General Services Administration
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ACQUISITION OFFICER
GSA ACQUISITION WORKFORCE FORUM
--Informing the GSA acquisition workforce on the latest acquisition news and events!
Murphy Named Chief Acquisition Officer
Emily Murphy was appointed as GSA's Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO) effective February 20, 2005. As the CAO, Murphy is responsible for managing a broad range of acquisition activities including: ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies; fostering full and open competition for contract awards; developing the acquisition workforce; and maintaining accountability for acquisition decision-making. Murphy also is charged with managing the "Get It Right" plan, GSA's integrated approach to achieving excellence in acquisition and ensuring proper use of GSA contracting vehicles government-wide. Murphy served most recently as a senior advisor for government contracting and business development and Acting Associate Administrator for Government Contracting at the Small Business Administration where she was the Senior Procurement Executive directing government-wide programs in assisting small businesses to access federal procurement opportunities. Murphy's expertise in procurement, contracting, compliance, government relations and small business also stems from representing clients as legal counsel in the private sector in the District of Columbia and Virginia on a broad range of government contract issues and related legislative and regulatory matters, and from her work on procurement issues with the Committee on Small Business in the House of Representatives. She holds a bachelor's degree from Smith College and a law degree from the University of Virginia.
When asked to comment on her new role as CAO at GSA, Ms. Murphy stated: "As someone who has spent most of my career working on government contracting, I'm thrilled to be joining GSA - the preeminent agency for procurement. In my tenure here, I intend to focus on three issues in particular. First and foremost is making sure that we "Get it Right" - complying with the rules and providing best value to our customer agencies is an integral part of how we serve the taxpayer. Second, I want to make sure that we provide the acquisition workforce with the support it needs. This can be accomplished by providing you with the opportunity to take courses relevant to your job that allow you to hone your skills, and also by recognizing contracting as a profession, and one that we need to nurture. Finally, I want to help us increase competition on our contracts - especially by creating opportunities for small businesses to compete. Fostering competition can improve the price, innovation and responsiveness we deliver to our customers. I hope that by working on these three issues, I can help GSA continue to provide world class acquisition solutions."
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
From the Desk of the Editor
Enhancements to the APW
2nd Procurement Conference of the Americas
Section 508 Micropurchase Exception Ends
Using PBSA to Get to Green
Small Business Corner
NE & Caribbean Region Holds IT Contract Workshop
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Plan
New England Region Forum
Mid-Atlantic PBS and SBA Partner
RES 2005 Conference
Getting It Right at GSA!
Southeast Sunbelt Region "Gets It Right"
Southeast Sunbelt Region Sharpens Skills
Northeast and Caribbean Advances "Get It Right"
NCR Sets Pace for "Get It Right"
Heartland Continues Progress on "Get It Right"
Administrator Perry addresses NCMA
Barbara Shelton Acting Commissioner of FTS
Japanese Delegation Visits PBS
First-Time Teleworkers Offered 30 Days Free
FSS, OSD, and DAU Join Forces
Memberships in NIGP Available
GSA and DoD Partnership
The New JWOD Catalog is Here!
JWOD Achieved Record-Breaking Employment
Did You Know?
Check It Out!
From the Desk of the Editor by Judy Steele
This edition of the "Forum" is chock full of news on new and established programs and events. But first, we'd like to welcome Emily Murphy as our new (not acting!) Chief Acquisition Officer! Highlights in the "Forum" include articles on GSA's small business program and the new Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Initiative in the Small Business Corner. Please note the article on the Reservation Economic Summit 2005, our first report from the Native American Business Center. We note GSA's international involvement in articles about the upcoming 2nd Federal Government Procurement Conference of the Americas and a recent visit of a Japanese Delegation to PBS. Training partnerships in Excellence between GSA/FAI and DoD and GSA/FSS and DoD are discussed. And be sure to check out the articles provided by the Regions on continuing "Get It Right!" efforts as well as many more interesting articles. Don't forget to register now for the upcoming 2005 Federal Acquisition Conference and Exposition at http://www.fai.gov/face
We welcome any comments, suggestions and articles for the newsletter. The "Forum" is here to meet the needs of the GSA acquisition community and we can't do that without your input! We also welcome any individually authored articles on acquisition issues that would be of interest to the GSA acquisition audience. Please contact the Editor, Judy Steele, at email@example.com or 202-501-4994 with comments or suggestions.
