Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer
GSA Acquisition Workforce Forum
--Informing the GSA acquisition workforce on the latest acquisition news and events!
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
CAO Corner – Strategic Sourcing
From the Desk of the Editor
GSAM Rewrite Update
GSA Contracting Officer Warrant Program
Update on Acquisition Planning Wizard
Professional Development thNCMA Hosts 25 Annual Government Contract Management Conference 2006 Ida M. Ustad Award Winner Announced
Small Business Corner
GSA Participates in U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention & Expo Veterans Team Up with Greater Southwest and Rocky Mountain Regions Southeast Sunbelt Region Participates in Small Business Conference Mid-Atlantic Region Hosts GSA Outreach Europe Expo in Germany Green Procurement
David Winstead Speaks at Nation’s Principal Green Building Expo
Then & Now: Integrating the Acquisition Environment—Part 2
GSA and JWOD/AbilityOne Strategic Alliance
JWOD Program Renamed AbilityOne
New JWOD/AbilityOne Catalog Available
Know a Career JWOD/AbilityOne Program Supporter?
Did You Know?
Check It Out!
―Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.‖
-- George Patton
CAO CORNER by Emily Murphy
Strategic sourcing illustrates that the acquisition workforce includes professions other than the 1102 job series, while recognizing the power that contract specialists have to be strong business advisors. To succeed, strategic sourcing needs to engage the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) community in areas like spend analysis; include the small business community to truly understand the supply chain; and include the Chief Information Officer (CIO) community to ensure that our systems facilitate the use of the resulting contracts. In many cases, these groups lead commodity councils. The success of the initiative relies on all of these communities and the many others who form the acquisition team. With that in mind, I want to give you an update on GSA’s strategic sourcing initiative.
As many of you are aware, in May of 2005 the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) advised agencies to use strategic sourcing as a way of managing expenditures and recognizing cost savings. Strategic sourcing is best defined as the collaborative and structured process of critically analyzing an
organization’s spending and using this information to make business decisions about acquiring commodities and services more effectively and efficiently. This process helps agencies optimize performance, minimize price, increase achievement of socio-economic acquisition goals, evaluate total life cycle management costs, improve vendor access to business opportunities, and otherwise increase the value of each dollar spent.
The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is co-managing the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI). GSA’s initial internal effort identified Office Supplies, Express/Overnight Delivery, Printers and Copiers, and wireless communications, as suitable for Strategic Sourcing in FY 2006/07. GSA has been meeting the strategic sourcing mandate through previous efforts such as the National Broker Contract, the CIO’s hardware Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA), the recent
purchase of training courses for the Federal Acquisition Institute, and the CIO’s current efforts on IT consolidation.
Concurrent with the initial effort to meet OMB’s mandate for FY 2006/07, my office is developing an agency-wide strategic sourcing blueprint that will implement a clear, repeatable process to manage the agency’s spend from this
point forward. My staff is working through GSA’s Strategic Sourcing Council.
The Strategic Sourcing Council is comprised of representatives from Public Building Service (PBS), FAS, Office of General Council, CFO, Small Business Utilization, and regional management. The primary responsibility of the Council is to provide high level management of the strategic sourcing initiative for GSA’s
While GSA’s internal strategic sourcing plan is not fully developed (expect to see it in the second quarter of 2007), the driving principle behind GSA’s internal
strategic sourcing initiative is development of a process by which the agency controls costs and monitors spending on the goods and services it consumes. A fully implemented strategic sourcing plan for GSA will result in:
; Streamlined purchasing operations, potentially freeing up Full Time
Equivalents (FTEs) to perform other mission critical functions;
; Ability to manage spend to meet socio-economic goals;
; Regions and service offices better understanding how and where they are
; Leveraging spend to gain cost savings; and,
; Improving the performance of the agency as a whole.
GSA’s internal strategic sourcing program has 5 identified goals:
1. Better Spend Management – This will lead to a reduction in erroneous
purchases, improved purchasing planning, and an improved ability to
2. Direct Cost Savings – We will determine if existing methods or vehicles
are getting volume discounts, and reduce erroneous purchases.
