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Aug 28, 2014

The General Services Administration will stop accepting new vendors on its professional services schedule in the coming months. The decision to temporarily close down the seven schedule contracts for services to new companies is part of how GSA is giving its entire program a facelift.
Tiffany Hixson, the GSA's Federal Acquisition Service's professional services category executive, said the suspension of new vendors getting on the schedules could last between three and six months.
"The other challenge for us is going to be if there is a federal agency that needs a contractor to get on schedule, we will have to accommodate that," Hixson said in an exclusive interview with Federal News Radio.
She said the decision to suspend new entrants on services schedules, including MOBIS, professional engineering and financial services, will not impact the current 3,500 schedule holders, nor how agencies use the schedules to buy services. Agencies spent about $11 billion on these seven schedules in 2013, with MOBIS and the financial service schedule leading the way.
Hixson is leading an effort to change how GSA provides services under the schedules program. She said the goal over the next 18 months is to make it easier for agencies to purchase integrated services and reduce the costs for GSA to administer these schedule contracts. Read full Article.

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May 9, 2014

You may have heard that the path to government contracting riches is paved with a General Services Administration (GSA) multiple-award schedule (MAS) contract, also known as a Federal Supply Schedule contract. 

Contracts awarded via the GSA's MAS program are indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicles against which government buyers can place orders directly with the schedule holder for commercial products and services (including of-a-type variations) that the contractor agrees to sell at prenegotiated prices and terms and conditions. GSA puts the items, prices and terms in an online catalog visible to all on the Internet.
But while its true schedules hold advantages for sellers and buyers alike, there is no guarantee that you will end up with orders: Of the 5,400-odd companies in possession of a schedule contract for information technology products and services during federal fiscal year 2010, about 39 percent did no schedule business whatsoever. Another 17 percent didn't do business worth more than $100,000.
There's a lot to think about when embarking on the GSA schedule process. You need to consider your position in both the private- and public- sector marketplaces, and your plans for the next five years in both sectors before making decisions about your go-to-market strategy and the role of a GSA schedule contract within that strategy.
The generic business case for getting a schedule contract is that schedules are the only purchasing program accessible by all federal agencies. Schedules also let contracting officers narrow the field of potential sellers, permitting them to review and evaluate a handful of quotes rather than dozens, thus speeding the procurement process -- and government buying decisions tend toward the path of least resistance.
A schedule means you can sell to federal agencies without contracting officers having to spend time figuring out if you're responsible or capable for each procurement -- GSA has done that already. You can participate in schedule-restricted competitions, and because competition requirements are relatively lower for schedule purchases, also be in a position to sell directly to agencies. And although agencies can further negotiate schedule prices down prior to placing an order, and sellers often discount below the GSA catalog price during order-level competition, schedule prices have gained an official GSA stamp of approval as “fair and reasonable.” As a result, GSA-approved schedule prices can be the basis for a transaction, even if the buyer ultimately uses another contracting method or type.
The GSA stamp of approval can mean a lot to companies of a certain size, especially ones that don't have a lot of name recognition within their niches. A schedule contract demonstrates that you have a good past performance record, that you have financial capability, and that you have processes in place to ensure delivery and post-sale support. A schedule says you're a serious business, and serious about getting government business as government contractor.
But there are some circumstances under which a company might not need tacit endorsement from GSA.  Read more.


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Aug 12, 2013

THE United States Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for 35 200km/h diesel-electric locomotives for use on inter-city and commuter services in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, Washington, California, and Oregon.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is leading the procurement with the first deliveries expected in 2016. The FRA has allocated $US 808m to manufacture the 35 locomotives and 130 double-deck coaches, with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) awarding the American subsidiary of Sumitomo, Japan, the $US 352m coach contract in September 2012. The coaches are being built at Nippon Sharyo's plant in Rochelle, Illinois and are scheduled to be delivered between autumn 2015 and early 2018.
The RFP states that the locomotives should use ac traction motors and meet EPA Tier 4 emissions standards. The winning bidder for the locomotive contract will be announced in early 2014. Many of the new locomotives and 88 of the coaches will be operated on upgraded infrastructure between Chicago and St Louis, and Chicago and Detroit (IRJ January p28).
This is the second locomotive contract to be procured under the standardised regulations outlined in Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) 205 specifications for the Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee. Southern California Regional Rail Authority selected EMD on May 31 to supply up to 20 F125 Spirit diesel-electric locomotives, which will also be designed to meet EPA Tier 4 standards, for operation on Southern California's regional rail service, Metrolink.
"The new uniform standards will drive down costs and allow more manufacturers and suppliers to compete, fostering healthy competition while re-establishing the US domestic supply chain for passenger rail equipment," says federal railroad administrator, Mr Joseph Szabo. "The intent to purchase 35 new locomotives comes as intercity passenger rail ridership continues to post and exceed ridership records. The need for new rail equipment has never been greater." Reference Article.

