We recently posted an article about an Industry Day event in which the commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at GSA, Tom Sharpe stated his desire to increase GSA’s market share of federal spending in the coming years to 33% from its current 15%. At that same event Tiffany Hixson, regional director for GSA’s Northwest Arctic Region, discussed the changing landscape of professional services and her similar goal to escalate spending for these services under GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule program.
Between 2009 and 2013 GSA captures made up an average of 20.7% of professional services spend, but since then usage has hovered just below that average. GSA is looking to take steps to help drive that number up to 31% in the next three years with initiatives designed to ease the use of schedule contacting. These include:
- Continued development of the Professional Services Hallway
- Enhanced Customer Account Management by focusing on the ten agencies that make up 90% of the total customer base for professional services but only 50% of GSA business volume in FY2013/2014 and developing an enhanced customer care program
- Improved Contract Offering including the new Professional Services Schedule due later this year
- Industry Engagement and Management through GSA Interact, periodic briefings, focus groups and industry days.
Ultimately, GSA is looking to woo federal customers back to the MAS program as an alternative to the recent trend of creating agency-specific acquisition vehicles that are costly and redundant. But in order to do that it needs to better understand why schedules don’t work for all of its intended customers. GSA hopes its heightened outreach can do just that, and in fact it has already produced some feedback including some issues with the current SIN structure and how products and services are grouped together which Ms. Hixson said they may consider revising. Another example is an $800 million opportunity with the Department of Homeland Security for Language Services that might not be run under the Schedules program because the modern technical translation and interpretation services needed are not on the Schedule 738II. Now understanding the need, GSA is working to help get those services covered.
By the end of January GSA was seeing schedule spending for professional services on track with last year’s numbers, but it still has a ways to go to see its 2015 goal of 22%. Still, this can only mean good things for schedule holders as GSA’s efforts to expand utilization of the schedules program provide a windfall for contractors needed to handle the additional workload.
If you have questions on any of the professional services changes coming to GSA, contact Global Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.