GSA poised for a comeback
I was talking with a friend in the industry the other day and the General Services Administration came up.
Sure, the agency has problems ? Alliant is hanging over its head ? but don't listen to people who say the agency is dead or irrelevant, according to my friend.
Service is improving. Fees are very competitive. And they are out talking to people about better services.
The bad days are behind them, my friend said.
Bigger question marks lie elsewhere, for example, the Air Force's Netcents II contract. With the acquisition troubles at the Air Force, the service has been unable to move the contract forward. According to my friend, the longer it takes the Air Force to get that contract going, the less likely it is that Netcents II will ever fly.
The question that is being raised, or should be raised, is whether there is a need for Netcents II. If the Air Force's acquisition processes are in such bad shape, shouldn't the service turned to other vehicles that have a better track record and have the capability to deliver what the Air Force wants under Netcents II?
With its variety of vehicles and an under 1 percent contract fee, GSA is an attractive alternative.
Another challenge may be brewing at the National Institutes of Health where they are looking at combining ImageWorld and the Chief Information Officers Solutions and Partners contracts into a single vehicle.
NIH, though, can make a stronger defense to keep its own governmentwide contract vehicle, according to my friend. A high percentage of the task orders under those contracts came from within its parent organization, the Health and Human Services Department.
Another argument could be that the growing demand for electronic health records and other health care-related information technology justifies NIH manage an IT contract.
There you have it. One vehicle, Netcents II, may never take off, and GSA will be ready to step into the void. While NIH has the opportunity to justify its own GWAC because it can make a case for a unique demand.
My friend raised some interesting points. What do you think?
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 12, 2008 at 9:54 AM