What's the buzz with GSA's $10B OASIS contract?
Many are skeptical, many optimistic about OASIS
- By Mark Hoover
- Feb 01, 2013
The latest discussions of the General Services Administration’s OASIS vehicle have as much skepticism as optimism.
The skepticism came to the forefront at the strategic sourcing event on Thursday, sponsored by the Professional Services Council, the Coalition for Government Procurement, TechAmerica and ACT/IAC.
The $10 billion OASIS vehicle has been proposed by the GSA as a contract that is designed to meet agencies’ needs for professional services in areas such as management and consulting, professional consulting, professional engineering, logistics and finance, as well as ancillary support services.
One main concern about the contract was the “how” aspect; both government and contractors can agree on the idea behind OASIS, but how it can be achieve what it seeks to achieve is a whole different question.
Another concern around strategic sourcing and OASIS is its apparent likeness to Lowest Price Technically Acceptable procurement, in which the government will make acquisitions based solely on price.
At Thursday’s event, however, officials affiliated with the contract offered their thoughts.
The whole purpose behind the contract is to be more intentional in what the government buys, and how the government buys it, said Lena Trudeau, associate commissioner, Strategic Innovations at GSA.
It also is an attempt to come up with a consistent vocabulary and common language when the government is making acquisitions, said Jeff Koses, director, Office of Acquisition Operations, GSS at GSA.
Koses brought up a counterpoint, saying that some people have had concerns that OASIS is a redundant contract, but he assured the audience that it was not.
It is designed to enable complex integration across multiple areas of the government, he said.
One audience member asked how small businesses would fare in a contract like this, not seeing how they could stand a chance.
“I think it’s actually going to be better for small businesses,” said Jim Ghiloni, director of business operations at GSA/FAS/AAS at GSA. The ones that lose in the bidding will learn from their mistakes, and come back stronger.
On the other hand, the performance of small-business winners will be broadcast throughout the industry, thereby helping them gain good publicity, and more work in the future, said Ghiloni.
Mark Hoover is a staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.