Contracting

Protests resolved, GSA launches agile BPA

Shutterstock image (by Mascha Tace): business contract competition, just out of reach.

The final protest of the General Services Administration's blanket purchase agreement for agile development has been resolved. The agency said on Dec. 17 that the unrestricted portion of the contracting vehicle is open for business and has added a 17th contractor.

"Today, we're pleased to officially say that Pool Three of the agile blanket purchase agreement is launched," wrote V. David Zvenyach, acquisition management director at 18F, in a blog post.  "Although we announced the awardees earlier this year, there were multiple protests related to the agile BPA. Last night, we learned that the final protest has been resolved, which means we can soon begin awarding work under the agile BPA."

The agency announced the contracting vehicle almost a year ago to keep in step with the quickening pace of agile development cycles and the associated need for speedier software acquisitions. GSA’s novel approach to the $25 million BPA prompted more questions than anticipated and confounded some vendors, resulting in two delays in the release of the final request for proposals.

Unlike typical contract vehicles, 18F's agile BPA sought to pool GSA Schedule 70 vendors for rapid agile or DevOps work on projects with 18F and partner agencies. Would-be vendors had to offer a functional project, not just a written proposal, to seal the deal using datasets from the Food and Drug Administration.

In August, 18F announced 16 vendors for the BPA. Since then a new vendor was added: InQbation. The company describes itself on its website as an early-stage business startup accelerator, whose brands include Schedule 70 contract holder and web designer Agileana and web content management provider Balystic.

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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