GSA held its 2nd annual Federal Acquisition Training Symposium (FATS) in Huntsville, Alabama. The event was designed to provide acquisition and training sessions tailored to federal, military, and civilian personnel, as well as GSA’s industry partners. FATS offered 66 training and educational sessions, had 104 registered exhibitors, and a combination of Government agencies and industry attendees. There were slightly less attendees than GSA’s 2016 event, which had over 1,300 government agency attendees and 200 industry attendees.
The Symposium provided a great platform to get up-to-speed on GSA programs and news and invaluable networking opportunities. Below is some of the key information on current and upcoming initiatives:
As contractors know, at times there is a disconnect between what management and policy makers intend, and the implementation reality experienced in day-to-day front line communication. Aronson works with many Professional Services Schedule (PSS) and Information Technology Schedule (IT70) schedule holders, serving as the bridge to GSA Contracting Officers (CO), GSA Contracting Specialists (CS), GSA Managers, and GSA Directors. The Symposium was an opportunity to put a face to the names behind both policy decisions and day-to-day contract management. GSA may intend to streamline the PSS Solicitation or state that Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) are no longer required for the TDR model. However, in reality many contractors are still asked for data, which is officially not required, and are told by COs and CSs, “I can request anything I need to make an evaluation.” The chance to discuss this reality with policy makers face-to-face was invaluable. Sometimes the offered resolution seemed long-term, e.g. “we’ll provide more training” with a suggestion to continue escalating issues as they occur. Other times the offered resolution was near-term, e.g. “send me that information so I can help you.” Having the chance to discuss both GSA’s and the contractor’s perspective, both in sessions, and one-on-one was priceless for conference attendees.
The GSA 2017 Federal Acquisition Training Symposium session presentations are available here.
Previous Blogs on related topics: