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Friday Flash
February 24, 2017

In This Issue:


Total Acquisition Cost (TAC): The Missing Tool From the Procurement Reform Tool Box    

In 2013, the FAR & Beyond blog discussed the importance of measuring/assessing TAC, noting that “commercial best practices inform us that the key metric in measuring and delivering best value in procurement/logistics operations is total ownership cost. In government terms, let’s use the term total acquisition cost (TAC).”  In 2017, TAC remains the missing link in measuring, assessing, and, ultimately, reforming the procurement system to deliver best value mission support for customer agencies and the American people. 

Acquisition approaches and decisions must be data-driven and must include the TAC, which should be comprised of all direct and indirect costs of acquisition. Read more>>


GSA IG Details Security Vulnerabilities at 18F

On Tuesday, February 21, the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published a report detailing security vulnerabilities within the agency’s 18F program. Specifically, the OIG found that of the program’s 116 software tools, 100 have not been submitted for official review and approval. In addition, at least 18 of the program’s IT systems were identified as lacking proper authorization. Based on their findings, the OIG provided six recommendations to ensure 18F’s compliance with all relevant IT security requirements. GSA agreed with the OIG’s recommendations. Read more>>


Defense Secretary Mattis Issues Memos Seeking Organizational Efficiency

Last Friday, February 17, the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, issued two memoranda which seek to implement various provisions from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which seek to create a more efficient Department of Defense (DoD). The first memorandum, titled, “Establishment of Cross-Functional Teams to Address Improved Mission Effectiveness and Efficiencies in the DoD,” directs Robert Work, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, to identify areas for review and business services no longer merit individual military department approaches. Read more>>

Seeking Input on Government Industry Communications Proposed Rule

On November 29, the FAR Council published a proposed rule that would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to clarify policies related to agency acquisition personnel’s interactions with industry. Specifically, the proposed rule would make clear that acquisition personnel are permitted, and in fact encouraged, to engage in exchanges with industry, so long as the exchanges are consistent with law and regulation. Read more>>


GSA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Industry Day

On Monday, March 6, the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) will be hosting an Industry Day for industry partners who offer commercial earth observation products and services. NGA will be providing an update on their Commercial Initiative to Buy Operationally Responsive GEOINT (CIBORG) program. NGA and GSA have recently created a partnership to leverage the schedules to enable commercial purchases. Registration for the event can be found here. Read more>>

Executive Order on Ethics

Last month, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) titled, “Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees,” detailing restrictions for Executive agency political appointees related to the receipt of gifts from lobbyists and revolving-door practices. Similar to the previous EO issued under President Obama, the new ethics EO restricts appointees from accepting:

  • Gifts provided under the $20/$50 exception

  • Free attendance at widely attended gatherings

  • Food and/or entertainment while on duty or official travel Read more>>


VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines

Earlier this week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued an interim final rule which revises the current re-verification process for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses/Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) to require those businesses to recertify their status every three years rather than the current two years.

When a SDVOSB re-certifies their status, the VA reviews various sources of information, including but not limited to, their financial statements; tax returns; corporate by-laws or operating agreements, and stock ledgers and certificates. Read more>>


Updates from the procurement innovation front

On Tuesday, February 22, Dr. Steve Kelman, Weatherhead Professor of Public Management at Harvard University, posted the following blog on Federal Computer Week. At the Coalition’s 2016 Excellence in Partnership (EIP) Awards Dinner this past Fall, we honored Dr. Kelman with our prestigious Common Sense in Government Procurement Award.  In his blog, Dr. Kelman explores various issues pertaining to three forms of information that he has promoted over the years.

Regular blog readers will hardly be surprised to learn that I am an advocate for innovation in the procurement system, and in government management in general. This does not reflect a view that all innovations are good things. Some innovations could probably have been predicted not to work in advance (and thus probably never should have been tried). For others, trying the innovation was a justified risk to take, but after the fact we can clearly conclude that it turned out not to work.

Read the blog here!


Legal Corner: The New Proposed DHS Rule on Safeguarding of Controlled Unclassified Information—A Critical Analysis

Robert Metzger, Shareholder, Rogers Joseph O’Donnell

On January 19, 2017, DHS published a proposed rule to address requirements for the safeguarding of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation (HSAR); Safeguarding of Controlled Unclassified Information (HSAR Case 2015–001). 82 Fed. Reg. 6429. Comments are due by March 20, 2017.

