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Monday, August 5, 2013

Small service contractors deserted by OASIS?

Is OASIS too complex?
GSA released the RFPs for the next-generation One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) contract on July 31. The contract was designed to be a one-stop management and consulting, professional engineering, logistics, and finance services contracting vehicle that would provide more uniformity and less redundancy.

GSA said it worked closely with industry to draft the RFPs. But, in doing all that spade work, some industry stakeholders said the GSA produced RFPs that are innovative but possibly a little too complex. Roger Waldron, president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, cited a vendor-scoring table as an example of needless complexity. While providing detailed criteria that could be useful, its 15 categories of evaluation that use 40 specific questions to award points for favorability might be too much information for some to digest.

On the other hand, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and general counsel at the Professional Services Council, the table provides a "self-test, or open book test for companies" that want to bid on the contract. "It will eliminate some of the mystery around their actual capabilities." With various pools of potential providers, the selection and contracting process isn't as straightforward as ordering off of a schedule, Chvotkin said. "Ordering agencies will have to do some work" in drawing up contracts under OASIS. "There are some advantages over ordering off a schedule, but this is not the easiest multiple award vehicle to work with."

Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners, predicted the detailed responses would serve a useful purpose: they'll "make it obvious to companies whether they should bid or go no-bid."

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