GSA officials take exception to our GWAC report: You decide
Just the other day, after the Top 100 Conference on Wednesday, I wrote a short story that reported on remarks made by Ed O’Hare
, the General Services Administration’s assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services at the Federal Acquisition Service. He said that GSA was not going to issue any more governmentwide acquisition contracts.
Instead, GSA would use Alliant and Alliant Small Business as their primary GWACs. (That’s in the second paragraph of my story.)
The headline was: “GSA to phase out GWAC programs.”
My lead paragraph: “The era of governmentwide acquisition contracts might be coming to a close at the General Services Administration.”
Reaction to the story has been mostly negative, particularly from GSA. Although the administration has not contacted me directly, Casey Kelley, Alliant program manager, issued an internal e-mail
“to reassure staff that there are no plans to ‘end the GSA GWAC Era.’”
The folks at GSA can spin this anyway they choose, but I would still argue otherwise. An era in government contracting is coming to a close.
Let’s think about this. GSA is letting a stable of contracts expire: Millennia, Millennia Lite and Answer. In recent years, GSA also convinced the Commerce and Transportation departments to give up their GWAC contracts, pulling Commits and Information Technology Omnibus Procurement II under its wing.
GSA tried and failed to bring in NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement contract.
GSA wanted to control all governmentwide contracts, and now it is saying it only needs two, except for specific socioeconomic categories.
What O’Hare said — and what we reported — is that GSA isn’t going to issue new GWACs; it is going forward for the next 10 years with Alliant and Alliant Small Business.
So the era that is ending is the era of GSA managing — and contractors having to pursue — multiple GWAC vehicles.
A follow-up story we posted on Thursday
indicated that this is what the market wants and that GSA has been moving in this direction.
I’d take things a step further and argue that the Alliant contracts, with a total of 131 prime contracts, are replacing the expiring GWAC contracts with a schedule, not really another GWAC.
So, I’ll say it again, the GWAC era is ending.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 26, 2009 at 7:22 PM