Takeaways From the GSA Expo

As they say in sports, another Expo is in the books! While this year’s GSA Expo agenda was scaled back, the 2012 Expo remained an important “Myth-Busters” event. The Expo included over 10,000 hours of training for government and industry acquisition professionals. It also served as a government-industry forum for dialogue and information sharing regarding OASIS, Next Generation Schedules, and GSA GWACs, and the MAS program. For example, on Tuesday General Supplies and Services (GSS) held its Industry Partnership Forum highlighting for industry key GSS program, management and policy initiatives. I would like to thank GSS for the opportunity to speak at their Forum highlighting the Coalition’s key policy priorities: Other Direct Costs (ODCs), Reform of the Pricing Policies, Contract Duplication, and continuing the Myth-Busters campaign.

On Wednesday, Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini attended a morning meeting with the Coalition. At the meeting Administrator Tangherlini discussed the ongoing top down review of GSA operations, including a review of the GSA Expo. He emphasized the need to better integrate the Public Building Service (PBS) and the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). In particular, he commented that PBS should be using FAS more to meet its operational procurement needs. Finally, he discussed the vital role GSA plays in supporting customer agency missions and value proposition for GSA moving forward. In sum, as discussed at the meeting, in a time of disruptive change, GSA has an opportunity to provide even greater support to the federal community. The Coalition thanks Administrator Tangherlini for meeting with us and engaging in a thoughtful and important discussion regarding the future of GSA.

Later on Wednesday, Administrator Dan Tangherlini and FAS Commissioner Steve Kempf walked the Expo floor, visiting with GSA contractors and viewing several Expo training sessions. They even stopped by “The Fundamentals of MAS Contract Compliance: Building a Foundation for Success” presented by none other than yours truly along with Jason Workmaster, Partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Jonathan Aronie, Partner at Sheppard Mullin. The Administrator’s interest in the Expo is truly appreciated as the GSA Expo is annually one of the largest, if not the largest, federal procurement training events.

Wednesday night, the Coalition held its annual Partnership Dinner. The Coalition thanks FAS Commissioner Steve Kempf, Assistant Commissioner ITS, Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner for Assisted Services Tim Fleming, Assistant Commissioner for GSS Bill Sisk, and Assistant Commissioner for Acquisition Management Houston Taylor for participating in a wide ranging panel discussion entitled “GSA Myth-Busters Forum: FAS’s Top Seven Priorities to Serve GSA’s Customer Base.” The Forum kicked off the event followed by a great networking hour and dinner for our member attendees. Of particular interest to the attendees was the update on ODCs and the Next Generation Schedules, including the possibility for cost-reimbursement capability on schedule contracts. The Coalition looks forward to the next steps on these important changes. The Coalition supports these important modernization efforts that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the MAS program for customer agencies, MAS contractors and, ultimately, the taxpayer.

Later in the evening, the Coalition and its members were honored to hear from Rocky Perez of the Wounded Warrior Project. Rocky spoke about his background and the programs his organization fulfills to aid wounded veterans as they return home from conflict zones. The Coalition is proud to support wounded veterans through our annual golf tournament that is held in August.

The Coalition extends a special thank you to our Partnership Dinner Title sponsor, Lockheed Martin. The Coalition also thanks our other dinner sponsors Siemens, Accenture, and Bloomberg. The Coalition appreciates your support. Finally, thank you to our Keystone members, Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics Information Technology, HON and Allsteel, L-3, Northrop Grumman and McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.

I also want to thank my staff for all their hard work in putting together these events. Without you it would not have been possible! Thank you Sandy, Aubrey, Roy, Rob, and Denise.

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