We’re down to the last few agencies making the move from our Federal Telecommunications Service 2001 (FTS 2001) contract to the Networx contracts and I am proud of the work we’ve done with our agency partners and OMB to make Networx a success.
As many of you know, the Networx transition has not been easy. While the adoption has experienced challenges, we continue to work with agencies and industry to improve the offering, ease the transition, and highlight its benefits. In fact, we are applying the lessons learned from this effort to ensure our future program and offerings are an unqualified success.
Most agencies now see the benefits of Networx. Almost 99% of services have transitioned and only 12 agencies remain on FTS 2001—four of which will make the transition by September.
In my discussions with agency CIOs and staff, it is clear that we all agree that centralized purchasing of network services saves money, improves service levels, and allows our government to get more for our mission. What is also clear is that agencies are looking for even more ways to share services and solutions where possible. GSA is committed to providing this kind of support.
The savings story of GSA’s telecommunications program is unmatched. Because we know exactly what agencies are buying and how much they are buying through FTS2001 and Networx, we know we’ve saved the government about $7.7 billion (cumulative since 1999) when compared to commercial rates. Despite its imperfections, Networx adds tremendous value to agencies by leveraging the purchasing power of the federal government and providing access to new technologies.
The technologies offered in the contract have enabled the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep the country safe while allowing the Departments of Justice (DoJ) and Treasury to free up employee time so they can better serve citizens and save taxpayer dollars.
Specifically, Networx allowed these, and other agencies, to transform disparate telecommunications and networks infrastructure into an enterprise-wide managed network and security service, allowing them to reinvest savings in newer technology and increase bandwidth by almost ten-fold.
Applying lessons learned
Over the last few months, we’ve been reaching out to our agency and industry partners to talk about what’s working and what could be done better. These lessons learned are helping us develop the Network Services 2020 strategy – the way forward for our telecommunications and network services program. The Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Acquisition Officers (CAOs), and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) must be involved during the planning, execution, and implementation phases of the program. As such, we have held and are planning to hold additional cross-agency, CXO discussions. The first discussion occurred in June and focused on the future of government IT.
The roundtable discussion was a success and many of the agency CIOs told us that the NS2020 strategy must help facilitate the acquisition of more efficient network services solutions, which could eliminate the need for agencies to make costly infrastructure investments and could also help us buy more “as a service.”
We at GSA will continue to talk with agencies, industry, and our stakeholder community to ensure that our next generation solutions are easier to use, facilitate a faster and smoother transition, and enable government to buy those technologies that transform the way we serve our citizens.
At its core, GSA provides agencies with IT acquisition solutions that save them time and money. We are committed to working together to develop the best solutions possible
I know the government needs to show savings on visible paper for all to see. Our open competition Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative can fulfill this without additional taxpayer dollars and display and save more visible taxpayer dollars on paper vs GSA’S current FSSI anti-competition solution that creates oligopolies and monopolies.
GSA’S current FSSI Procurement Solution ultimately eliminates up to 18,000 current vendors via replacing them with only a handful of suppliers.
Competition works and please give us the opportunity to present our OPEN COMPETITION Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative Procurement Solution – Our Strategic Sourcing procurement plan gives visible cost savings in a competitive environment
We call this procurement solution:
The 21st Century Open Competition Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative also know as OCFSSI
Our procurement solution is only a foundation base to work from and should be changed, tweaked and enhanced via an open inclusive democratic process.
Please allow experts to analyze and compute savings vs GSA’S current non-competitive procurement solution
Below is a summary of our 21st Century Procurement Solution :
On an annual basis each company that holds a GSA Schedule Contract should be allowed to bid on each item / service in given schedule so the government can obtain the lowest cost / highest quality per bidder. The winning BPA GSA vendors should be rewarded with 5% of the total sales and the non-winning BPA vendors obtain 95% of total sales. Via GSA software automation and/or manpower the non-winning BPA vendors cannot upload given item(s) to gsaadvantage.gov or offer given item to the government unless they can provide a lower price or match the winning vendor item prices. Hence, reward the winning bidder with 5% total sales of a particular item/ schedule but allow other non-BPA-competitors to offer a lower or same price entailing 95% of total sales.
This can be accomplished via 2 different procurement solutions See a) and b) below :
a) If GSA has the automated software and manpower sophistication, hence GSA can reward given winning BPA Vendor with 5% total sales of given item (not total schedule) and non-BPA vendors 95% total item sales. This would incur more savings for the government and simultaneously give all vendors greater opportunities via competition. Again, this depends on GSA’S capabilities.
b) If GSA does not possess automated software and/or abilities to reward BPAs per item hence during the interim GSA would reward given winning BPA Vendors 5% total sales of given schedule and give non-BPA Vendors 95% total schedule sales. Simultaneously and during this interim GSA would develop software so all GSA vendors at a predictable future date can make bids per item vs per schedule. This per item bid option would save the government an incredible amount of taxpayer dollars.
c) Above option a and option b procurement solutions saves the taxpayers substantially more money vs the current GSA FSSI non-competitive procurement solution. Please allow experts to crunch the numbers, hence comparing our 21st Century procurement solution vs GSA’S current non-competitive FSSI procurement solution.
d) Again our open competition solution does not require addition taxpayer dollars.
GSA’S current FSSI procurement solution potentially denies 18,000 companies from selling to the federal government., hence leaving only 10 or 15 companies per schedule selling items to Uncle Sam. Via Economics 101 past experiences a handful of companies vs 10,000s of vendors will eventually create oligopolies & monopolies.