3. Reduced Administration/overhead costs – By reducing the number of
vehicles available for use we will reduce costs associated with maintaining
those vehicles. Further, better spend planning will help avoid last minute,
4. Socio-Economic Goals (Agency-Wide) – GSA is a leader in doing
business with small businesses. New contracts should be developed to
assist regions/services in meeting or exceeding their small business goals.
5. Better Quality Purchasing Data – Better data will assist in managing office
budgets and understanding our own purchasing trends.
While my office is responsible for developing and maintaining the broad vision for the agency’s strategic sourcing initiative, we need your help to participate in
agency-wide working groups on commodities, services and further development of the strategic vision for the program. We are forming teams for each commodity or service identified. The teams will initially gather and analyze GSA spend data on the identified commodities. Teams will then carefully review the market for the identified items, available multiple award vehicles, and other means that can enhance the efficiency of the purchasing of the identified commodity. Some of you may have seen this already in work on a copiers solution led by OCFO and the cleaning up of GSA’s wireless contracts by OCIO,
our first two cases. For overnight delivery services, GSA will be transitioning off its current contract with FedEx to the new FSSI vehicle with FedEx. This should result in more savings for the agency.
Look for more information on this subject as we move forward internally. If you have any interest in participating in the initiative, please contact Michael Berkholtz, of my staff, at 202-208-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Desk of the Editor by Judy Steele
I recently was fortunate enough to attend the NCMA Contract Management Conference and found it, as always, to be a very rewarding experience. For those of us who get ―lost in the trenches,‖ it’s a great opportunity to get out and
mingle with our fellow acquisition professionals in government and private industry and share the struggles they are dealing with and find out what are this year’s ―buzz‖ topics. This year’s conference was keynoted by GSA’s new
Administrator, Lurita Doan, and the new OFPP Administrator, Paul Denett, so this was a great opportunity to hear them address what they consider to be the key issues facing them. Mrs. Doan, coming from a business background, is actively championing small businesses. As you can see from this month’s Small Business Corner, she has been front and center at many recent GSA small business conferences. Paul Denett continued his long time advocacy for honoring the acquisition profession by encouraging everyone to nominate a hard working co-worker for one of the many acquisition awards available; for example, he challenged everyone in the audience to nominate someone in their office for the Elmer B. Staats Award. At GSA, I’d like to challenge you to nominate someone in your office for the Ida M. Ustad Award—see the enclosed article on
the most recent winner. I’d also like to challenge everyone to continue to
enhance their professional experience by attending the GSA sponsored Federal Acquisition Conference (FACE), to be held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., June 19-20, 2007. There will be more information on FACE in the Spring 2007 newsletter.
Many topics in this month’s newsletter were addressed at the NCMA conference. Strategic Sourcing, the topic of our CAO Corner, was a break-out topic at the conference and widely discussed throughout the two days. A big surprise at the conference was the announcement that the JWOD Program was changing their name to AbilityOne. The lunch speaker for the first day of the conference was a JWOD success story, Belinda Porras, whose emotional telling of her life story clearly illustrated the role JWOD can play in so many lives. If you are a JWOD supporter, or know someone who is, check out the opportunity to be recognized through the E.R. ―Dick‖ Alley Career Achievement Award.
We hope you will find this issue of the ―Forum‖ to be helpful. Please forward any
comments, suggestions and articles for the newsletter to the Editor, Judy Steele, at email@example.com. The ―Forum‖ is here to meet the needs of the GSA
acquisition community and we can’t do that without your input!
GSAM Rewrite Update
OCAO continues to perform a comprehensive review and rewrite of the GSA Acquisition Manual (GSAM). [The GSAM incorporates the GSA Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) as well as internal agency acquisition policy.] Teams of GSA employees throughout Central Office, National Capital Region (NCR) and the other regions are participating in the GSAM rewrite project. The teams are updating the GSAM for FAR changes through Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-09 (April 19, 2006.) Once this is completed, OCAO’s FAR analyst will be
responsible for its ongoing maintenance.