Enhancements to the Acquisition Planning Wizard (APW) Continue
Enhancements to the Acquisition Planning Wizard (APW) are almost complete. When the enhanced Wizard is released (late March-early April), it will have these improved features:
These and other features were added as a result of the comments received from users throughout GSA. So, please keep submitting comments and suggestions--we are listening! For more information, please contact Jerry Zaffos at Gerald.firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-208-6091.
GSA Co-sponsoring 2nd Federal Government Procurement Conference of the Americas
Through the efforts of the Organization of American States and others, in the last few years forums have been established in Latin America for sharing information on general e-procurement initiatives and to support dialogue among procurement executives of central agencies. Paralleling this activity, the United States and Canada, led by GSA and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), have been working closely to establish outreach to all of the Americas for the purposes of facilitating dialogue and the exchange of information on government procurement practices. This collaboration resulted in the first Federal Government Procurement Conference of the Americas in Vancouver in November 2004. Jointly hosted by CCC and GSA, the conference attracted participants from Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Dominican Republic, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay (for more information see www.fgpca2004.com).
Goals of the Vancouver conference were to expand the event to include more countries, strengthen the content, bring in senior procurement officials from their respective countries, form an informal network of the participating officials to continue to share experiences and work on solving common issues, and seek the engagement of all of the countries of the Americas. Planning for the second conference, which will be held in Atlanta at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, October 30-November 2, 2005, is underway. Organizers are engaging the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Organization of American States and other organizations to seek their support, participation and help in establishing one forum/network that would represent the interests of procurement heads of all countries within the Americas. The intent is to use this annual conference as the event that brings everyone together to network, share experiences, and resolve problems. The heads of procurement for the countries within the Americas are scheduled to participate in the conference.
A website is being established which will allow for registration and will provide more information on the conference, including an outline of the program. The program will contain an industry and a government track, focusing on how industry can do business in their respective countries. Topics covered include e-procurement systems, small business participation, investment and finance issues, training and professional development, legal issues, trade negotiations and many others.
For industry participants, the conference provides access to market and business intelligence, direct contact with the top-level government procurement officials within the Americas, a forum to discuss opportunities for greater standardization of policies/procedures, and a trade show venue that provides opportunities for promotion of their goods and services to senior government procurement officials. Attending the conference can assist companies in better targeting their marketing/sales activities and in identifying potential business opportunities throughout the region.
For senior government officials, the conference provides a forum to meet with the senior procurement officials from other governments within the Americas and to share experiences and address common issues such as e-procurement, transparency, and procurement regulations and standards, and also to expand their country's supplier base.
For other government participants, the conference provides a forum to reach a supplier community which will be all the more important with efforts to integrate trade within the Americas, and to which they might otherwise not have contact, through both one-on-one meetings and a showcase/exhibit environment. In addition, the conference provides an important training environment for learning about issues facing us all, for which continuing education credit will be offered. For more information about the conference, contact Ed Loeb at Edward.email@example.com or 202-501-0650.
Section 508 Micropurchase Exception Ends April 1, 2005
The FAR Micropurchase (under $2,500) exception (FAR 39.204(a)) to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998, ends April 1, 2005. Section 508 requires that electronic and information technology (EIT which includes, but not limited to, printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, laptops, desktop computers and telephones) acquired by the federal government is accessible by individuals with disabilities.
After April 1, agency micropurchases of EIT must comply with the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board's (Access Board) EIT standards. The standards are codified at 36 CFR Part 1194 and also available through the Access Board's website http://www.access-board.gov.
Free web-based training is available on InSite at: http://insite.gsa.gov/travel/course/index.html. Additional Section 508 resources are available on the Office of the Chief Information Officer's InSite page http://insite.gsa.gov/_cio/ and at the "Section 508.Gov" webpage http://www.section508.gov. Section 508 coordinators are available to address questions concerning Section 508 compliance and accessibility issues. The Section 508 coordinators are listed at: http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=6. For more information, contact: Linda Nelson at Linda.firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-501-1900.
All GSA Purchase Cardholders and Approving Officials who have not already received Section 508 training should, at a minimum, take the free web-based training course "Micro-Purchases and Section 508" available now on GSA Online University (OLU). Complete directions for registering and completing the course can be found at http://www.olu.gsa.gov/courses/custom/gsa_olu_directions/gsa_olu_micro-purchase_directions.htm
All associates who complete this course should obtain a copy of the "completion certificate" that GSA OLU provides so that the regional charge card coordinators can verify course completion. Associates who have previously completed this same course but not on OLU (e.g. from the CD version or the web version posted at "Section 508.Gov") should register with OLU and self-certify so that OLU has a record of the course completion. See the above URL link for instructions on registering and self-certifying. For more information on OLU, contact Douglas Glenn at Douglas.email@example.com or 202-501-0562.
