OASIS+ or OASIS-Plus? Either way, GSA puts next-gen services contract on fast track

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Just when you thought government contracts were about to get fun, yet again the General Services Administration decided boredom was the right approach.

That’s right, I say procurement and fun in the same sentence because we had a contract coming up that had so many intertwined possibilities. The GSA has been planning the continuation of its very popular and successful OASIS contract over the past year. It all started by calling the vehicle BIC MAC—best-in-class multiple…

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Just when you thought government contracts were about to get fun, yet again the General Services Administration decided boredom was the right approach.

That’s right, I say procurement and fun in the same sentence because we had a contract coming up that had so many intertwined possibilities. The GSA has been planning the continuation of its very popular and successful OASIS contract over the past year. It all started with the call for the BIC MAC vehicle—best in class multiple award contract. Oh the possibilities out there!

The agency switched to MAC Services a few months ago. And with those two names, unlike its more traditional, uninspiring names like Alliant or Millennial or 8(a) STARS, those names had so much potential for headline and track fun and so much more.

But the GSA decided – and I’ll blame the lawyers here, just because it’s always fun to blame the lawyers – to choose the name OASIS+, or maybe Oasis-Plus, for the new government contract, ending any real chance of bringing the fun back to federal procurement.

“The name echoes a successful brand that our customers know and trust, reflects the expanded scope of services that will be available through the new program, and embodies the contract’s flexible domain-based structure,” wrote Tiffany Hixson, the assistant commissioner. in the GSA’s Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories within the Federal Acquisition Service, in a blog post from June 15. “The new program will have a wide reach. At the end of their respective order periods, the new program will be able to meet the requirements currently met by GSA’s Single Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS); Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCaTS); and build, maintain and operate (BMO) contracts. In addition, new application areas include environment, intelligence services and large enterprise solutions. Additionally, we will incorporate the flexibility to expand the scope as clients identify new needs for federal services.

Kidding aside for the good folks at GSA, the OASIS+/Oasis-Plus decision seems small, but important. It’s clear that the FAS recognizes that the current contract is popular, in part because the GSA has spent the better part of a decade promoting, branding and working with everyone from the military to the to the Department of Homeland Security to the military to commit to putting hundreds of millions of dollars through OASIS.

Since 2015, agencies have spent $48.8 billion on OASIS, OASIS Small Business, and OASIS 8(a) across more than 3,200 task orders.

Source: GSA Decisions Data Dashboard.

The Air Force remains the largest user, issuing more than 1,000 mission orders worth more than $28 billion. The military is the largest user in terms of total sales with over $30 billion on 458 task orders.

Source: GSA Decisions Data Dashboard.
Source: GSA Decisions Data Dashboard.

The updated OASIS+ vision also recognizes the challenges of the HCATS contract.

GSA awarded HCATS to 109 vendors in May 2016. The 10.5-year contract has a cap of $11.5 billion and replaced the Training and Management Assistance (TMA) contract managed by the Office of staff over the past two decades. After a series of protests against the offersthe GSA finally issued the notice to proceed for the HCATS in September 2016. Over the past six years, agencies have not used the contract as expected, awarding 300 task orders worth $764 millions of dollars.

Six contracts including five for small businesses

Sheri Meadema, acting assistant commissioner for the GSA’s Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories within the Federal Procurement Service, told the Coalition for Government Procurement Spring Conference that changes to OASIS -Plus also acknowledges what GSA customers have said about the details of the project. of the new contract in recent months.

“We originally looked at a contract with reservations for small businesses, and by working closely with the Small Business Administration and our Office of Small and Disadvantage Utilization Office and our customers, quite frankly, we ended up changing that strategy. So the plan is to now award six separate contracts, five of which are for small business and the six unrestricted,” she said. “The second change is the range. Oasis will cover all application areas of Oasis currently today, as well as the maintenance and operation of the HCATS and buildings when these contracts expire. Additionally, in the early stages of the contract, we are adding additional application areas to include environmental intelligence services and an area we call enterprise solutions, which will be unique to the vehicle without restriction. This area is for very large, complex, high dollar value non-commercial type work.

Domains are another change for OASIS+. GSA will add or remove domains based on customer needs and usage throughout the term of the contract.

This gives us much more flexibility as things change and customer needs change to introduce new application areas,” Meadema said. “We try to keep the solicitation open continuously after its initial closure to deal with solicitation protests. This is our ability to integrate industry partners at any time during the term of the contracts. »

The on-ramp to OASIS was far from a smooth process, plagued with protests and delays.

Meadema said the new contract will make it easier for businesses that fall outside the small business size standard to apply for the unrestricted OASIS+ version.

“The evaluation criteria will determine the pool of highly qualified suppliers we are trying to attract. We do not recreate multiple reward schedules. We set the bar relatively high,” she said. “That being said, we pay close attention to how high we set the bar without restriction. Again, we can allow businesses that re-represent their size to switch to another vehicle.

Price is not a key evaluation factor

As part of the evaluation factors, the GSA will apply the authority it has been given under Section 876 of the Defense Authorization Bill 2018, where price is most significant at the level of task order, not at the main contract level.

The GSA said in recent responses to industry questions that OASIS-Plus will have no total dollar cap, joining Polaris as the only other contract to deviate from Federal Acquisition Regulations in the past nine years. .

Meadema said the GSA plans to release new or updated draft sections of OASIS-Plus for industry comment over the summer and then release the full draft RFP early in the year. fiscal year 2023. The GSA expects to issue the final solicitation in the second quarter of 2023.

The new name, scope, and domain changes are important steps for the GSA on this journey, but they still don’t necessarily answer all the questions about how OASIS+/OASIS-Plus doesn’t just create a new type of hourly contract. The Coalition expressed concern last year about possible duplication with the schedules, the concordance between what OASIS+ will include and what the schedules already provide.

The next key step in this journey is when the GSA releases the draft RFP for industry comment to see how it differentiates from the schedules and if it alleviates industry concerns about duplication. Most would agree that the last thing industry or government needs is another contract that doesn’t add value and meet the needs of the agency.

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