Author Archives: Vanessa Payne

About Vanessa Payne

Vanessa Payne is a Managing Consultant in Aronson LLC’s Government Contract Services Group with over 15 years of full life-cycle government contracts and consulting experience. Her expertise includes GSA contract management, subcontract administration, contractor task order proposals, and “Big Four” management consulting in the areas of process improvement, business process reengineering, cost accounting, survey development and analysis, workflow mapping, and facilitation services. She specializes in GSA Schedule contract preparation, renewals, and providing ongoing contract management, administration, and compliance support with a special interest in organizational procedure and policy review, improvement, and standardization. Vanessa is an Aronson-featured and guest speaker on GSA Schedules and social media topics for other industry organizations, and she is a co-founder and frequent contributor to Aronson’s Fed Point blog. She received her Master’s Degree in Organizational Development and Strategic Human Resources as well as a Graduate Certificate in Skilled Facilitation from Johns Hopkins University, and she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.

Vanessa Payne

GSA IG Recommends Pricing Review of over 300 Migrated Professional Services Schedule Contracts

The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report on March 21, 2017, titled “Audit of Price Evaluations and Negotiations for the Professional Services Schedule Contracts.” According to the IG audit, GSA’s process to consolidate eight pre-existing schedules into the Professional Services Schedule (PSS) resulted in the award of new contracts without establishing price reasonableness. Contracting officers also used a combined “Pre and Price Negotiation Memorandum” template that does not conform to Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) policy. Finally, contract files lack sufficient documentation to determine fair and reasonable pricing. In February 2017, GSA’s FAS initiated price reevaluations for all 322 migrated contracts to ensure prices awarded were fair and reasonable.

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Identity Protection Services (IPS) SIN Coming to GSA’s Professional Services Schedule (PSS) Soon

The General Services Administration (GSA) announced on GSA Interact on January 20, 2017 that it is proposing to redefine Special Item Number (SIN) 520-20 on the Professional Services Schedule (PSS) as its official Data Breach Response and Identity Protection Services (IPS) SIN. This will also mean minor modification to the existing language of SINs 520-16 and 520-17. GSA’s Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories (PHSC) cites the increased demand for identity protection services and the ever-changing requirements and needs of ordering agencies as the reason for the proposed changes.

Currently, GSA markets these services under its IPS BPA, which was awarded to three contractor teams in September, 2015. GSA notes that once the planned changes to SIN 520-20 are implemented, the IPS BPA will be cancelled. The hope is that this approach will allow more flexibility to keep up with rapidly evolving IPS technology. Further, contractors who currently hold SIN 520-20 “will be required to submit a modification to reprice their services in accordance with the pricing structure for this SIN in addition to submitting a System Security Plan (SSP).”

GSA is seeking industry input on the proposed changes through a Request for Information (RFI) on FedBizOpps (FBO) that was posted on Thursday, January 19, 2017. This RFI will allow all interested parties the opportunity to provide comments, which are due via email no later than 5:00 pm (ET) on February 21, 2017.

GSA’s Questions for Industry specifically relate to the three areas below:

  • Overall feedback on the draft scope of redefined SIN 520-20 and the modification to the existing language of SINs 520-16 and 520-17.
  • Pricing structure of redefined SIN 520-20.
  • Comments from PSS contractors regarding which current SINs your identity protection services fit (520-16, 520-17, 520-18, 520-19, 520-20).

Here are additional key details:

What is SIN 520-20? SIN 520-20 is currently defined on GSA eLibrary as Comprehensive Protection Solutions which “Allows for customized solutions that integrate the services found under SINs 520-16 Business Information Services (Credit Monitoring Services), 520-17 Risk Assessment and Mitigation Services, 520-18 Independent Risk Analysis and 520-19 Data Breach Analysis.” GSA believes that redefining SIN 520-20 will allow industry to provide current state-of-the-art identity protection services while allowing ordering agencies the ability to meet their individual requirements. It will also mean some modification to existing language of SINs 520-16 and 520-17.

What will SIN 520-20 look like once redefined?  Redefined SIN 520-20 will require industry to have the ability to provide an integrated total solution of services that include identity monitoring, identity theft insurance, safeguarding and restoration services, breach mitigation, and forensic services. Once this SIN is awarded, firms will then have the ability to offer all or part of the services listed. In order to provide any services associated with identity protection, each firm will be required to meet the full scope of SIN 520-20 first.

You can review the full information including SIN 520-20 attachments and the proposed pricing structure in GSA’s Request for Information (RFI). A comparison of the existing SIN descriptions vs. the proposed modified/redefined SIN descriptions for 520-16, 520-17 and 520-20 is provided by Aronson here.

When will this SIN be available?  GSA anticipates that this SIN will be available for use in Spring 2017.

More information, including how to add the redefined SIN or reprice existing services in accordance with the new pricing structure, is available in the GSA Interact post.

Be sure to subscribe to GSA Interact’s Professional Services Category to get notifications whenever new information like this is posted. For more information, contact Vanessa Payne at (240) 364-2663 or vpayne@aronsonllc.com.

 

 

GSA Schedule and OASIS Digital Tool Series – Market Research, Pricing, and Opportunities

GSA’s Professional Services Category created six short, informational videos about the Acquisition Gateway and a range of digital tools including:

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GSA Launches Phase 2 of Making It Easier and Shares Initial Successes

On October 24, GSA introduced Phase 2 of its Making It Easier (MIE) initiative. MIE was originally launched in April 2016 to address several challenges around its Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program. The second phase adds numerous new efforts for both the contracting community and federal agencies. They include new quick start guides, designed to prepare prospective contractors as they seek business across GSA’s many acquisition vehicles; a MAS Modification Improvement process, designed to streamline changes in schedule solicitations; and restructured help desks, housed on the Acquisition Gateway, that will give customers a single point of entry.

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VETS-4212 Reporting Due Sept 30th

September 30th marks the end of the government fiscal year and also the annual filing deadline for two important government-required reports that apply to many employers – the EEO-1 and the VETS-4212 reports.

EEO-1 Reporting

Private sector employers with 100 or more employees and Federal contractors with 50 or more employees and a contract, subcontract, or purchase order of more than $50,000 are required to file an annual Employer Information Report EEO-1, otherwise known as the EEO-1 Report, with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee.

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