Using PBSA to Get to GREEN
A September 7, 2004 memo from the Associate Administrator of OFPP states that all agencies are to acquire eligible services with an estimated price of $25,000 or more using the performance-based method. This memo can be viewed at http://www.acqnet.gov/Notes/MemoCAO-PE%20Reporting%20Requirements.pdf. By the end of FY05, agencies are to have 40 percent of all eligible service acquisition dollars (task orders, contracts, modifications) awarded using such a method. This will help agencies "get to green" in the President's Management Agenda item regarding performance-based budgeting ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2002/mgmt.pdf).
To assist federal agencies in accomplishing this goal, GSA and OFPP have been working with an interagency team to establish a knowledge management website for acquiring services. That website is now part of the Acquisition Center of Excellence (ACE) for Services (http://acc.dau.mil/ace). The ACE website is available to both government and private industry and will facilitate the sharing of information and the dissemination of best practices. All of those involved in the acquisition process - contract specialists, contracting officers, program managers, contracting officers' representatives, etc. - are encouraged to use this knowledge portal and the expertise gathered by the 7 Steps interagency team to aid in reaching the 40 percent goal.
For performance-based services acquisition, and as a subset to the ACE, the primary e-tool is "The 7 Steps to Performance-Based Services Acquisition," located at http://www.acqnet.gov/Library/OFPP/BestPractices/pbsc/index.html. This is a dynamic, powerful tool, and can provide a great deal of assistance to those tasked with meeting the OFPP goals. There is a feedback button, an "ask-the-expert" button, and a "suggest-a-link" button to ensure users get all the help they can and work with the team to keep the guide current. There is a virtual library inside the guide that offers samples and examples vetted by the 7 Steps interagency team at http://www.acqnet.gov/Library/OFPP/BestPractices/pbsc/library3.html.
Comments or questions on the guide can be sent via the Seven Steps to PBSA Feedback button--a 7 Steps team member will respond. For more information, contact Michael Jackson at michaelo.Jackson@gsa.gov or 202-208-4949.
Small Business Corner
Northeast & Caribbean Region Holds IT Contract Workshop for Small Business
The Northeast & Caribbean Region's Small Business Utilization Center (SBUC) sponsored a small business workshop, "How to Obtain an Information Technology GSA Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contract," on January 13, 2005, in New York City. Colleen Pappas, Janice Bracey and Debra Babyak organized all aspects of the workshop, including the development of the program agenda, speaker coordination, marketing and advertising, and the preparation of informational material handouts for attendees. Deputy Regional Administrator Steve Ruggiero provided the opening remarks and reaffirmed GSA's commitment to the small business program. Stephanie Turner, FSS IT Acquisition Center Director of Customer/Vendor Relations, gave the main presentation. A lively question and answer session followed. Christine Lincoln, regional FSS customer service director, then presented a segment on "How to Market Your GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contract." Approximately 120 small businesses attended and their response was overwhelmingly positive with 96% of the attendees rating the event either "extremely" or "very" helpful in terms of meeting their objectives for attending. Small businesses were also offered one-on-one counseling at the conclusion of the workshop. This was the first time that the SBUC and the FSS IT Acquisition Center partnered together, and it will be the start of an ongoing effort to offer at least one IT workshop each year in the Northeast & Caribbean Region. For more information, contact Renee Miscione at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-264-0424.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Plan Submitted to OMB
GSA has submitted final documents to OMB outlining GSA's strategic plan for meeting the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Initiative. GSA's five-part strategic plan includes reserving agency contracts exclusively for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, encouraging and facilitating participation by them in contract competitions, encouraging contractors to subcontract with them (and actively monitor the contractor's efforts), train associates on applicable law and policies, and disseminate information to them to help other businesses participate in contracting opportunities. Additionally, GSA is establishing a Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) reserved exclusively for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, and helping them to be included in Federal Supply Schedules. Check out the website on this initiative at http://www.gsa.gov/service-disabled. For more information, contact Jim Ogden at email@example.com or 816-926-7217.
New England Region Forum for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Firms
On February 1, the New England Region's Small Business Utilization Center and PBS held a three-hour forum where service-disabled veteran-owned firms in the fields of construction and architecture/engineering presented their firms' capabilities to PBS contracting associates and increased the firms' awareness of upcoming opportunities in the Region. Jim Devir, Chief of the Facilities Services Branch, opened the forum with encouraging words to the firms underlining the commitment that the Region has made to improve its outreach efforts to service-disabled veteran-owned firms. For more information, contact France Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-565-8100.
