As the U.S. Government continues to migrate its purchasing and procurement needs around Category Management, there has been an increasing trend among federal agencies to focus on using “Best-in-Class” vehicles as their primary means to procure goods and services. This approach focuses on using existing GWAC and IDIQ contracting vehicles as a more efficient, streamlined, and cost-effective means to procure the solutions necessary to meet their mission. While this approach is supported by many federal agencies and those government contractors that maintain those vehicles, there are opponents who oppose this practice arguing that it limits the competitive landscape for those contractors, especially those who are not on one of the Tier Three Best-in-Class contracting vehicles due to vehicle age or restrictions introduced during the bid process. The objective of this white paper is to inform federal agencies on how using Schedule 70, currently a Tier Two IT Best-in-Class contract, allows them more flexibility, increased competition, and more options to compete their requirements.
Summary of Challenge
There is no argument that Category Management is an effective and efficient means to reduce spend, decrease redundancies, and provide more value and savings back to the government. Historically, there have been numerous redundant contracting vehicles with near identical requirements. For example, from 2006 to 2013, there were four similar Army contracting vehicles in use for similar requirements: EAGLE, SSES NEXGEN, R2-3G, and S3. Interestingly, there were several duplicative companies on those contracting vehicles, as well.
While Tier Three Best-in-Class IT contract vehicles provide access to a multitude of well-experienced federal contractors, there are challenges with government agencies using those contracts are the primary source for their IT requirements:
- GSA recently rescinded the Alliant 2 Small Business awards and the NITAAC CIO-SP3 onramp has been fraught with protests delaying the onramp of numerous other small businesses.
- There are numerous duplicative companies across the Tier Three Best-in-Class IT contracts. There are approximately 50 companies that are duplicated across just Alliant and CIO-SP3 alone.
- There is a significant barrier of entry to gain prime access to those vehicles thereby limiting the government’s access to non-traditional companies who bring game-changing technologies or highly technical and specialized capabilities.