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Jul 17, 2012
Small businesses are the primary job creators in this country, making up greater than two-thirds of all new jobs created.

In FY2011, the Federal Government awarded more than $91.5 billion in federal contracts to small businesses, representing 21.64 percent of small business eligible federal contract dollars.  During the first three years of the Obama Administration, the federal government awarded $286.3 billion, or 22.07 percent in federal contracting dollars to small businesses.  This is a $32 billion increase over the three preceding years even as contracting spending overall has declined across the federal government. Even with these increases, however, the government has still failed to meet the statutory goals it has set for small businesses.

According to the Small Business Administration, the dollars and percentages for four of the five statutory goals have actually declined between 2010 and 2011:

1. SDB - 2010: 7.95%, $34.4 billion; 2011: 7.67%, $32.4 billion
2. Women-owned - 2010: 4.04%, $17.5 billion; 2011: 3.98%, $16.8 billion
3. Service-disabled Veteran-Owned - 2010: 2.5%, $10.8 billion; 2011: 2.65%, $11.2 billion
4. HUBZone - 2010: 2.77%, $12 billion; 2011: 2.35%, $9.9 billion

There are three possible reasons for the decline in total dollar amounts. 

1)  The decline in funding due to a shrinking budget/ new austerity measures.
2)  The expiration of many of the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, of which over 30 percent were allocated to small businesses.
3)  The emerging trend of Contract Bundling - even if the resulting contract is a small business set aside, only large smaller firms or joint ventures can compete, instead of smaller firms going after the individual contracts.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the Small Business Committee, is sponsoring the Government Efficiency Through Small Business Contract Act of 2012 (H.R. 3850).
If this bill is approved, it will raise the small business contracting goal to 25 percent from the original 23 percent.  It would also seek to make senior leadership in each agency accountable in attaining those goals. Rep. Graves has attached this bill to the 2013 Defense Authorization bill.

By:  Ira Evangelista, GovPartners Market Analyst

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Oct 27, 2011

A proposed rule to curb agencies’ little used capacity to offer higher payments to needier contractors “will have no impact on the government’s ability or commitment to drive contracting opportunities for small disadvantaged businesses,” Dan Gordon, administrator of the White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said Friday.

In a blog post for the Office of Management and Budget, Gordon sought to reassure some in the minority business community that a proposed regulation issued in September by the Small Business Administration is a routine “housekeeping” tool designed to catch the law up with a 2008 court ruling that declared such price premiums unconstitutional.

“The proposed rule in no way changes the fundamental policies, practices or programs that agencies have been using in recent years to achieve strong SDB participation in the federal marketplace, including the goal of awarding 5 percent of federal procurement dollars to SDBs,” Gordon wrote.

The affected agencies — the Defense Department, NASA and the U.S. Coast Guard — have not used price premiums to attract disadvantaged small contractors in years, Gordon noted. But the administration has “been working with the Minority Business Development Agency to strengthen the bond between contracting, small business and program offices at every agency,” Gordon wrote. “Since the beginning of [fiscal] 2009, agencies have awarded more than $85 billion in contracts to SDBs, exceeding the goal of awarding at least 5 percent of contract dollars to SDBs.” In fiscal 2010, he added, contract awards to small disadvantaged businesses accounted for 7.95 percent of all eligible contract dollars, “well above the goal.”

Gordon’s clarification came as the Obama administration readied a new set of executive actions designed to spur job creation in large and small businesses  while Congress debates the president’s larger proposed jobs package.