Mid-Atlantic PBS and SBA Partner for 2nd Annual Conference
On February 16, the Richmond Office of the Mid-Atlantic Region's PBS and SBA co-sponsored the 2nd annual SBA Construction "Mini-Matchmaker" Conference in Richmond, Virginia. The conference is designed to bring together small businesses and government contracting officials. Linda Savage-Linder, Resource Manager for Acquisition in the Richmond field office, kicked off the conference with sessions on federal bonding requirements, expectations of SBA contractors and GSA's "Get It Right" contracting theme. Afterwards, SBA contractors and government contracting officials paired off for one-on-one introductory sessions to discuss future work. For more information, contact: Kyle Assed at email@example.com or 215-446-4772.
Native American Business Center Participates in RES 2005 Conference
The Native American Business Center (NABC) and the National Capital, Southeast Sunbelt, Greater Southwest, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Rim Regions represented GSA at the Reservation Economic Summit (RES 2005) February 7-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development hosted the conference, now in its 19th year. The NABC provided training on GSA's core services to the 200 conference attendees and had an exhibit at the trade fair on the last day. GSA also discussed the recent cooperative agreement between GSA, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which will provide federally recognized tribes unlimited opportunities to conduct online procurement for products and services. The theme of this year's conference was "Sharing in Success - Partnering with Corporate, Government, and American Indian Enterprise." The event is the largest and longest running American Indian Business event in the nation and brought together American Indian entrepreneurs, tribal representatives, corporations, and government agencies. All regions and the NABC working together provided an excellent opportunity to market business opportunities and provide networking for the tribes and federal agencies.
Also announced at the RES2005 Conference was the partnership between Indian Affairs, GSA and HUD to increase Indian Country e-Commerce by utilizing e-Buy. This cooperative agreement between the three agencies will provide federally recognized Indian tribes unlimited opportunities to conduct online procurement for products and services. The combination of the Indian Affairs Native Sovereign Nation (IA NSN) Domain Name Program and GSA's e-Buy allows Tribes to send requests for quotes and receive quotes for products and services under the GSA Multiple Award Schedules program.
To participate in e-Buy, Tribes must have an active NSN domain name (-nsn.gov) and comply with program guidelines and federal website content guidelines. The IA NSN Domain Name Program was implemented during the spring of 2002 and currently has 67 activated domains and another 96 domains registered with the GSA Federal Technology Service.
The GSA e-Buy program is designed to bring ease and versatility to online procurement. By utilizing e-Buy, Tribes can receive quotes on millions of products and services, find sources of supply, seek information, procure complex requirements by attaching statements of work, request large purchase items, and establish blanket purchase agreement pricing. e-Buy benefits include a savings in time and resources by competing procurements online, compliance with DoD Section 803 requirements, increased competition, and submission of online modifications.
The HUD Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) endorses the value of online procurement by encouraging Tribal housing coordinators to utilize the "-nsn.gov" program and e-Buy for Tribal housing programs. For more information about the GSA e-Buy program, please visit www.ebuy.gsa.gov. For more information about the Indian Affairs NSN Domain Name Program, contact Paul D. Marsden, e-Government Officer at 703-735-4112, or visit the FTS registration site at www.dotgov.gov. For more information on this article, contact Cara Hoevet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-236-7478.
Getting It Right at GSA!
There are a number of efforts underway to "Get It Right" at GSA-we list several of them below. If your organization wishes to publicize a GSA "Get It Right" event or initiative, please forward the information to the Editor, email@example.com.
Southeast Sunbelt Region "Gets It Right"
The Southeast Sunbelt Region is conducting training for all GSA contracting officers and internal/external procurement associates who use GSA Schedules. They have provided a two-day course on using GSA Schedules to 10 cities in the Region. Additionally, Calvin Stevens of the FSS Marketing Division addressed approximately 180 individuals at the Miami Federal Executive Board meeting Friday, January 7, 2005, with the "Get It Right" campaign as a major topic in his presentation.
The Southeast Sunbelt Region's FSS has aggressively pursued providing training on "Using GSA Schedules" as a major component of our "Get It Right" (GIR) initiative. The training, which began in late November, 2004, is scheduled to continue until mid-July and will cover 14 cities across the southeast. This two-day course was designed specifically for the users of GSA Schedules. Representatives from NASA, DoD, and other civilian agencies have attended previous training. We have already offered the course on thirteen separate occasions in our region during FY 2005, with nine additional dates officially scheduled. Undoubtedly, other dates and locations will be added to our calendar before the end of this fiscal year. In addition to these courses, our Marketing Specialists continue to actively discuss "Get it Right" with the individual customers and client agencies that they serve. Our "Get it Right" campaign is a topic at virtually every customer event that we speak at, participate in or conduct. For example, we have conducted five regional GSA "Acquisition Training Seminars" so far during FY 2005 with eight more scheduled. A section of each of these events is dedicated to presenting information on and discussing our GIR initiatives and how they relate to our external client agencies.