The teams are conducting a thorough review of each GSAM Part to determine if revisions are necessary, eliminating unnecessary or redundant parts and information, and writing agency regulations that implement or supplement the FAR. The teams are incorporating other existing policies and procedures, such as GSA Acquisition Letters, PBS and FAS Acquisition Letters, directives (for example, the FSS Handbook 2901.2A), and pertinent paragraphs of the GSA Delegations of Authority Manual, MV and V orders. They are also incorporating and deposing of the numerous comments received in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) about the rewrite which was published February 15, 2006.
The GSAM rewrite has an ambitious plan for completion by December 2008 in order to provide updated policies and procedures to our contracting offices as quickly as possible. The teams are making remarkable progress; so far, they are in the process of rewriting 15 GSAM parts. Along with the GSAM rewrite, the team members continue to perform their regular tasks and job functions. Their dedication and commitment to this project is commendable.
As each GSAM part or subpart is rewritten, OCAO will solicit comments through the directive clearance red border process. As a result, the clearance officers will be receiving many proposed directives in the future. The work of the team members, reviewers and clearance officers is imperative to the success of this project and is very important to GSA and our customers. The Chief Acquisition Officer, Emily Murphy, and her entire staff, appreciates all the hard work being put into this project by all of the participants. For more information, contact Beverly Cromer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-501-1448.
GSA Contracting Officer Warrant Program by Rachael Lerum
OFPP Letter 05-01 established uniform core training requirements for the civilian and defense acquisition workforce by prescribing the training requirements of the Department of Defense (DoD). As a result, on October 24, 2006, the Office of National and Regional Acquisition Development issued Acquisition Letter V 06-
06 on Transitional Guidance in regards to the GSA Contracting Officer Warrant Program (COWP). This transitional guidance reflects major COWP changes to the GSAM. Changes to the COWP include replacing current GSA core training curriculum for all 1102 Contracting Officers with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) curriculum.
To keep in line with the DAU Curriculum, GSA has also adopted the education, training and experience requirements of Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C). OMB prescribed the FAC-C for the civilian workforce as approved by the Chief Acquisition Officers Council. The FAC-C is designed to align the civilian and defense acquisition workforces and is applied to all executive agencies not subject to the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAIWA). The new COWP procedures apply to all warrants being issued. The FAC-C applies to all new warrants that are being issued on or after January 1, 2007.
A major goal of our office is to train, develop, educate, and provide the tools needed for GSA’s acquisition workforce. If you require any additional information on this guidance, or any aspects of core curriculum we would be more than happy to discus them with you. Please contact Ellis Osiname at
email@example.com or 202-501-0049.
Update on Acquisition Planning Wizard
There are new and exciting enhancements to the Acquisition Planning Wizard (APW) on the horizon for all of the acquisition planning pioneers out in the trenches who have utilized the APW. They include the expansion of use of the APW to federal government users other than GSA, and the relocation of the APW servers from GSA Central Office to GSA Region 6 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Due to the overwhelming requests to make the APW available to users outside of GSA, plans have been put in motion to make the APW available to external users, giving approved non-GSA users access to the electronic tool (E-tool). We know that a lot of GSA APW users make contract and task order awards on behalf of other agencies and making access to the Wizard available to these agencies allows them to be a part of the acquisition planning process from the beginning. OCAO is currently coordinating this change with OCIO. This change is expected to be completed no later than the first quarter of calendar year 2007.
