Industry has an extra nine days to provide input on the Government Accountability Office’s coming five-year effort to transform and modernize software development, operations and maintenance for its Information Systems and Technology Services (ISTS).

GAO’s request for information on the acquisition, originally scheduled to end on Jan. 24, 2018, will now remain open until Feb. 2, 2018.

“This RFI is issued for information gathering purposes only. It is the intent that input gathered during this RFI process will influence scope and requirements of a future technical requirement. Failure to participate in the RFI will not impact an interested party’s ability to participate in any future competitive procurements,” GAO contracting officer Deja C. Holmes wrote in the RFI notice.

GAO also updated the RFI with answers to questions sent by prospective offerors, likely to give additional commenters a better frame of reference for their input.

The agency has eight goals for ISTS:

  1. Increase GAO’s IT security posture;
  2. Support business performance improvement initiatives;
  3. Enhance customer service;
  4. Improve GAO’s ability to process and share high-quality information;
  5. Reduce total cost of ownership;
  6. Enhance mobility to support a virtual workforce (anytime, anywhere, on most device types);
  7. Enhance reliability and availability of GAO’s IT solutions; and
  8. Ensure ISTS staff skills keep pace with changing technologies.

The issued Q&A states that, as 95 percent of the agency’s systems currently reside within the GAO data center, the agency is looking for all kinds of cloud alternatives. Mobility for the large percentage of staff permitted to work away from the office is also of high priority.

GAO has four primary goals it looks to accomplish through the acquisition:

  • Increasing ISTS’s flexibility to evolve services as GAO mission needs change, while increasing performance, increasing information security, increasing IT agility, while maintaining compliance and decreasing risk;
  • Increasing speed-to-deliver ISTS capabilities and services to customers;
  • Create a more predictable and consistent ISTS budget, reducing major budget outlays and, where possible, shift from Capital Expense (CapEx) to Operating Expense (OpEx) models; and
  • Incentivize ongoing innovation from industry partners.

GAO also indicated that they will use the information obtained in the RFI to host an industry day for prospective vendors interested in competing for the contract.