In addition to these ongoing discussions and outreach efforts with our federal customers, we have also made "Get it Right" a focus with our Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) vendor community. The Industrial Operations Analysts that work for the Atlanta Contract Management Zone and daily make Contractor Assistance Visits to MAS vendors also discuss relevant GIR issues during these visits. They have started to more closely examine the sales records of vendors to ensure that what is sold to our customers falls within the scope of work of their contract(s). Additionally, they examine pricing to ensure that the required discount associated with the reduction of the Industrial Funding Fee from 1% to .75% is extended to the customer. Questions have been added to each vendor's Administrative Report Card in support of a more focused approach.
In a collaborative effort, our Zonal Contract Management Division and Regional Marketing Division continue to routinely conduct Vendor Marketing Forums/Orientations throughout our zone. We have hosted two Forums/Orientations this fiscal year with at least six more planned. These events are designed specifically for our MAS vendor community and always include an interactive discussion on our "Get it Right" program. We emphasis the critical importance of all of our vendors staying within the boundaries of their contract and talk about specific topics including scope of work, pricing and subcontracting plans, all of which relate back to our GIR Program. For more information, contact Gary Mote at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-331-2774.
Southeast Sunbelt Region Sharpens Task Administration Skills
The Southeast Sunbelt Region's FTS, keeping with "Get it Right," recently held 16 hours of internal training targeted to improve task administration processes and procedures. Sessions focused on various task order modification actions, monitoring vendor performance, FTS and regional financial and acquisition policies and notices, internal work flow systems, and invoice acceptance procedures. The Region's Legal Counsel and a member of the Contract Review Board conducted lessons learned sessions based on recent task order oversight review observations. To continue regional FTS efforts with "Get It Right" initiatives, internal training will be provided during April 2005 focusing on pre-award actions and requirements. Key presenters will include the Region's Contracting Activity Competition Advocate, Legal Counsel, and FTS Contract Review Board Members. For more information, contact Gary Mote at email@example.com or 404-331-2774.
Northeast and Caribbean Advances "Get It Right"
Continuing efforts to support the successful implementation of GSA's "Get It Right" campaign, the Northeast and Caribbean Region has established initiatives for improving the acquisition process within the region. On January 11 the Region introduced its strategy to improve data accuracy within the regional PBS. Other initiatives include the enhancement of communications between regional acquisition professionals, expanded acquisition awareness through the publication of procedural guides, and comprehensive training on the FSS MAS program. For more information, contact: David Monahan at david.Monahan@gsa.gov or 212-264-4241.
NCR Sets Pace for "Get It Right"
On January 28, NCR's senior leadership hosted a "Get It Right" training program for more than 200 associates focusing on the role of regional associates in acquisition planning. The program was hosted by Regional Administrator Donald Williams and Deputy Regional Administrator Ann Everett and featured Deputy Administrator David Bibb and Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer David Drabkin. Williams introduced the program, speaking about GSA's values and the work of the NCR family in emphasizing the "Get It Right" way. Everett paralleled his comments by asking associates to help identify common approaches in improving contracting operations. Drabkin talked about the issues and challenges of federal contracting. NCR Regional Counsel Sharon Roach discussed legal counsel's role and training opportunities for the region. NCR's heads of services and staff offices including Assistant Regional Administrator for FTS Craig Kennedy and Deputy Associate Administrator for PBS Tami Riggs joined in their support of the plan. For more information, contact Cherie McClung at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-708-5110.
Heartland Continues Progress on "Get It Right" Campaign
Jean Oyler, Heartland Region FSS Business Development Specialist, recently conducted training for 10 project officers and acquisition personnel from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In support of GSA's "Get It Right" campaign, the training included an overview of Government-wide acquisition contracts (GWAC), GWAC ordering procedures and overviews of the section 8(a) STARS and HUBZone small business contracts. The "Get It Right" plan demonstrates GSA's strong commitment to ensuring the proper use of GSA contracting vehicles and services in order to be in full compliance with FAR regulations and best practices. The EPA has an existing 8(a) set-aside contract for telecommunications and network services; but in working with GSA, they are now evaluating 8(a) STARS as a possible replacement contract vehicle. For more information, contact: Jim Ogden at email@example.com or 816-926-7217.
