GSA working on a schedule architecture
- By Matthew Weigelt
- Jun 10, 2008
A team of General Services Administration officials is considering how to get a handle on the more than four million commercial products and services on its Multiple Award Schedule program contracts, many of which overlap and compete with each other, an agency official said today.
The team wants to build a strategic approach to converging products and services available on schedule contracts, said Jim Williams, commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service. While the projects is still in the early phase of discussions, he said GSA could have the structure in place by the end of summer.
Although he provided few details, Williams said the officials want to create an architecture surrounding the contracts that can adapt to customers’ changing needs. In a similar GSA project, officials in January joined various types of security products and services, which are found on different schedule contracts. For example, GSA has packaged security guard services, video cameras and alarms for a total security solution.
Williams told reporters after a speech that GSA officials have to consider what agencies are going to need in the future, particularly items traditionally not associated with each other.
“It’s a fast-changing world and we’d better be nimble on our feet,” he said.
An industry group has urged Williams to support one proposal to create a program management office to oversee the contracts.
Currently, several different divisions of FAS oversee certain contracts.
In a June 3 letter, Larry Allen, president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, wrote that such a program management office "properly configured, can play a major role in ensuring consistency of operations across all schedules, including the IT Schedule, and make a significant contribution toward GSA’s goal of showing one agency face to federal customers."
In a statement June 9, GSA said officials are “considering establishing a program management office for the Multiple Award Schedules program and will continue to work with customers and industry as the concept is further developed and evaluated,” GSA said. No date has been set for a decision.
Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.