DorobekInsider.com: Is the age of GSA’s GWACs over? GSA says NO

Friday - 6/26/2009, 9:35am EDT

Editor’s note: This item updated on June 26, 2009 at 9:35p ET

There is all sorts of buzz coming from 1105 Government Information Group’s Washington Technology’s Top 100 Conference and Awards Luncheon — and, specifically, this story written by Washington Technology editor Nick Wakeman — I should note early on that GSA officials refute the story:

GSA may end GWAC era: Agency might also merge GWACs into the schedules program [WashingtonTechnology; June 24, 2009]

The era of governmentwide acquisition contracts might be coming to a close at the General Services Administration.

Speaking at the Washington Technology Top 100 conference today, Ed O’Hare, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, said the only GWACs GSA will continue supporting are Alliant and Alliant Small Business or vehicles targeted to companies in specific socioeconomic categories, such as minority-owned businesses.

For the long term, GSA will likely merge the GWAC program with the schedules. “But that will take years, not months,” he added.

O’Hare said the merger of the procurement programs became a possibility after GSA combined the Federal Supply Service, which managed the schedules, and the Federal Technology Service, which managed GSA’s stable of GWAC contracts.

Phasing out GWACs was partly a response to criticism and a growing sense that there were too many GWACs, he said.

“We know that each GWAC is time-consuming and expensive to respond to,” he said.

Read the full story here.

GSA officials are refuting the story within the agency. Yesterday, Casey S. Kelley, GSA’s Alliant Program Manager, sent the following note to GSA Enterprise GWAC West employees with the subject line, “Clarification on Alliant headlines in yesterday’s ‘rags’”:

The purpose of this email is to reassure everyone that there are no plans to “end the GSA GWAC Era” as was completely mischaracterized in some headlines yesterday… :

I received the following from an industry partner who was actually at this event:

“I was at the event in question, and I believe that Mr. O’Hare’s comments are being exaggerated and taken out of context.

Unfortunately, the media has distorted what he said and has given the impression that GSA intends to abandon GWACs just when industry and GSA are investing major effort in making Alliant successful.”

On this morning’s GWAC Director’s staff meeting … he reassured everyone that these comments were completely taken out of context and that Ed O’Hare has not communicated anything like the misrepresented headlines that these articles portrayed. Marcelo wanted each of the directors to reassure everyone that these articles are not accurate and that there is nothing to be concerned about.

Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Thank you.

Casey

_______________________________________
Mr. Casey S. Kelley, Alliant Program Manager
Director, Enterprise GWAC Center West (QTBAA)
Integrated Technology Services
U.S. General Services Administration

UPDATE: In fact, this afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we did talk to Ed O’Hare, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, and the man responsible for GSA’s GWACs. Hear O’Hare — in his own word — here:

And one slight pet peeve: NextGov did also follow up on the Washington Technology report with a story headlined Governmentwide contracts program will remain intact. Yet nowhere in the story do them mention that O’Hare’s comments came at a Washington Technology event and were published in FCW and Washington Technology.

Ed O’Hare, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, on Thursday clarified comments about the future of the agency’s governmentwide acquisition contracts made during a panel discussion in Washington on Wednesday.

Yes, 1105 Government Information Group is a “competitor,” but to not say where information comes from is just unfair, incomplete reporting, and it isn’t transparent.

I am hoping that either Ed O’Hare or GSA Federal Acquisition Service Commission Jim Williams will come on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris this afternoon to offer their insights.