As the end of the fiscal year approaches, those of us in acquisition find ourselves in full throttle supporting the needs of those we serve. We also find ourselves keeping a watchful eye on our agency’s contributions to the multiple acquisition goals set by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The latest set of goals issued by OMB challenge agencies to move time consuming and expensive open market efforts to existing contracting vehicles. Generally speaking, spend under management (SUM) is the percentage of an agency’s spend that is actively managed according to category management principles. Increasing SUM will eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency, and deliver more value and savings.
Best-in-Class (BIC) is a designation for government-wide contracts that satisfy key management maturity and data-sharing criteria defined by OMB. Best-in-Class contracts are pre-vetted, well-managed solutions, designed to reduce the effort you have to put in to researching solutions.
There are many contract vehicles that are at the ready to be used; however, while navigating those choices can be unnerving, it doesn’t have to be done alone.
Meeting the Need
Earlier this year, The Department of Health & Human Service’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) needed some assistance in phasing out legacy business practices. In essence, they needed their entire acquisition workforce to use contract vehicles, which at the time were unfamiliar to them. Thus, their need also required a coordinated training effort as the hiring freeze at the time was another factor that had to be considered. CMS reached out to GSA with their need and a memorandum of understanding was then established to help facilitate a resolution. The GSA National Account team and CMS developed a plan to assist CMS in meeting their OMB goals for FY18. GSA also designed and delivered tailored training. As a result, CMS took advantage of existing contract vehicles that helped reduce their procurement action lead time and reliance on FAR Part 15. They are also now well positioned to make progress toward achieving their agency’s BIC/SUM goals!
How GSA can Help
There is a network of experienced acquisition professionals at GSA dedicated to each CFO Act agency. They are further supported by a larger network of customer service representatives located around the country (and world!). In this example, CMS reached out to their GSA national account representative with an acquisition need. The National Account Manager quickly assembled a team of appropriate GSA “Subject Matter Experts” and together they provided several options for CMS to consider. They ultimately chose the Best-in-Class OASIS contract and the OASIS Small Business contract. The training provided by GSA, equipped CMS to confidently shift their open market spend, reduce their internal procurement action lead times, and save taxpayer dollars!
To find your local GSA Customer Service Director and/or your agency’s GSA National Account Manager, please visit www.gsa.gov/csd. To learn more about how GSA FAS can assist your Agency in reaching its Spend under Management Goals, contact Herman Goodyear at [email protected].