The perception among some that ending premium payments to disadvantaged businesses was a pullback in the administration’s commitment was rejected by Molly Brogan, vice president of public affairs for the National Small Business Association. “At the end of the day, small businesses just want a level playing field,” she told Government Executive. “Ensuring that small businesses — including SDB businesses — have a fair opportunity to compete for federal  dollars ought to be the No. 1 goal. We don’t believe this new rule will change [that] in any way.”

Raul Espinosa, founder of a Jacksonville, Fla. – based university nonprofit called the Fairness in Procurement Alliance, which has been pressing for stronger rules on accelerating payments to small disadvantaged businesses, said he was grateful for the administration’s overall effort, but worries it might be “lip service.” Changes “will mean nothing unless they’re codified into the federal acquisition regulation and referred to in actual contracts,” he said. Reference Article

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May 23, 2011

The Federal Government is close to meeting its 23 percent small-business goal.  The percentage of contracting dollars that went to small businesses were 21.5% and 21.9% in 2008 and 2009, respectively.  Small businesses are able to capture about $100 billion a year in Federal contracts, with each percentage point equating to $4 billion in revenue for small firms. 

Every percentage point in small businesses' share of federal contracts approximates to $4 billion in additional revenue for small firms.

More than thirty percent of contracts awarded with economic stimulus funds went to small businesses. 

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May 9, 2011

Defense reg requires you say who you are in person, in telephone calls and in letters.
Defense Department officials have changed the department’s regulations to require service contractors to identify themselves as contractors, whether in person or in a letter.
DOD issued its final rule May 5, even though there has been an interim rule in effect since September 2010.
The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement now states that service contractor employees must say they are contractors or be introduced as such in a conversation. Contractors are also required to note who they are “in telephone conversations and informal and formal written correspondence.”
Officials are leaving it up to agency heads to decide exactly how to carry out the new rule. Reference Article.

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Mar 22, 2011

D.C.-area firms will bid on range of IT services.

Three D.C.-area small-business IT contractors will vie for task-order work under a Defense Department contract that has a maximum value of $495 million.

PowerTek Corp., of Rockville, Md.; NetCentrics Corp., of Vienna, Va.; and Digital Management Inc., of Bethesda Md., have each being awarded an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, cost-reimbursement and fixed-price type multiple-award contract for a wide range of net-centric integrated IT support, services and supplies, according to a DOD announcement released March 18.
The services includes customer support; systems operation, administration, and maintenance; applications support, development and maintenance; and engineering services.
Other services include e-business systems administration, software system development, business continuity and continuity of operations, hardware and software acquisition, enterprise architecture, performance management, project management and IT training services.
The work will primarily be performed in the National Capital Region area.
The multiple-award contracts were competitively procured by full-and-open competition after exclusion as total small-business set-asides via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 14 offers received, the DOD announcement states.
The Washington Headquarters Services Acquisition Directorate in Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. Reference Article.
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Mar 3, 2011

By Charles Riley 

Source:  CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Air Force announced Thursday it awarded a $3.5 billion initial contract to Boeing for the production of 18 next-generation aerial refueling tankers.

That is a down payment on a contract worth about $35 billion for 179 planes.

Aerial refueling tankers allow the military to refuel aircraft in mid flight, greatly extending the range of operation for smaller aircraft, while also providing the capability to carry cargo and airlift personnel.

Both Boeing and the North American unit of EADS -- which owns Airbus --submitted bids for the blockbuster contract and planned to base their planes on popular civilian aircraft, specifically the Boeing 767 and Airbus A330.

"We're honored to be given the opportunity to build the Air Force's next tanker and provide a vital capability to the men and women of our armed forces," Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said in a statement.

Boeing shares jumped more than 3% in after-hours trading.

The announcement is the culmination of a decade-long process that has been fraught with pitfalls and political pressure as lawmakers lobbied to bring the project -- and resulting jobs -- into their districts.

Both companies estimated the contract would support thousands of jobs, with Boeing planning to build the aircraft in Everett, Wash., and Wichita, Kan. EADS would have based its production facilities in Mobile, Ala.

On Wednesday, Gulf state governors sent a letter to President Obama, saying the contract could significantly boost their state economies, which are reeling from natural and man-made disasters.

But on Thursday, it was Govs. Christine Gregoire of Washington and Sam Brownback of Kansas who won out.

They had sent a letter of their own to Obama, arguing, "We believe this tanker will best meet the Air Force's requirements and prove the best value for the American taxpayer."

