Procurement Policy Spring Cleaning Checklist – March 2024

Apr 2, 2024

Spring also means it is time for a Procurement Policy Spring Cleaning Checklist highlighting the key initiatives that will shape procurement operations.

It is finally spring, and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom here in Washington. Day-light savings time is disrupting sleeping patterns across the nation; neighbors are out and about; lacrosse season has kicked off; next week is MLB opening day; and, of course, I have just finished my brackets for March Madness.

Spring also means it is time to get organized and clean things up for the rest of the year. At home, that means putting together my “Spring Cleaning Checklist.” This year my home checklist includes, against all odds, turning my garage, which currently serves as a home storage unit, back into a garage.

Spring also means it is time for a Procurement Policy Spring Cleaning Checklist highlighting the key initiatives that will shape procurement operations for customer agencies and industry partners. Set forth below are just some of the items that should appear on the “Fair and Reasonable” checklist:

Cybersecurity. The winter months saw a tsunami of proposed rules, management memos, and attestation forms all addressing various aspects of cybersecurity. Do all these “directives” provide a coherent, government-wide approach?  Is there an opportunity to improve harmonization of the cybersecurity framework? How do firms, especially small businesses, find the resources to make sense of it all?

Artificial Intelligence (AI). Increasingly, AI is making its way into procurement operations.  What are the implications for government and industry? How is AI being leveraged to streamline procurement processes and evaluations? How is industry using AI to compete and win government business? And what of the data that is the “fuel” powering AI? How is that data validated and being used to avoid bias?

Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Price Evaluation.  Significantly, the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is revising its guidance to contracting officers regarding the evaluation/negotiation of MAS contract pricing. The Coalition appreciates the efforts of FAS to maintain dialogue with industry on this important guidance. Our members look forward to providing additional feedback when FAS issues a request for information regarding the proposed update.

Small business opportunities. A host of recent studies have identified the shrinking industrial base serving the federal government and the corresponding impact on competition, innovation, and costs.  In the case of small businesses, while the overall amount of funds going to small businesses has increased over the last decade, the number of small businesses supporting the federal government has decreased. This decrease is a strong indication that structural barriers to entry into the government market are limiting the government’s access to the commercial market and small businesses. Over the coming months, the Coalition will be offering our recommendations on reducing barriers and increasing opportunities for small businesses in the federal space.

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