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Air Force expands OASIS embrace

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The list of Air Force operations eyeing the General Services Administration's One Acquisition Solutions for Integrated Services contracts is growing.

The Air Force Space and Missile Command, according to an Aug. 22 GSA blog post, has officially said it wants to use the dedicated Small Business OASIS contact (OASIS SB) instead of its own SMC Technical Support program. GSA estimated the value of this commitment, which will encompass virtually all Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) activities at Los Angeles Air Force Base, at $472 million over five years.

On July 31, GSA released two OASIS requests for proposals. One is an unrestricted contract that includes a 50-percent small business subcontracting goal.  OASIS SB is a 100-percent small business set-aside.

Two other Air Force groups -- the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and the Air Force Test and Evaluation Center at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida -- have publicly announced their decision to use OASIS SB, according to a GSA spokeswoman. Those commitments and the latest announcement combine to represent an estimated value of $1.3 billion per year for the OASIS small business community.

A GSA spokesperson told FCW the agency is continuing efforts to collect further commitments for OASIS and OASIS SB.

Meanwhile, the agency-level protest filed against the unrestricted OASIS RFP by Aljucar, Anvil-Incus & Co. moved ahead.

AAIC is an international financial advisory, program and venture management consultancy based in Washington, D.C. Rudy Sutherland, the firm's head of practice, told FCW that a GSA protest official had rejected a motion to dismiss filed by the GSA Office of General Counsel. GSA had asserted that AAIC lacked standing to file the protest. The official, said Sutherland, directed the general counsel to move ahead with the original schedule to resolve the issue.

Action on another OASIS protest, however -- this one filed by USFalcon, of Morrisville, N.C., at the Government Accountability Office -- may not come until Nov. 18.

Sutherland's group contested the terms in the RFP's unrestricted contract for small businesses and is targeted at opening up the unrestricted OASIS contract to allow smaller firms to team up and compete for the larger pool of potential business and profits. Although GSA worked hard to develop a small business-specific OASIS contract, Sutherland contends that the OASIS SB RPF limits both the businesses bidding on it and the agencies using it.

Mid-tier businesses, he said, might be too small to compete in the unrestricted contract, but too large for the small business only. In addition, he said the small-business contract is for smaller "crumbs" of business that might not interest larger contractors. Those crumbs don't offer a sustainable business model for many small-to-medium-sized companies, he said.

Allowing smaller contractors the freedom to team up under the unrestricted contract and go after larger deals, he said, would be not only good for small businesses, but also for the agencies that use the contract. Small companies can be more nimble than large contractors, Sutherland claimed, and offer more tailored capabilities.

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