The move of the APW servers to Kansas City is expected to happen in the April –
May 2007 timeframe. There will be minimal downtime associated with this move. The current location for the APW servers at the GSA Central Office in Washington was not designed to be a server room so the move to the Kansas City office is designed to serve the APW users better. This facility was created with the intent and purpose of housing servers which means it has all the required amenities including the proper ventilation and air conditioning, raised
flooring, proper electrical supply, etc. The new OCAO APW point-of-contact is Michael O. Jackson. He can be reached at 202-208-4949 or at
thNCMA Hosts 25 Annual Government Contract Management Conference
thThe National Contract Management Association (NCMA) held their 25 annual
Government Contract Management Conference December 4-5, 2006, at the Sheraton Premiere at Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. The conference brought together almost 600 participants to network, discuss the impact of contract management processes, and share best practices for increasing the efficiency of contract departments. Lurita Doan, the Administrator of GSA, was an inspiring keynote speaker on the first day, speaking to the theme of ―Courage‖ while discussing many issues currently in the news. Paul Denett, the new Administrator of OFPP, who was the keynote speaker the second day, discussed a variety of issues, stressing the need to reward outstanding, hard working associates through some of the many acquisition awards available such as the Elmer B. Staats award. The conference covered a variety of themes including Strategic Sourcing, the blended workforce, inter-agency contracts, and the findings of the Section 1423 Acquisition Advisory Panel (also known as the SARA Panel), among others. NCMA’s next large conference, the 2007 World Congress, will be held in Dallas, Texas, April 22-25, 2007. For more information on the NCMA conferences (including copies of presentations from the recent conference), check out the website at www.ncmahq.org.
2006 Ida M. Ustad Award Winner Announced
GSA is pleased to announce that the recipient of this year’s Ida M. Ustad Award for Excellence in Acquisition is Ms. Barbara Gerace, Contracting Officer, U.S. Army, Research Development and Engineering Command Acquisition Center, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Ms. Gerace was instrumental in awarding a production contract to produce the improvised explosive device countermeasure (ICE) system to provide support to our U.S forces. Radio controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs) are the enemy’s weapon of choice in the global war on terror. Over the last year, the use of these weapons in southwest Asia has soared to as many as 30 a day. Their increasing use confirmed the urgent need to develop and deploy suitable countermeasures.
Ms. Gerace led a team of contracting and technical experts from the Army Research Laboratory to award a production contract to produce the ICE systems. The team went from concept to initial fielding of the systems in just 5 months! Her strategy was to proceed quickly from design and development to production by utilizing existing electronic warfare support contracts, government engineering,
and extensive military input. As a result of this acquisition strategy, the government owns the design and components of the ICE system, and all projected options are commercial off-the-shelf items. That adds up to a great value for the government and taxpayers in the production phase, and critical protection for our troops in harm’s way. Ms. Gerace was selected from 10
finalists for the award.
The Ida M. Ustad Award is an annual $5,000 award sponsored by GSA recognizing an individual government employee whose actions demonstrate or embody the concept of ―contract specialist as business leader/advisor‖ and who had a major impact on improving the acquisition process. The award is given in the memory of GSA’s former Senior Procurement Executive, Ida M. Ustad, who
was well known for her commitment to public service and the federal acquisition community. GSA is now seeking nominations for the 2007 award. Nominations may be submitted online (http://acquisition.gov/comp/ida/idaform2007.html)
from January 3, 2007 through February 16, 2007. For more information, contact Patricia Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-501-2518.
SMALL BUSINESS CORNER
GSA Participates in U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention & Expo
The 27th Annual National U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention & Business Expo was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from September 20-23, 2006. This was a record-breaking conference with over 4,000 participants and close to 200 exhibitors from all over the U.S., Mexico, Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela and Latin America. This is the largest gathering of Hispanic businesses and entrepreneurs in the country.
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Office of Small Business Utilization, along with Felipe Mendoza, Associate Administrator for the Office of Small Business Utilization, and members of his staff, participated in the Expo. Administrator Doan was the keynote speaker at the Ana Maria Arias Hispanic Business Women’s Luncheon, which was held in conjunction with the convention and Expo. Administrator Doan’s remarks focused on removing barriers to help small businesses work with the federal government. Her remarks were well received by over 1,000 event attendees.
Regional associates conducted a workshop on ―How to Obtain a GSA Schedule
Contract.‖ Information on contracting opportunities, the procurement process, resources and marketing strategies were provided to the small businesses during the workshop. Contracting officers from PBS and FAS participated in the ―Business Matchmaking‖ event sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Hewlett-Packard, and others, for a day of business
matchmaking held on the last day of the convention. The day was filled with ―matched‖ appointments between those that supply specific items or
commodities and those from federal, state and local agencies, as well as major private sector corporations that buy similar goods and services. For more information on the Mid-Atlantic regional participation, contact Mari McNally at email@example.com or 215-446-4934.
