GSA moves OASIS management team to FEDSIM
- By Nick Wakeman
- Jul 25, 2017
On the heels of a reorganization at the General Services Administration that folded the Technology Transformation Service into the Federal Acquisition Service in June, GSA announced that the entire management team for the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services contracts will be moving to the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center to take on as yet undefined responsibilities.
Now-former OASIS Program Manager Todd Richards, Tommy Thomas, Valerie Bindel and Cat Renfro are all going to FEDSIM and will be leaving the program.
They informed prime contractors during a regular OASIS special interest group call on July 21, and Richards followed up with an email message. "It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that the current OASIS team will be leaving the OASIS program effective Monday, July 24, 2017," he wrote.
Richards’ team is considered the architects and creators of the program.
"We truly love OASIS and have been 100% dedicated to the success of the program, the success of our clients, and to the success of each and every one of your companies," he wrote. He called OASIS the most significant accomplishment of their professional careers.
In a blog post, FAS Assistant Commissioner Tiffany Hixson named the new OASIS management team:
- Alexandra Rouse, director of the Professional Services Program Management Division, is the principal contact for programmatic activities.
- Sheila Morrison, director of Contract Operations Division C, is the principal contact for contracting activities.
- Robin Tice is the contracting officer for OASIS.
- Shaun Hankton is the contracting officer for OASIS Small Business.
- Carley Graham is the contract specialist.
In an emailed statement, Hixson praised Richards and his team, saying they did an excellent job. "As with all programs, personnel changes and departures are a natural part of professional development and program evolution," she wrote.
Many industry leaders said they were shocked by the news, with one source calling it weird and another describing it as an earthquake.
One company official expressed concern about the timing, given that the changes have been made in the middle of the fourth-quarter buying season. "I'm concerned that customers we have been driving to the vehicle might get cold feet" about using it, he said. He also wondered about the impact on companies that are in the middle of the small-business on-ramp process.
One industry source close to GSA said the personnel move came because Hixson, who manages the professional services category effort at GSA, wanted an OASIS team that was knowledgeable about professional services. The team that is moving to FEDSIM was in place years ago when the OASIS contract was being developed and is more closely associated with IT schedules and not professional services, according to the source. Furthermore, OASIS contains professional services that other governmentwide acquisition contracts don’t have.
The source added that the change will not affect GSA's vigorous support of OASIS, saying it remains heavily invested in the contract's goals.
On a positive note, the new team appears to be based in the Washington, D.C., area, "so that will be nice to be able to see them more often if necessary," the company official said. Richards' team worked out of Fort Worth, Texas.
The moves are surprising given the success of OASIS. The unrestricted portion had over $1 billion in task orders in fiscal 2016 and has over $700 million so far in fiscal 2017, according to Deltek. The small-business contract had $982.8 million in task orders in fiscal 2016 and $774.5 million so far in fiscal 2017. GSA said the OASIS program will hit $3 billion this year, exceeding its goal by $1 billion.
Several agencies -- including the Air Force, Army, Department of Homeland Security and Navy -- signed agreements that effectively named OASIS as their vehicle of choice for professional services.
The Air Force has been the largest user of OASIS by far, with $1.2 billion in task orders since 2015, according to Deltek.
There is speculation that OASIS' success made it a target, with a source saying that some GSA Officials believed Richards had become a center of power. And some large contractors saw too much work migrating to OASIS and did not like how it was upsetting the status quo, the source said.
Whatever the reason, many in industry will be watching what Richards and his team do at FEDSIM.
In his email message, Richards sounded a positive note about the move to FEDSIM.
"There are some very exciting possibilities to come from our new assignments," he wrote. "There are several potential huge ideas that are being formulated and discussed right now…and if one or more of those plans get implemented, we will be reaching out to all of you for your input as we did in the creation of OASIS."
Mark Rockwell contributed to this report. A version of this story originally appeared on FCW's sibling site Washington Technology.
Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.