Administrator Perry addresses NCMA Space City Chapter by Linda Riviera, President, Space City Chapter
GSA Administrator Stephen Perry was the keynote speaker at the February 24, 2005 luncheon meeting of the Space City Chapter of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) in Houston, Texas. The Space City Chapter includes government and aerospace contracting procurement professionals who support the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). Mr. Perry began his presentation by providing a historical perspective on the creation of GSA. He continued by providing a brief overview of the services that the agency provides such as training sessions in each of the regions and the number of companies that utilize the GSA schedules. Mr. Perry discussed the initiatives within the agencies whereby performance goals are set by the agency to monitor their ability to use "best practices" management techniques. He went on to say that GSA was looking at a potential reorganization to become more efficient and streamlined. Mr. Perry discussed the "Get It Right" campaign and GSA's efforts to align itself with other government agency procurement organizations to help ensure more widespread use of GSA contracts. He concluded his presentation by addressing questions from the audience. Others in attendance representing GSA were Randall A. Snow, GSA External Affairs Division Director, Scott Armey, Regional Administrator-Greater Southwest Region, Willie Heath, GSA Small Business Utilization Officer, George R. Prochaska, Deputy Regional Administrator, Tye S. DeBerry, Special Assistant to the Regional Administrator, Marcella F. Banks, Assistant Regional Administrator for FTS, Billy J. Hefner, Regional Marketing Manager, Cindy J. Yandell, Deputy Regional Marketing Manager and Ernesto Martinez, GSA Customer Service Director supporting the Johnson Space Center. For more information, contact Teresa Thompson at teresa.Thompson@gsa.gov or 817-978-7084.
Barbara Shelton Named Acting Commissioner of FTS
Barbara L. Shelton has been appointed as Acting Commissioner of GSA's Federal Technology Service (FTS). Ms. Shelton's appointment became effective when the previous FTS Commissioner, Sandra N. Bates' retired on February 11, 2005.
Ms. Shelton had served as the Regional Administrator of GSA's Mid-Atlantic Region since January 7, 2002. Her responsibilities included managing the operations of FTS, FSS and the Public Building Service (PBS) to meet the acquisition and property management requirements of all federal agencies in the five-state region. Before joining GSA, she served as Deputy Secretary for Administration in Pennsylvania's Department of Labor & Industry where she managed the Commonwealth's information technology, personnel and procurement programs. Prior to that Ms. Shelton was Deputy Secretary for Procurement in the state's Department of General Services from March 1995 to December 1999. She also has 13 years of private-industry experience in information technology systems management and marketing with PPG Industries and Philip Morris, Inc. Ms. Shelton earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and her MBA from Columbia University.
Japanese Delegation Visits PBS
The Office of Organizational Resources' Vendor Acquisition Division, and the Office of the Chief Architect's Construction Excellence and Project Management Division, teamed together on February 9th and 24th, 2005, to exchange knowledge and lessons learned with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Japanese Government. The Ministry was represented by Shinichiro Yamamoto, Chief Official, Engineering Affairs Division, and Toru Nagayama, Deputy Director, Engineering Affairs Division. They were accompanied by International Access Corporation's Nobuhiro Sato, Systems Engineer, and Sumiyo Noguchi, Vice President Research Development. Representing GSA/PBS were Jacquelyn Owens, Christine Kelly, Linda Phillips, and Wade Belcher. The Japanese Ministry is currently working on legislation to ensure the quality and expedite their public works program. Information was exchanged on the differences and similarities between the two countries processes in construction and architect-engineering acquisition. In particular, the Best Value Source Selection and Brooks Act procedures were examined. These meetings have opened the door to a forum for exchanging information and opinions internationally for mutual benefit. For more information, contact Jacquelyn Owens at Jacquelyn.firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-208-2339.
First-Time Teleworkers Offered 30 Days Free at GSA Telework Centers
OPM reported last year that only 6% of eligible federal employees work from home or from a telework center at least once a week. To encourage teleworking, the Office of the Chief People Officer and agency telework coordinators are pleased to announce that first-time teleworkers are now being offered a no-cost, one-month trial at one of the GSA-sponsored telework centers in the Washington, D.C. area. To participate in the free trial period, get supervisory approval and complete the appropriate paperwork between now and September 2005. The offer expires September 30, 2005. The applications are available on Insite -- click on "Human Resources" then click on "telework" under "Benefit and Work Life Programs."