Unfortunately, the rule attempts to do too much but achieves too little. I expect the rulemaking to be contentious. Read more>>



The Full View: Measuring the Success and Savings of Acquisition

In our current era of shrinking budgets, the Federal government often touts the effectiveness of its procurement processes by looking at the savings that its programs have delivered to the taxpayer. For instance, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) announced earlier this year that Category Management has saved the government more than $2 billion. GSA also has claimed that, over the last five years, its Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) has saved more than $500 million. This article examines how savings rates are calculated, how this impacts Federal procurement, and how the government should be measuring the success of its programs.
Based on publicly available information, in both FSSI and Category Management, savings are calculated by comparing the Schedule prices and prices paid, which raises several questions. First, the estimates do not account for the total acquisition costs of implementing these programs (whether it is FSSI or Category Management). Read more>>

GSA Releases RFI on DUNS Alternative

On Friday, February 10, the General Services Administration (GSA) released a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback regarding government-wide entity identification and validation services. Currently, these services are provided by Dun and Bradstreet whose contract expires in 2018.

GSA is requesting information related to whether entity validation services are readily available, the extent to which such services may be feasibly implemented, and where innovative approaches are appropriate. The RFI, which was posted on FedBizOpps, will remain open to public comments until March 13. If members have any feedback that they would like the Coalition to provide to GSA on the RFI, please contact Sean Nulty at snulty@thecgp.org.

.MAS Basic Training- March 1

Do you need to better understand management and compliance of the Price Reduction Clause? Need help navigating the Price Negotiation Process? Are you leveraging the GSA Electronic Tools? Do you have all the keys to understanding the Task Order Competition? Know how the GSA Audit Process works? Come find out the answers on these topics and more at our intensive.

MAS Basic Training: The Nuts and Bolts – Please join us at our intensive, one-day training workshop that teaches the basics of utilizing the General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program.  Hear from the experts from the CGP, The Gormley Group, Crowell & Moring, Baker Tilly, and GSA.

March 1st from 8:30am – 4:30pm at Crowell & Moring LLP, Washington, D.C.

Register here!

GSA Training Symposium in Huntsville- Registration and Booth Sales Open

Huntsville Image
The Coalition is reprinting the following GSA announcement about the upcoming training in Huntsville.  We look forward to seeing you there.

The GSA Federal Acquisition Training Symposium will take place April 25 – 26, 2017, at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This event is specially designed to benefit federal government employees and military members who make or influence procurement decisions.

An invaluable experience for acquisition or program managers, the training and exhibition will provide you with many opportunities to meet with over 1,600 buyers. 

Space is limited to 200 booths so register early to secure your spot!

Please visit us at http://www.gsafas2017.com for more information and to register.

  Flash Trivia

Correct Answer: Congratulations to Eddie Mills from GSA for being the first to correctly answer, " Bill Clinton and Barack Obama" as the name one of two U.S. presidents that have won GRAMMY Awards.

This Week’s Trivia: Who was last man to walk on the moon?

Please send your answer to Jason Baccus at jbaccus@thecgp.org.

Coalition Calendar

Date Event Time Location

March 1


MAS Basic Training


Crowell & Moring

March 8


PRCO Committee Meeting


Baker Tilly

March 14


IT/Services Committee Meeting



March 20


GWAC/MAC Committee Meeting



March 20


Imaging Equipment Committee Meeting


The Coalition

May 11


2017 Spring Training Conference


Fairview Park Marriott

August 23


Joe Caggiano Memorial Golf Tournament @ Whiskey Creek



For more information about Coalition committee meetings or events, please contact Jason Baccus at jbaccus@thecgp.org or 202-331-0975.

CSRA is looking for a senior contracts professional to help support its GSA Schedules and GWAC Contracts.

  • Deep understanding of Federal acquisition market.

  • Oversee contract administration and compliance responsibilities for CSRA’s GWAC and GSA Schedule Contracts.

  • Serve as primary point of contact for all GWAC and GSA Contracting Officers. 

  • Advise and assist current and potential customers regarding the technical scope of the GWACs and GSA Schedules.

  • Promotes use of GWACs and GSA Schedules within CSRA.

  • Provide strategic guidance to internal business leaders regarding vehicle selection, rate and labor category differentiation and clarifies terms and conditions on GWAC contracts and GSA Schedules as they apply to task order proposals

For a complete job description:  https://jobs.csra.com/job/falls-church/contract-advisor/3459/3367690
For questions please contact mark.mcneely@csra.com


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