Two major initiatives coming out of the Office of Personnel Management and General Services Administration have been delayed as the coronavirus continues to disrupt government business, the agencies announced this week.

GSA announced April 1 that the award for its e-commerce platform proof of concept is delayed due to the virus because “the contracting team for the Commercial Platforms proof of concept has also had to shift their focus to COVID-19 response efforts,” wrote Laura Stanton, deputy assistant commissioner for category management in the information technology category. COVID-19 is the disease caused by coronavirus.

“Not surprisingly, GSA’s resources have shifted to support the COVID-19 response, and we’re having to prioritize certain activities to support the immediate needs of the federal government,” Stanton wrote.

A GSA notice from October last year said that the award was supposed to be made “early calendar year 2020.” The new goal, Stanton wrote, "is to make the contract award in the coming months.”

She added, “We will continue to move forward as we are able, recognizing that many of our acquisition professionals are prioritizing COVID-19 response work over other acquisition initiatives."

The e-commerce solicitation is a major effort by GSA to modernize acquisition by allowing agencies to buy products from commercial e-marketplace platform providers.

As for federal employees, in a memo to agency heads March 31, acting OPM Director Michael Rigas announced that the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey was being postponed “to support your critical agency missions as well as maximize employee participation in the survey.”

The FEVS survey is an opportunity for federal employees to evaluate the leadership, work environment and work experience at their agencies. The survey is now tentatively set to begin July 13.

Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.

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