For telework center locations and contact information, visit www.telework.gov and click on "telework centers" in the blue-highlighted main menu on the left. For more information, call your organization's telework coordinator, or agency coordinator Marge Higgins at 202-501-3764.
FSS, OSD, and DAU Join Forces in Acquisition Excellence Training
FSS, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), are joining in partnership to bring acquisition excellence training to DoD users of GSA Schedules and other non-DoD purchasing vehicles. They are jointly creating a dynamic hands-on training seminar entitled "Proper Use of Non-DoD Contracts" for the DoD users of GSA Schedules and other non-DoD purchasing vehicles. The agenda is currently being reviewed by OSD. "Proper Use of Non-DoD Contracts" is designed to increase the awareness of all DoD users of non-DoD contracts on how to properly execute acquisitions to meet DoD's mission.
Topics that will be covered in the training include:
FSS, OSD, and DAU will be implementing the "Proper Use of Non-DoD Contracts" seminar in late Spring 2005 followed by a nationwide roll-out. This partnership is committed to providing DoD users with the necessary tools and resources for the proper utilization of non-DoD contracts. For more information, contact Yaisa M. Reeves at email@example.com or 703-605-2584.
Memberships in NIGP Available from OCAO
OCAO has obtained a limited number of agency memberships to the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP). These agency memberships are available without additional cost on a first-come, first-serve basis. NIGP is a professional association of federal, state, and local government buyers that provides its membership with education, research, technical assistance and networking opportunities in public purchasing. For membership benefits, go to http://www.nigp.org/tour_nigp/tour_benefits.htm. For more information, contact: Beverly Cromer at Beverly.firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-501-1448.
GSA and DoD announce a Partnership in Acquisition Excellence
On March 11, 2005, OFPP, DoD, and GSA announced a Partnership in Acquisition Excellence in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). As part of that agreement, the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI), which is under the direction of OFPP and GSA, will now be located at DAU's Ft. Belvoir campus. FAI is responsible for fostering and promoting the development of a professional civilian acquisition workforce. FAI and DAU share a similar vision and mission in support of their stakeholders and customers to develop acquisition workforce members to be effective business leaders equipped to make business decisions that deliver best value, provide strategic business advice, and support the accomplishment of agency missions. The collocation will facilitate the partnership between FAI and DAU to ensure that the civilian and defense acquisition workforce receive similar training and development opportunities.
David H. Safavian, Administrator, OFPP, remarked, "This new partnership will ensure that the right people get the right training at the right time. We look forward to working with DoD to ensure that we train our acquisition workforce to be a federal asset, not just an agency asset." Michael Wynne, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics said, "This partnership is better than any award we have earned so far, because the hardest thing to earn is the respect of your peers. What this unprecedented agreement really does is reflect the power of best practices that DAU has learned from other universities, and what Frank (Frank Anderson, DAU President) and his team have done here at DAU. This sharing of best practices reflects the best of President Bush's agenda, and we are pleased to be a part of this innovative agreement."
"GSA proudly supports the partnership between FAI and DAU," stated Emily Murphy, GSA's Chief Acquisition Officer, "This provides a key opportunity to ensure we have the highly skilled acquisition workforce needed to support federal agencies' missions and to meet workforce management challenges across agencies, civilian and military." For more information, please contact the OMB communications office at 202-395-7254 or Gloria Sochon, Director, FAI, at Gloria.email@example.com.
FAR Mandate to Protect Sensitive Data Coming Soon!
Implementation and training requests for the Federal Technical Data Solutions (FedTeDS) program are at an all time high in anticipation of a FAR mandate soon to be published. Recently, contracting specialists at the Missile Defense Agency, a pilot group within the US Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel received training and will soon begin posting their sensitive data on FedTeDS. Additional organizations across the government have already adopted the program and continue to request and receive training. Agencies that are new to the program are slated to receive briefings and/or training throughout the spring.
Since March 2002, when the Bush Administration issued direction on safeguarding classified and "sensitive but unclassified" information, new guidance on public access to government information has been established. One of the systems that has been fully integrated within the Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE) e-Government initiative is FedTeDS which is an online dissemination solution that safeguards sensitive acquisition related information during the solicitation phase of the procurement cycle. FedTeDS enables the federal acquisition community to safely and securely distribute sensitive data via the internet.
Some examples of information protected by FedTeDS are drawings of federal buildings, drawings of bridges, dams, aquifers, and lakes, command and control system specifications for smart buildings and airships, Continuity of Operations Plans, schedules, work hours, and security clearance requirements.
