Ross Wilkers

PROCUREMENT

One agency had a perfect score in PSC's annual report card

The rest? Not as much

Almost like the (dreaded for some of us) annual report card, the main trade association representing government services companies has given ratings of its own to federal agencies’ latest publicly-available procurement forecasts.

One agency was the first-ever to get a perfect score in the Professional Services Council’s 2021 Federal Business Forecast Scorecard released Wednesday, which is the group’s third such report on 69 agencies and subcomponents that give industry forecasts to consider.

The U.S. Agency for International Development can claim bragging rights in part because its procurement forecast includes a change log that documents each update. Changes to individual components of a forecasted opportunity are also updated, according to PSC.

The overall number of “Good” scores, which is essentially the highest out of four ratings, stayed flat year-over-year at 16 agencies. Also unchanged was the next score down of “Fair” at nine.

Unfortunately, the number of agencies with the lowest possible rating of “No forecast found” went up from one to nine. “Needs Improvement” went from 22 to 29.

PSC's report is not just a means for industry to tee off on the agencies that do a good job with their forecasts and those that do not, or evidently not at all, and to help the government in its development of those previews.

Honorable mention number one from PSC stood out to us. That went to the Defense Health Agency for going from a bottom rating of “needs improvement” to the new rating of fair.

Why the nudge up? Engagement with PSC staffers and member companies to improve the format of and information included in their forecast.

In PSC’s eyes, DHA still has work to do on updating the information more frequently and addressing inconsistencies between its forecast and opportunities listed on Sam.gov. Please do not get us started on that website again as it is hobby horse item for the editor.

Honorable mention number two went to the Homeland Security Department for its focus on the Acquisition Planning Forecast System portal that became cloud-based in October 2020. DHS created a new email alert mechanism after it had to turn the old one off for security reasons.

For those keeping score at home, these are 15 PSC’s key attributes for a specified and successful agency business forecast:

  • Electronically sortable information
  • Date modified
  • Frequency of updates
  • Level of project description detail
  • Dollar Value
  • Program point-of-contact email
  • Program office and buying office
  • NAICS code
  • Incumbent(s) listed
  • Small business set-aside information
  • Contract value
  • Anticipated solicitation release date
  • Action/award type
  • Anticipated award date
  • Award period of performance

Two of those are a pair of other hobby horse items for us and likely you in industry as well: anticipated solicitation release date and anticipated award date.

Almost always never on time. Just ask everyone who is chasing the $50 billion CIO-SP4 IT vehicle for instance.

We on occasion would welcome shifts to the left versus the right just to mix it up. Better yet, just leave the dates in the center if at all possible.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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