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GSA’s Centers of Excellence Will See Expansion This Year

By Debbie Gregory.

The General Services Administration (GSA) will be refreshing the acquisition model for its Centers of Excellence (CoE) initiative this year as it gears up for IT modernization.

The RFQ includes a challenge question to assess a vendor’s technical capabilities in a functional area; a scenario question to evaluate a vendor’s ability to collaborate with federal employees and other contractors in a cross-functional team; and another factor to test a contractor’s ability to send a response with regards to one functional area. The challenge questions will be available through Google Forms beginning March 28.

The award for the BPA or Blanket Purchase Agreement is valued at $100 million and is set to last for three years from the date of award. The RFQ or Request for Quotation notes this is not a ceiling and the total value can exceed the $100 million without the need to modify the contract.

The program, initiated by the White House’s Office of American Innovation, launched in December, 2017 as a way for GSA and industry to partner on targeted technology overhauls at selected agencies. beginning the process will be the Agriculture Department and the Housing and Urban Development Department.

“The CoEs are focused on establishing a model of private/public relationships for IT modernization efforts that will prove fruitful to both sides of the partnership.  The objective is to obtain and incorporate industry feedback.

According to Bob De Luca who is the Executive Director of the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence at GSA hopes to onboard more agencies this year and at a faster rate.

The next generation of the program will include the original five centers that are focused on cloud adoption, contact centers, customer experience, data analytics and infrastructure optimization in addition to two additional centers for change management and information security. Prospective bidders must hold GSA Schedule 70 contracts for the relevant special item number listed in the document.  The entire package is due by noon on April 1.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

DUNS Numbers To Be Phased Out – First New Managing Vendor After 20 Years

A new vendor is taking over management of the vendor verification system run through the General Services Administration, ending a 20-year dynasty for the company that established the Data Universal Numbering System, or DUNS.

Through the Integrated Award Environment, GSA issues each vendor or organization that does business with the government a unique DUNS number. The system has been managed by Dun & Bradstreet since it was created in 1962 and the company has held the contract with GSA since DUNS became part of the Federal Acquisition Regulation in 1998.

After opening the contract to competitive bids last year, GSA announced Monday that a new vendor, Ernst & Young, would be taking over the entity validation system.  The new deal has a one-year base period with four one-year options.  The value of the contract is $41.8 million if all options are exercised.

GSA is taking the opportunity to reengineer the system. The DUNS number will be phased out over the coming months and replaced by the System for Award Management Managed Identifier, or SAMMI, number.  The standards on how the system will function are be worked out by an interagency working group.  The federal government will have a safe, secure and unified method for validating entities, while also simplifying the process for those who seek awards,” GSA Office of Systems Management Assistant Commissioner Judith Zawatsky said in a release announcing the award.  Dun & Bradstreet will continue to work with GSA and Ernst & Young during the transition.

Additionally, the new system will also create a workaround for the proprietary nature of validation services which many have characterized as monopolistic.  A GSA spokesperson said that Ernst & Young will retain proprietary rights to certain data but going forward, the process will be structured in a different way.  The entity validation services contract features a new approach wherein users will provide their registration information at SAM.gov and that information will be validated against [Ernst & Young’s] data..  The government has unlimited rights in perpetuity to the validated results and there is no charge to SAM.gov registrants.”

 #GeneralServicesAdministration #GSA #DUNS #Dun&Bradstreet #Ernst&Young #SAM.gov #JudithZawatsky

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