Procurement Innovation Resource Center (PIRC)
The GSA Procurement Innovation Resource Center (PIRC) is an internal resource center that provides guidance and tools to assist the GSA acquisition teams with incorporating innovation into procurements. PIRC was created to implement the new commercial solutions opening procedure detailed below as well as highlight other tools and resources for promoting innovation on procurements.
Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) Procedure
Section 880 of the FY17 NDAA authorized GSA to implement a pilot program to competitively procure innovative commercial items, technologies, and services using CSO procedures. CSO is new acquisition mechanism that provides a streamlined acquisition process and simplified contract terms that is designed to open up the field of competition so that the Government and taxpayers benefit from a large pool of solutions at a better cost and performance.
CSO is not governed by rules for contracts per the FAR. CSO is different from Other Transaction Authority (OTA). OTA is a legally binding procurement agreement between government and industry authorized for scientific research, technology development, and prototype projects.
GSA has issued guidance for this CSO procedure within GSAM 571—Pilot Program for Innovative Commercial Items. Links to the GSAM 571 as well as the PIRC CSO Guide and PIRC CSO Solicitation Template are provided below.
Laws and Regulations
- Section 880 of FY17 NDAA [PDF - 150 KB]
- GSAM 571 - Pilot Program for Innovative Commercial Items (Implementation of FY17 NDAA Section 880 CSO Authority)
Policies and Guidance
- PIRC CSO Guide [PDF - 124 KB] (Supplements GSAM 571 - Pilot Program for Innovative Commercial Items)
Templates and Resources
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
GSA recently launched a pilot program to award and manage SBIR Phase III contracts.
The SBIR program is a highly competitive awards-based program coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration that encourages domestic small businesses to explore their research/research and development (R/R&D) potential and provides an incentive for them to profit from its commercialization.
The program is structured in three phases; Phases I and II focus on R/R&D, while Phase III’s objective is to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from Phase I/II R/R&D activities.
Awarding SBIR Phase III contracts will assist GSA in delivering cutting-edge solutions directly to our partner agencies.
Visit GSA's Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS) SBIR webpage for additional details on this pilot.
The pilot is being led by AAS’s Great Lakes Region (Region 5) and AAS’s Federal Systems Integration and Management (FEDSIM) teams.
GSA created the IN-depth Feedback through Open Reporting Methods (INFORM) program to meet the following objectives:
- Improve the quality of post-award communications with industry;
- Improve the usefulness of post-award communications with industry; and
- Improve industry's perception of the fairness of the evaluation process.
How the INFORM Program works
Once an award is made, the Contracting Officer will send each offeror a Notification Letter and Evaluation Statement, that contains unredacted information on the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal. This letter also provides the offeror with the following three options:
- To request an Oral Feedback Meeting;
- To submit written questions ONLY (no Oral Feedback Meeting); or
- To do nothing.
What are the basics of the INFORM Program?
The INFORM program provides a standardized, enterprise-wide process and was designed to comply with applicable federal laws, regulations and policies, including:
- National Defense Authorization Act FY 2018, Section 818 [PDF]
- DOD Class Deviation 2018-O0011 [PDF]
- FAR 8.405
- FAR 15.503 and 15.506
- FAR 33.104(c)(2) and (c)(5)
- Title 4 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21
- GAO Protest Reference Materials
- Competition in Contracting Act
- GSA Acquisition Letter MV-20-02 [PDF - 2 MB]
- GSA INFORM 2.0 Guide [PDF - 809 KB]
PIRC also provides links to additional resources, training and tools for acquisition innovation such as:
- Laws and Regulations
- America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010
- Section 24 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act
- OFPP Myth-Busting Memos
- "Myth-Busting": Addressing Misconceptions to Improve Communication with Industry during the Acquisition Process
- "Myth-Busting": Addressing Misconceptions and Further Improving Communication During the Acquisition Process
- "Myth-Busting": Further Improving Industry Communication with Effective Debriefings
- Policies and Guidance
- Templates and Resources