Contracts

Air Force embraces OASIS

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The General Services Administration's OASIS contracting vehicle already has changed the Air Force's procurement operations for the better, one of the Air Force's top acquisition officers says.

The Air Force's participation in GSA's $60 billion One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services multiple award contracts "has simplified the decision process," said Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello, the USAF director of contracting.

The Air Force has embraced OASIS in the last several months. In August, the Air Force Space and Missile Command said it wanted to use the dedicated OASIS Small Business contract instead of its own SMC Technical Support program. GSA estimated the value of the commitment, which will encompass virtually all systems engineering and technical assistance activities at Los Angeles Air Force Base, at $472 million over five years.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and the Air Force Test and Evaluation Center at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida have also announced they will use OASIS SB. Those commitments and the latest announcement combine to represent an estimated value of $1.3 billion per year for the OASIS small business community.

"There's been a sea change in how GSA partners" with other federal agencies, Masiello said in remarks at the Coalition for Government Procurement's fall conference in Fairfax, Va., on Oct. 30.

Meanwhile, OASIS is moving ahead at GSA. The agency's original deadline for vendor proposals was extended two weeks to Oct. 30 because of the government shutdown. A GSA spokesperson on Oct. 31 said the agency was in the process of determining how many responses had been filed.

Participation in the OASIS contracts, said Masiello, would give the Air Force reduced surcharges, better management of contractors, as well as increased insight into what kinds of IT goods and services are ordered. GSA, she said, also has mechanical and electronic methods to order that might not otherwise be available to Air Force contracting staff.

She added, however, that participation in strategic source contracting vehicles isn't a panacea for all of the Air Force's procurement activities. "Some staff in the field may not be able to use GSA" to fill some of their individual needs, she said, "but I still need that contracting function."

About the Author

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.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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