The FedTeDS program has been adopted by organizations in many federal and state agencies such as:
The FedTeDS program has management support at all levels from DoD and Department of Homeland Security. This support leads to a successful program that continues to provide key benefits for those in the acquisition community. The FedTeDS Project Management Office ensures that there is constant communication with any interested agency to understand its needs and explain FedTeDS' benefits. In addition to continued efforts to expand use at the federal and state levels, plans are also in place to cross into the local level, thereby extending FedTeDS' valuable benefits across three levels of government. For more information, contact Lisa Cliff, IAE Office of Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-872-8593 or email email@example.com.
The New JWOD Catalog is Here!
The new Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) Program Catalog for 2005 is the federal customer's reference guide to JWOD preferred source items with descriptions and ordering instructions for over 2600 SKILCRAFT® and other JWOD products. To order your copy of the 2005 JWOD Catalog, call Customer Service at 800- 433-2304 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to specify whether you would like to receive a print copy of the catalog or an electronic copy of the catalog on CD-Rom.
SKILCRAFT and other JWOD products are provided by people who are blind or have other severe disabilities working in community-based nonprofit agencies associated with National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and NISH (serving people with a wide range of severe disabilities). For more information, contact Stephanie Lesko of the Committee staff at email@example.com or 703- 603-0036.
JWOD Achieved Record Breaking Employment in FY04!
With the help of its federal customers, especially GSA, the JWOD Program provided jobs for more than 45,000 people who are blind or have other severe disabilities in fiscal year 2004, a new Program record. This growth translates into more than 3,000 additional employment opportunities in local communities nationwide for a population that continues to experience an exceptionally high unemployment rate - nearly 70 percent of people with disabilities are not employed. The JWOD Program was created by Congress to help alleviate this employment inequity. Notably, the JWOD Program has become the single largest employer of Americans who are blind or have other severe disabilities by identifying federal contract work to be performed by these individuals.
GSA is one of the largest customers of JWOD products and services, second only to DoD. As a result of GSA's support for the JWOD Program, and its advocacy of the Program with its federal customers, GSA has played an important role in increasing jobs for people who are blind or severely disabled. An example of GSA's support is its precedent-setting agreement between GSA's PBS and the JWOD Program. Under the agreement, GSA works closely with the JWOD Program to increase the number and diversity of employment opportunities on PBS contracts for people who are blind or severely disabled. During FY04, the JWOD Program provided more than $142 million in building maintenance-related services to federal employees nationwide through PBS contracts.
In terms of products, not only is GSA Global Supply the largest distribution channel for SKILCRAFT® and other JWOD products, but through the GSA Schedules program, federal customers may also purchase JWOD products from a variety of large and small businesses. As a result of FSS strong support, the JWOD Program provided federal customers with nearly $126 million in products during FY04.
The JWOD Program is a cost-effective way to help people who are blind or have other severe disabilities achieve greater independence and provide the federal government with a quality source of products and services. JWOD Program employment enables many individuals to reduce dependence on government support, join the ranks of taxpayers, and contribute to the government's critical missions. For more information about the JWOD Program, visit www.jwod.gov.
Did You Know?
Did you know that the 2005 Federal Acquisition Conference and Exposition (FACE 2005) is scheduled for June 7 and 8, 2005 at the Washington D.C. Convention Center? The conference provides the opportunity to learn about important issues and emerging trends in acquisition. Go to http://www.fai.gov/face for more information on the conference and register NOW!.
Check It Out!
"Check It Out!" highlights upcoming conferences and events of interest to the GSA acquisition community. If you'd like to have your conference or event listed in this column, please send an email to the Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org with the pertinent information and a point of contact.
Washington D.C. Convention Center
April 5-7, 2005
The 6th Annual Knowledge Management Conference
"Enabling Transformation and Delivering Results"
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
April 20-22, 2005
www.e-gov.com/events/2005/km or 800-746-0099
NCMA's World Congress 2005
"Prime Time: Contract Management at the Core of the Enterprise"
Hyatt Regency/Phoenix Civic Plaza
April 25-27, 2005
GSA EXPO 2005
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA
May 3-5, 2005
FedWeb Spring 2005
George Mason University
May 23-25, 2005
Federal Real Property Conference
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
October 18-19, 2005
Contact: Rebekah Pearson 202-208-1850
We thank our guest authors for their contributions to this newsletter. Guest authors express their own views, which are provided for the information of our newsletter readers.
We welcome any comments, suggestions, and articles. We also welcome any individually authored articles on acquisition issues that would be of interest to the GSA acquisition audience. Please contact the Editor, Judy Steele, at email@example.com or 202-501-4994 with comments or suggestions.
Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer
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