When GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth came on board, she announced that one of her goals was to strengthen the agency's role as a catalyst for economic development in communities nationwide. This includes supporting small and new businesses by making it easier for them to work with the government. Last week, Administrator Roth unveiled GSA's innovative new Making It Easier (MIE) initiatives. They include the FASt Lane, a program that makes it possible for IT Schedule 70 vendors to provide products and services at the speed of innovation, addressing the rapid pace and growth of the government's technology needs.
Being a more responsive Federal Partner with FASt Lane
Each year, tens of billions of dollars go through GSA's Multiple Award Schedules — but we've heard time and again from the vendor community that getting on Schedule is too hard and takes too long. And that once you're there, making changes to a contract is a long, difficult process.
MIE's FASt Lane is a game changer, drastically cutting the time it takes to get new, innovative IT vendors on Schedule 70. In the past, it took an average of 110 days to get on Schedule. In our first pilot, we were able to cut that down to 45 days. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) recently announced their first cybersecurity research and development (R&D) mobile security performer is now available to federal agencies on Schedule 70 after just 35 days. Sometimes it's even faster: over the past several months, we've used this process to bring on more than 40 new companies at an average time of only 29 days, with 35% actually taking less than 20 days.
Operational Excellence means faster service
We've also increased our operational efficiency, allowing us to process certain changes or additions to current contracts much quicker than before. The pilot for the FASt Lane contract modification process focused on adding IT hardware products through GSA's National Information Technology Commodity Program (NITCP). By developing stronger technical knowledge in one area, our contracting officers (COs) were able to improve modification cycle times, and get new products added to contracts, from an average of 10-15 days to under 24 hours. To date, IT Schedule 70 has already made more than 5,000 modifications using this new process.
Expanding the impact
The FASt Lane shows how GSA is working to be a better federal partner by becoming leaner, more efficient, and providing greater value to our customer agencies and the vendor community. But we won't just rest on our successes; we're looking at the best ways to expand the initiative into other market sectors based on agency needs. Our FASt Lane website explains which programs are currently included (from a modifications perspective) and provides information on how prospective vendors can participate in the FASt Lane program. To get the latest information about this initiative, please check out the IT Schedule 70 FASt Lane webpage.