Tuesday Insight – March 16th, 2021

Mar 18, 2021

GSA Kicks Off Two-year Effort to Innovate Service Contracting beyond OASIS

Let’s get the jokes about the General Services Administration’s working title of its new services governmentwide acquisition contract out of the way. Today it’s known as a BIC MAC—Best-in-Class Multiple Award Contract.

Go ahead have some fun.

It’s a contract brought to you by McDonald’s.

It’s a contract, no it’s a new pen.

April Fool’s Day is coming so Larry Allen, who’s always up for some fun, is probably already hard at work developing some fake press release about how Burger King already submitted a protest over the BIC MAC that he will send out to his friends and colleagues for a good laugh.

Whatever name GSA eventually comes up with that is not BIC MAC, the new approach to services contracting aims to shake things up in a way the federal contacting community hasn’t seen in at least five years.

GSA released the first of at least two requests for information on March 2 seeking industry feedback on some of the basic ideas around the contract like socioeconomic reserves, the initial list of functional domain areas, contract structure and much more. Responses to the 27-page survey are due March 17.

Jill Akridge, the director for Customer Account Management for the Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories (PSHC), an office within GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), said at a recent ACT-IAC webinar that the goal is to reduce friction in the services market and possible consolidate existing services contracts like the Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCATS) and the Building Maintenance and Operations vehicle to make it easier for customers.

“All of these things are concepts and they are in flux. If feedback shows that we missed the mark, we will come back and say how we pivoted our assumptions. We do want to build this with both industry and customer agencies in mind. That is the approach we will be taking moving forward,” she said. “We are trying to make the future, create better data and we are using this contract to get us there in the world of services.”

Akridge said FAS is just at the beginning of a nearly two-year effort to get new contract in place before the OASIS vehicle sunsets. The next date is April 1 for an industry day. She said FAS will release a second RFI in the May timeframe looking at functional capabilities and source selection criteria. In the meantime, Akridge said FAS will continue with an assortment of industry and agency customer discussions.

She said as of now the schedule is for the final request for proposals would come out in early fiscal 2022 and initial awards would come in early calendar 2023.

The goal of the BIC MAC is to replace the OASIS contract, which is set to expire in 2024.

“It’s both an evolution and a departure from the OASIS contract. It’s an evolution because it’s clearly a follow on contract put out by the same team at GSA that runs OASIS. But it is a departure in that it’s broader in scope, likely include many more vendors than OASIS and is based on less distinct capabilities to let vendors on the vehicle,” said Alan Thomas, the former commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at GSA and now chief operating officer at IntelliBridge. “It’s ambitious for sure, but since it’s still early I think GSA is starting by putting everything on the table and as they hear from industry and other customers, they will whittled it down and reduce any potential risks they face.”

But some wonder if GSA is trying to fix something that isn’t broken. OASIS unrestricted and small business are hugely successful contracts for professional services with more than $10 billion in sales in fiscal 2020 and $9 billion in 2019.

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