Gregoire said in a statement Thursday that it was a great day for "the 11,000 aerospace workers in Washington state alone that will play a role in assembling the NewGen tanker."

In a conference call with reporters, Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said that the program will support more than 50,000 jobs and 800 suppliers spread across more than 40 states.

EADS has the right to protest the Pentagon's decision, but Pentagon officials said Thursday they were confident any appeal would fail. Still, with jobs at stake, there will be political pressure to try and overturn the decision.

"I am deeply disappointed that the EADS team was not selected to build the next air refueling tanker for the Air Force," Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said in a statement. "In light of today's result, I intend to examine the process carefully to ensure it was fairly conducted."

The contract has had a long and convoluted history.

Northrop Grumman and European partner EADS originally won the contract in February 2008. But Boeing protested and the Air Force reversed its decision and changed the requirements for the plane.

Northrop later said it would not bid on a multi-billion-dollar contract to build the tanker because it believed the rules for the contract favored its competitor, Boeing.

After Northrop dropped out, its partner company, EADS, asked the Pentagon for a 90-day extension to file its own bid.

The tankers will replace the aging Boeing KC-135, which first entered service in 1957. About 100 of the oldest "Stratotanker" models have been grounded since 2006 due to age.

Originally needed to keep B-52 nuclear bombers in the air for long periods of time, the Stratotanker quickly found new missions in Vietnam, where it enabled small fighter bombers to strike targets anywhere in the country. It revolutionized the use of air power, and is continuing to play that role in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Apr 29, 2010

Comments are to be submitted no later than May 3, 2010.
After more than a decade of waiting, the SBA has finally published a set of Proposed Rules to implement the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program that, with some refinement, will serve to implement a strong program enabling restricted competition for certain women-owned small business on contracts within selected NAICS codes. This program should help the federal government to meet their mandate for providing a fair portion of Federal contracts to women-owned small businesses. LEARN MORE

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Jan 20, 2010

10-year blanket purchase agreement calls for systems integration and other IT work.

CGI Federal Inc. will provide systems integration and other information technology services to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development under a 10-year blanket purchase agreement that could be worth as much as $395 million.

Under its General Services Administration’s IT Schedule contract, CGI also will provide consulting services and operational support for more than 5,000 of the agencies’ users of the Joint Financial Management System (JFMS) at more than 300 posts and missions around the world.

JFMS is a global platform based on CGI’s Momentum software, which is used by State and USAID to conduct domestic and overseas financial management activities.

CGI Federal is a wholly owned U.S. operating subsidiary of CGI Group Inc.  Reference Article:


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Oct 29, 2009

The United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) command responsible for land, air and sea transportation. With its people, trucks, trains, aircraft, ships, information systems and infrastructure USTRANSCOM provides the most responsive strategic mobility capability the world has ever seen. USTRANSCOM currently controls a fleet of military assets valued in excess of $52 billion, including: 87 ships; 1,269 aircraft; 2,150 railcars and assorted equipment, and $1.4 billion in infrastructure, as well as access through commercial partners to more than 1,001 aircrafts and 360 vessels in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) and Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) programs.

To give you an idea of the size and scope, USTRANSCOM conducts more than 1,900 air missions, with 25 ships underway and 10,000 ground shipments operating in 75% of the world's countries. The command has moved more than 1.9 million passengers; 1.1 million tons by air, 3.7 million tons by sea; and delivered more than 53.7 billion barrels of fuel by ship.

What does this mean for transportation contractors? USTRANSCOM, like all other federal agencies, need to meet their small business goals. Currently, these goals are not being met. Why? Most of the requirements are being filled by large businesses because small businesses are not responding to request for information (RFI) postings, sources sought notices, market research notices, and/or request for proposals (RFP).

USTRANSCOM Directorate of Acquisitions: Who are They and What do they Do?

USTRANSCOM's Directorate of Acquisition mission is to provide acquisition capability to include contracting and program management functions in support of transportation and distribution for the DoD. They act as a business advisor to their commander. USTRANSCOM's Acquisition division has recently gone through a reorganization. Their direct customers include UNSTRANSCOM, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), Military Sealift Command, Air Mobility Command (AMC), and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). Below is a summary of each division and what they do.