I would like to present more 21st Century Competitive Solutions vs GSA’S current FSSI
Again, our Open Competition GSA procurement solution does not require taxpayer dollars. Our open competition procurement solution is funded via putting all nonessential GSA projects on hold or lay off given GSA employees or increase or maintain current GSA vendor schedule fees. No additional taxpayer dollars are required for this project.
I strongly believe GSA should modify existing software to control buyers rather than eliminating competition via the current GSA FSSI procurement program. If buyer breaks protocol hence buyer would be disciplined. This software project can be done without additional funding. GSA, DoD & NASA can prioritize this software project via existing employed Software Engineers. It takes the will and priority to make this happen. Also, if GSA claims it does not have available software engineers to complete this non-funded task hence, GSA can put all nonessential GSA projects on hold or lay off given GSA employees or increase or maintain current GSA vendor schedule fees. No additional taxpayer dollars are required for this project.
From what I can see there are some really big holes in the procurement process.
1) Via this GAO report http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-705T most purchases were made outside of GSA procurement web site http://www.gsaadvantage.gov. ; A solution to this problem would be take away the buyers PHYSICAL credit card and store the credit card information online via http://www.gsaadvantage.gov ; This also protects the credit card # and information from possibly being compromised. Again this software project can be done with no additional funding. Amazon.com is a perfect example if you want to see how this works. I know the government is not a company but I am certain GSA has great software engineers to accomplish this task via a top priority and no additional funding software project. For open market purchases buyer currently utilize fbo.gov and/or other existing procurement sites. The same projects can be accomplished via these sites.
2) An independent software company should be allowed to screen scrape information from gsaadvantage.gov to prove selected FSSI Vendors “DO NOT” offer the lowest prices/ best quality.
3) Via Vendor uploads develop back end software to monitor and reject over-priced items. Example a box of paper should not sell more than $50 hence boxes of paper selling for more than $50 would be red flagged hence denying this item upload to gsaadvantage.gov. GSA software engineers would need to create software to utilize statistical databases. Top-notch software companies may be required to assist GSA software engineers.
4) I believe various government buyers have different volume purchase requirements. FSSI is not a one size fits all solution. Example many government buyers have less than a $3,000 requirement. Internet purchasing may be more advantageous for this type of purchase. Example open competition via gsaadvantage.gov
5) GSA claims its employees are overworked and can no longer handle additional and/or existing vendors. All existing employee manual operations should be analyzed via GSAs Software Engineers to automate current manual human labor. It may be possible to handle unlimited vendors and buyers once this project is completed. Each new additional GSA Human assignment should be analyzed by software engineers for possible automation. Again this can be a non-funded project as explained above.
6) I strongly believe an independent software company should be given the opportunity to present additional 21st Century solutions hence enhancing our 21st Century ALL AMERICAN Open Competition Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative also know as OCFSSI.
7) Reduce the number of schedule solicitations. Currently GSA claims it costs $3,000 per year, per contract to maintain each contract and numerous GSA employees. There are 40 solicitations (GSA and VA). The solicitations should be consolidated down to a handful with a goal of a single solicitation (contractors could then choose to consolidate their contracts or maintain separate contracts depending on their business models). The current structure of the schedules often forces companies to submit multiple offers for multiple contracts when a single contract would be more efficient. Consolidating solicitations allows companies to efficiently and effectively consolidate contracts rather than having multiple contracts across schedules and business lines. This approach would provide the opportunity for contractors and GSA to reduce costs associated with seeking, obtaining and managing multiple schedule contracts. It is an opportunity to leverage contractor and GSA resources through a more efficient structure. Consolidating schedules would lead to a more efficient and effective platform for market research by customer agencies. Also all human manual work should be analyzed via GSA software engineers for automation and efficiency.
8) Congress needs to investigate if GSA’s software is awash in horrible spaghetti software code making it virtually impossible to make necessary modifications to move this agency into the 21st century. Hiring competent small business software companies would be the logical choice to fix this problem. Again, Our Open Competition GSA procurement solution does not require taxpayer dollars. Our open competition procurement solution is funded via putting all nonessential GSA projects on hold or lay off given GSA employees or increase or maintain current GSA vendor schedule fees. No additional taxpayer dollars are required for this project.
9) It is this writer’s belief FSSI is nothing similar to Corporate volume purchasing.
Example lets take Walmart. They currently have 66,000 vendors and counting each day. FSSI eliminates virtually all competition with possible oligopoly price fixing. Keep in mind all vendor prices are available via gsaadvantage.gov Giving very few companies exclusive selling rights via a long term contract and eliminating competition is not the answer. Why have 1,000s of existing GSA software programs go to waste monitoring a few vendors. GSA needs to enhance existing software to truly and easily maintain a vigorous open competitive market via existing web sites (gsaadvantage.gov and other existing procurement sites). Programmatically controlling the buyer via software is the 21st solution.
Thank you very much for reading and compiling this logical and open competition procurement solution called The 21st Century Open Competition Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative also know as OCFSSI. I still believe in open competition and American Free Enterprise will always prevail over oligopolies and monopolies. I strongly believe our 21st Century Open Competition Procurement Solution is superior to the current GSA FSSI procurement solution. I am certain the American people would agree with me.
I am awaiting any questions and/or remarks you may have. Thank you so much for this opportunity to present our Red, White & Blue Procurement Solution.