HR business line solicitation, awards on hold

The General Services Administration and the Office of Personnel Management have pushed back the awards for the Human Resources Line of Business to August.

GSA and OPM previously said they hoped to award contracts to private-sector providers by June 30. However, sources said the agencies extended the timeline because of the large number of questions vendors are submitting and how those questions are forcing GSA and OPM to rethink the request for proposals.

In answers to contractor questions that GSA is posted on FedBizOpps.gov, officials said GSA would issue a "refreshed" solicitation for Federal Supply Service Schedule 738.x, including the new special item numbers for services, this week.

"Evaluation of proposals will be an involved process, including operational capability demonstrations," GSA said in its answer to a vendor's question about the new timeline. "A very tentative timeline would place possible awards around August 2007."

The delayed timeline also could affect how agencies move to shared-service providers. OPM had said it expected three agencies to begin migration in fiscal 2007, but that is now in doubt as the commercial providers will not be available until late this year.

Under the request for information released in late January, GSA said vendors must provide three core services:
  • Personnel action processing: The vendor will provide a system that can initiate and process a personnel action, which includes data on employees' status, changes to their status and other key employee data, and save the data online.
  • Compensation management: GSA and OPM want companies to provide a system that supports discretionary and alternative pay programs, including award and bonus payouts, work schedules, leave processing, end-to-end payroll processing, annual pay adjustment processing and other functions.
  • Benefits management: Under this function, GSA and OPM said vendors should provide an online application to handle functions such as active benefits enrollments based on predefined rules and make benefit participation data available to benefit providers.

The new RFP will address a number of questions that vendors have asked, including the role that Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 will play in competitions, the contracting approach under which private-sector service centers will compete with government shared-service providers, and whether agencies that are seeking an HR LOB provider will be required to seek proposals from government and private-sector shared-service providers.

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

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