 TCAQ-R National Transportation - provides responsive contracting and business advisory support for the national and regional transportation programs serving the DoD customers worldwide.

 TCAQ-I International Scheduled Services -provides procurement of international multimodal transportation services in support of DoD's peace and wartime worldwide movement of cargo.

 TCAQ-M Program Management - provides expertise on acquisition program management policies, procedures and strategies to the commander, staff and components.

 TCAQ-C International Charters - provides procurement and worldwide administration of international charter airlift requirements supporting DoD passengers and cargo during war and peace.

 TCAQ-P Business Support/Policy - provides expertise on acquisition policies, procedures and strategies. They ensure that USTRANSCOM maintains the highest ethical procurement standards while achieving world class, global warfighter support.

 TCAQ-SB - Small Business Programs - provides advices and counsel to commander on small business matters. Assist in developing strategies to ensure maximum participation and opportunities for small business concerns.

 TCAQ-S Specialized Services - provides responsive contracting and business advisory support for specialized services and research and development programs serving DoD customers worldwide.

 TCAQ-D Distribution Process Owner (DPO) Support - provides responsive contracting and business advisory support for USTRASNCOM DPO support services, as well as contracting support for SDDC national level transportation systems requirements.


If you are a small business and want to do business with USTRANSCOM, contact Michelle Mendez, Director of Small Business Programs immediately at (618) 256-9619 or Be sure to have a capabilities brief ready to reference for talking points and follow up with an email. USTRANSCOM is interested in learning of all small qualified business, the more information you provide before an RFP is constructed, increases the chances of having small business set-aside requirements. Do not be afraid to request a face-to-face meeting. The small business program office will always be able to meet with contractors and will include contracting officers for specific contracts of interest. However, they are unable to discuss open solicitations.

ALWAYS respond to request for information, sources sought and market analysis so USTRANSCOM is aware that there are qualified small business vendors. Never assume the requirement is already earmarked for a specific contractor. The more information USTRANSCOM is provided, the more they are able to set-aside requirements for small businesses.

USTRANSCOM is a very lucrative customer. Significant programs (awarded to contractors) include:

Defense Personal Property System (DPS): Joint end-to-end web based IT System managing over 500,000 personnel property movements annually. Contract value is in excess of $50 million annually.

Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF): Provides worldwide movement of troops and cargo- Valued at $2.5 billion annually.

Hero Remains (HR): Provides movement of HR from the continental United States CONUS to final destination for fallen service members and is valued at $24 million annually.

Universal Services Contract (USC): Single point, door-to-door cargo transportation, service via ocean carriers and is valued at $1 billion annually.

Defense Transportation Coordination Initiative (DTCI): Provides transportation coordination services to improve the reliability, predictability, and efficiency of DoD material moving throughout the CONUS. After Phase III implementation, this contract is valued at $258 million annually.

Need Help? GovPartners can be your advocate. We can put together a comprehensive capabilities brief and connect you with USTRANSCOM decision makers. Our team has a long standing relationship with their team. Contact us today to get started. Alternatively, connect and team with contractors with existing contracting vehicles.

Useful Links:
Quick Search for business opportunities HTC711 @
USTRANSCOM Directory and Phone #s

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Jul 13, 2009

GovPartners is proud to sponsor The 5th Annual National Veteran Small Business Conference and Expo July 20-23, 2009, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This conference will bring together business owners, both small and large, and Federal Government representatives to share best practices of how to do business together. The conference will also include sessions on Federal Contracting for small businesses that are just breaking into the public sector.

The comprehensive conference agenda will include sessions that take attendees through the life cycle of small business Federal contracting. General sessions and breakouts will be led by small business owners as well as representatives from various Federal Agencies. Topics will include:

  • Contracting 101 and 201
  • Marketing and selling to the Federal Government
  • Legislation affecting small businesses
  • Legal issues with Government contracting
  • Managing small business finances
  • Successful business strategies
  • Subcontracting
  • And more!

This conference is an ideal mix of learning and networking opportunities. Registration is limited so early registration is highly encouraged.

The conference is open to both government and non-government personnel. Find out more here!



Cynthia said: GovPartners will attend this important event. Visit the cyber cafe and networking area for GovPartners promotional materials and informatiom. We hope to see you there.
Jul 19, 2009
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