this post to access the link to the community!
There's a new poll available. What are your plans for obtaining a services acquisition credential? We would also like to hear what you think about credentials in general and the two new DAU credentials for services. Feel free to reply to this post.
If you recall the old poll, "Have you participated in any DAU Workshops for Services Acquisitions?" here are the results.
WSM002 Risk Management WS - 0WSM008 Developing performance Requirements for SA - 1WSM009 SOW, SOO, PWS Workshop - 1WSM012 SAW - 3WSM014 Acq Strat WS - 0Other - 1Never participated in a WS - 4Total = 10
Not a great sample size especially given DAU trains over 500 folks annually in SAWs (WSM012). Hopefully this community and the service acquisition mall (SAM) are providing users easy access to the information needed. But if you have a minute, log on and take the latest poll and let us know what you think.
DAU is initially piloting four credentials focused on performance in the areas of Agile Methods, Digital Engineering, and Acquisition of Services. For services, there are two credentials: one for a non-acquisition professional team member and one for an acquisition career field member. For more information and to view the guide, visit the DAU Credentials page and FAQs. [NOTE: Click on the title to access links]
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