GSA further details plans to consolidate back-office functions

Monday - 12/10/2012, 3:53pm EST

Jason Miller, executive editor, Federal News Radio

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The General Services Administration is looking for some help to consolidate its administrative functions.

GSA issued a request for quote on the Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services (MOBIS) schedule Dec. 5 asking for consultation, facilitation and program-management support to assist with the consolidation of its chief financial officer, chief information officer, chief people officer and the Administrative Services offices.

"As a result of the acting Administrator [Dan Tangherlini's] Top-to-Bottom reviews of GSA's offices, these four staff offices were asked to each develop a plan to consolidate and transform their respective GSA functions so to strengthen accountability with the expected outcomes of greater efficiency and enhanced service delivery," the RFQ's statement of work stated. "The scope of the consolidation is GSA enterprisewide, and may take up to three years to achieve full implementation. The intent is to ensure that other GSA components can focus on their missions and streamline internal service delivery operations, eliminating duplication of efforts and apply functional and service delivery best practices and policies."

The RFQ wants vendors to provide services to help reach several goals, including optimizing the workforce's size, skills and competencies, improving internal management controls, providing greater customer service across the agency and saving money and increasing efficiency of each of the offices.

Ambiguity in the RFQ

The solicitation is unclear about several areas of the statement of work.

For instance, the deal is a one-year contract that includes two one-year options, but GSA contradicts itself about whether it's a firm fixed-price contract or a labor-hours contract.

GSA said in one part (Section 3.0) that the contract shall be a firm fixed-price type of contract. But in several other sections, the description sounds more like a labor-hours or time-and-materials contract. For instance, under section 9.2 titled Procedures for Payment, GSA said the vendor "may invoice only for hours and/or unique services ordered by GSA and actually used in direct support of the program office."

Additionally, GSA wants the vendor to "identify each category of labor proposed for performance mapped to the applicable GSA Schedule labor category, provide the GSA Schedule price, show the proposed discounts for the rate, and the rate proposed for the particular labor category inclusive of the discount."

The RFQ also is confusing regarding what exactly the vendor will be doing. In Section 1.1, GSA stated each of the CXO offices developed a plan to consolidate their functions. In Section 5 of the statement of work, however, GSA said the vendor will "work with each CXO Organization to develop a future-state concept of operations for all functions consolidated."

The contract focuses heavily on the CIO's office with requirements to create an inventory of current services and a service consolidation plan, as well as both a portfolio inventory and consolidation plan.

The vendor also will help GSA set up a vendor-management organization and develop workplace standards, policies, procedures and processes.

Questions to GSA about the RFQ were due today, and proposals are due by Jan. 2. GSA said it expects to make an award on or about Jan. 23.

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