The world has changed tremendously since my first blog post in January 2020. The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) has been doing everything we can to support COVID-19 acquisition activities, while still working to simplify and modernize the buying and selling experience for our stakeholders. That’s why I’m so pleased to announce GSA's Federal Marketplace Strategy (FMP) Spring 2020 Release. This release provides a snapshot of our COVID-19 response efforts, alongside some very important IT modernization efforts, and other improvements.
Helping customer agencies continue their mission-critical work is at the center of all we do in FAS. To support the governmentwide COVID-19 response, GSA has created buying guides and tools to help federal, state, and local government agencies get the products and services they need to deliver their mission. We’ve also developed and adjusted acquisition policies to provide flexibilities to support our customers and suppliers. For example, we’ve worked to provide temporary flexibilities on TAA requirements for products like hand sanitizer. In terms of support to our suppliers, a class deviation to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) authorizes accelerated payments to small business contractors.
These are just a few examples of our FAS team’s pandemic response efforts. In fact, the whole FAS enterprise is doing all that it can to support our partners. From helping customers procure high-demand emergency response items (e.g., masks, sanitizer, gloves, cots) to helping agencies set-up their telework infrastructure (e.g., laptops) our people are working tirelessly to meet the needs of our customers. We’ve also activated our Emergency Contracting Team. This team serves as a central hub of acquisition support during emergencies and is able to leverage expertise across the enterprise. They work in close coordination with FEMA and HHS. I’ve never been prouder of the extraordinary team of people in FAS.
There are two other highlights from our release that I want to mention: a refreshed GSA Advantage! design, and the transition of FPDS report functionality to beta.SAM.gov. We listened to the feedback our customers were giving us about their experiences searching and finding products on GSA Advantage!. The refreshed design is modern, mobile-friendly, simpler to navigate, and more consistent.
An important step towards our IT modernization vision is the successful transition of FPDS report functionality to beta.SAM.gov. The improvements implemented during this transition provide a modern and robust reporting experience that make it easier to get data and better manage federal spend.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch our new video and review all the FMP Spring 2020 Release improvements on our website. We all look forward to the COVID-19 emergency situation being resolved. Until then, FAS will keep doing everything it can to support response efforts, while still working to modernize and simplify federal acquisition.