Jim Ghiloni, director of GSA's One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services program management office (Thomas Brown / Staff)
The General Services Administration wants to be the government’s source for complex, integrated services, such as financial management, logistics and program management.
Today, agencies are standing up separate contracts for these services because there isn’t a single contract that easily supports their requirements, Jim Ghiloni, director of GSA’s One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services program management office, said in an interview.
Market research firm Deltek estimates the long-awaited OASIS contract could be worth $12 billion and will be awarded in September, on par with Ghiloni’s expected autumn timeframe for an award. GSA is considering not having a ceiling at all, Ghiloni said.
“We don’t know what the business is going to be on OASIS [because] it’s not replacing anything,” he said. “There is nothing that I can look at and base a ceiling on.”
The federal professional services market is about $60 billion to $70 billion a year, and between 6 and 10 percent of that market goes through GSA contracts, he said. Based on those projections, OASIS could see $5 billion to $6 billion of business annually.
Last month, GSA released two draft requests to industry — one for OASIS and the other for the small-business version of OASIS. A final request for proposals should be released this summer, and about 40 vendors will be awarded spots on each contract, Ghiloni said.
In addition to financial management, logistics and program management services, OASIS will also provide access to engineering, scientific and consulting services. Unlike GSA’s federal supply schedules program, agencies will have more flexibility to use cost-reimbursement contracts, a move GSA is hoping will woo back business from its biggest supply schedule buyer: the Defense Department.
“For example, if an agency, say the Air Force, wants base maintenance and operations support, there is going to be a logistics component to that,” Ghiloni said. “They’re going to have inventory. They’re going to have equipment they’re going to need to keep track of. … There is going to be a financial management function [to manage] the budget for different operations on the base and manage finances. There could be an engineering component to that if they move from one building to another or develop new systems to support those tasks.”
GSA has watched DoD’s business on its federal supply schedule steadily decline in recent years. The supply schedules typically offer fixed-price contracts, where the government pays a set cost for goods and services; labor-hour contracts, which require the government to pay a per-hour labor rate; and time-and-materials contracts that include the direct cost for the time and materials used. The rigid pricing terms contributed to DoD cutting its supply schedule spending by $5 billion over the past six years, Defense official Shay Assad has said.
GSA is hoping OASIS will generate much business, despite the across-the-board spending cuts triggered by the sequester. The cuts, which took effect last month, total $85 billion governmentwide and include a $41 billion cut to DoD’s base budget. Ghiloni expects OASIS will be an attractive option for cash-strapped agencies because they won’t have to spend time and resources creating their own contracts and vetting potential bidders.
Speaking at a contracting event in Washington this month, Ghiloni stressed that OASIS is not a governmentwide acquisition contract, or GWAC, which agencies use to acquire information technology solutions. OASIS is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for professional services and will streamline the procurement process by vetting companies for agencies ahead of time, he said. Rather than evaluating dozens of bids, agencies could expect three to five OASIS vendors bidding for their business, Ghiloni said.
Ghiloni highlighted several innovative features in the OASIS draft proposal:
Objective scoring criteria that show vendors upfront how GSA will rate them. For example, companies will be scored based on their past performance, certifications, systems capabilities, experience of key personnel and other key areas. One area where agencies could receive points is for having a top secret facility because some agencies will require that level of security.
On- and off-ramp features that allow GSA to assess the status and performance of OASIS vendors and make necessary adjustments. For example, a vendor on OASIS small business may be moved to the main OASIS contract as it grows in size and business. GSA can also dismiss underperforming companies from the contract.
A way to address nonperforming vendors. For example, a company that fails to meet its small-business goals or win at least three awards in five years, as required by GSA, can be put in “dormant” status, which prevents the company from bidding on task new orders until it resolves issues identified by GSA.
Access to vendors’ pricing data. Customer agencies will be able to compare what they pay for services with prices other agencies pay for similar services on OASIS. Vendors will have to report their agency invoices to GSA, based on labor categories designated by GSA.
“One of the challenges for government is we don’t know what we buy, and we’re getting better at this,” Ghiloni said. “With services, we’re not really there yet. We’re just starting, and OASIS is at the leading edge of that.”