OASIS sparks cheering, challenges
- By Mark Rockwell
- Aug 28, 2013
The General Services Administration is being simultaneously praised and pummeled by organizations interested in its $60 billion One Acquisition Solutions for Integrated Services multiple award contracts.
The GSA released amendments to the final solicitations for OASIS and OASIS small business contracts for complex professional services on Aug. 23. Vendors interested in the multiple award vehicles must file responses by Sept. 17.
As the GSA fine-tuned the complex OASIS RFPs with the amendments, some vendor groups praised the inclusive process the agency has used to develop them. One firm representing small businesses, however, is pushing ahead with an agency-level pre-award protest, arguing there should be only one unrestricted contract that all businesses could qualify for.
TechAmerica, the Professional Services Council and the Coalition for Public Procurement were concerned about the use of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code’s past performance records to qualify vendors for the pool of OASIS providers. They sent a joint letter to GSA Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe on Aug. 22 expressing their apprehension.
Using the NAICS code, said Erica McCann, manager of procurement policy, global public sector at TechAmerica, could have prevented some companies from qualifying.
The GSA moved to clear up the NAICS code issue in its Aug. 23 amendments, according to McCann. The agency said it would use potentially broader product services classifications that applicants could use to apply.
“We’re assessing whether it’s still an issue,” she said in an interview with FCW.
Meanwhile, a group representing small businesses continues to push to open up the RFPs to small businesses and teams of bidders.
A protest of the OASIS RFPs by Washington-based international financial advisory, program and venture management consultancy Aljucar, Anvil-Incus & Co. (AAIC) moves to oral arguments in front of the GSA’s Agency Protest Official on Aug. 28. Another protest, filed at the Government Accountability Office, was dropped by USfalcon after the company said it was satisfied with GSA’s response to its “narrow issue” through an amendment.
AAIC on Aug. 27 filed challenges to some of the GSA general counsel’s assertions about small business service providers under the RFPs. AAIC’s head of practice Rudy Sutherland told FCW that he’s hoping to get data from the GSA that backs the agency’s assertion that there should be two RFPS, one for small businesses and another for unrestricted competition.
AAIC has asked for specific data from GSA that supports the agency’s decision for dual vehicles. Small businesses, Sutherland said, should be able to participate and team to provide services under the unrestricted RFP.
Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.
Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.
Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.
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