Earl Warrington, of OCAO’s IAE Program Office, also participated in the Conference, serving on a panel for the ―Technology and Procurement Town Hall Session.‖ The panel addressed how technology can serve as a critical tool expanding procurement opportunities in business-to-business, federal government, and international sourcing. For more information on Earl’s presentation, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans Team Up with Greater Southwest and Rocky Mountain Regions
The Greater Southwest and Rocky Mountain Regions partnered to conduct the 2nd Annual Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Conference October 5-6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Approximately 120 people participated in sessions targeted toward veterans who own small businesses and want to do business with the federal government. GSA Chief of Staff John Phelps provided the keynote address for the conference. U.S. Representative Heather Wilson, an Air Force veteran, also participated in the conference. For more information, contact Willie Heath at email@example.com or 817-978-0800.
Southeast Sunbelt Region Participates in Small Business Conference
Congressman Bennie G. Thompson co-sponsored a small and minority business
GSA on "How to Register Your Business on the GSA Schedule" at seminar with
the Jackson State University E-Commerce Center's Convention Hall on October 30, 2006. Southeast Sunbelt Region’s Mildred Quinley, Director, Regional Office of Small Business Utilization, and Dinora Gonzalez, Small Business Technical Advisor, provided an educational, hands-on workshop on understanding how the government buys and registration information. The Congressman stated that this workshop was a first step in educating Mississippi’s small and minority business owners on doing business with the federal government, and invited GSA back for follow-up small business workshops in the very near future. The Congressman initiated the workshop as a rebuilding strategy to assist communities in Mississippi impacted by Hurricane Katrina last year. Approximately 100 small business owners attended the seminar. For more information, contact Dinora Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-331-3031.
Mid-Atlantic Region Hosts GSA Outreach Europe Expo in Germany
FAS Deputy Commissioner Marty Wagner and Mid-Atlantic Region FAS Assistant Regional Administrator Jack Williams joined representatives from the
U.S. Army, Air Force, and Department of State in opening GSA’s Outreach Europe 2006 Expo and Training Conference October 16-19 in Heidelberg, Germany. This was the sixth exhibition designed specifically for GSA customers in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and with over 2,400 participants, Outreach Europe was once again an overwhelming success. Lieutenant General Gary Speer, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army stated that GSA’s support and Outreach Europe ensure the U.S. Army Europe is a ―trained and ready force to win the Global War on Terror.‖
Over 200 displays from America’s leading suppliers and manufacturers showcased the vast selection of American-made products and services available from GSA. Outreach Europe 2006 also featured extensive training workshops and interactive roundtable discussions for customers and industry partners addressing issues relevant to doing business overseas. The Expo offered 60 hours of training, all of which granted Continuous Learning Points (CLPs). GSA partnered with the Defense Acquisition University to offer classes tailored to meet our customer’s needs such as Strategic Sourcing, Best Value Source Selection and Performance Based Acquisition. For more information, contact Dena McLaughlin at email@example.com or 215- 446-5055.
David Winstead Speaks at Nation’s Principal Green Building Expo
PBS Commissioner David Winstead addressed the Closing Plenary at the Greenbuild 2006 International Conference & Expo on November 17 in Denver. Winstead told the session how GSA is committed to creating high-quality, sustainable workplaces for federal customer agencies that reduce negative impacts on the environment, while enhancing the health and comfort of the building occupants. The Greenbuild Conference & Expo is presented annually by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit coalition of more than 5,500 private companies, nonprofits and governmental agencies. The conference, attended by 15,000 participants, included green building tours of the Byron G. Rogers and Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse, and the new headquarters for the EPA in downtown Denver. With adoptions by major building owners including GSA, Green Building is fast becoming recognized as the standard for smart construction. For more information, contact Maryanne Beatty at Maryanne.firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-501-0768.
Then & Now: Integrating the Acquisition Environment--Part 2
by Judy Steele and Lisa Cliff