1:22 am, April 19, 2014

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  • Misleading Statistics
    medevam
    The sample size of respondents is rather small, is it not? "About 15 percent of the 53 CAOs and SPEs responded to Federal News Radio's questions conducted in August 2012." By my calculations, that means just 8 people. And where are the labels on the bar chart? It took a bit of puzzling before I realized that the vertical axis was number of respondents. The pie chart regarding the effectiveness of OFFP's Mythbusters campaign could use a few slice labels, as well. I appreciate the use of color, but it's the data that matters. As a fed who produces statistics and a fan of Federal News Radio, I hope to see graphics with better style AND substance in the future.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • GSA Strategic Sourcing Alternative
    gsaconcern
    GSA has initiated Federal Strategic Sourcing via eliminating virtually all competition potentially effecting up to $50 Billion Dollars annual purchases. GSA's Federal Strategic Sourcing Procurement solution is to reward only 10 or 15 companies exclusive selling rights per schedule ignoring up to 18,000 vendors (Veteran owned, woman owned, small businesses, ect). You can see this via Schedule 75 Office Supplies. Currently many agencies are mandated to buy from only 15 vendors disregarding hundreds of companies. When all schedules use Federal Strategic Sourcing virtually 10,000's of companies will lose the ability to sell to the federal government. Please view current Testimonials of small businesses hurt by Federal Strategic Sourcing : http://stopfssi.org/testimonials.html Competition works - At the end of the day there needs to be a visible cost savings procurement plan that works in a competitive environment This is my open competition Federal Strategic Sourcing Procurement Solution : I believe on an annual basis each company that holds a GSA Schedule Contract should be allowed to bid on given schedule so the government can obtain the lowest cost / highest quality on visible paper for all to see. The winning BPA GSA vendor can be rewarded with 5% of the total sales of a particular schedule. The other vendors would be required to match or provide a lower item price provided by the winning GSA vendor. Also, the non-winning BPA vendors cannot upload given item(s) to gsaadvantage.gov or offer given item to the government unless they can provide a lower price or match the winning vendor item prices. Hence, reward the winning bidder with 5% sales of a particular schedule but allow other competitors to offer a lower or same price. GSA never introduced an alternative to FSSI (Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative). I am certain above can be further tweeked & enhanced to satisfy the government mandated Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiatives while simultaneously maintaining a competitive market place. You may be asking how my procurement solution be funded. Simple: GSA must put secondary software projects on hold or lay off GSA employees or increase or maintain current GSA vendor schedule fees GSA's procurement theory actually denies 18,000 companies from selling to the federal government., hence leaving only 10 or 15 companies per schedule selling items to Uncle Sam. Via Economics 101 past experiences, a handful of companies vs 10,000s of vendors will create one of these 2 scenarios : a) price fixing and oligopolies & monopolies. b) The government will strong arm these very few FSSI vendors companies to offer such low prices hence, forcing these FSSI vendors to sell non-trade compliant items just to compete. GSA needs to make a decision - do they want low prices or trade compliant items. My other 21st Century Federal Strategic Sourcing Competitive Solutions vs GSA's FSSI I strongly believe GSA should modify existing software to control buyers rather than eliminating competition via the current GSA FSSI procurement program. If buyer breaks protocol hence buyer would be disciplined. This software project can be done without additional funding. GSA, DoD & NASA can prioritize this software project via existing employed Software Engineers. It takes the will and priority to make this happen. Also, I am certain GSA will claim it does not have available software engineers to complete this non-funded task. GSA can simply lay-off several employees in various departments in order to fund this task and/or by putting secondary software projects on the back burner hence prioritizing this software project. This assignment should not take more than several million dollars and can be done with no additional funding. From what I can see there are some really big holes in the procurement process. 1) Via this GAO report http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-705T most purchases were made outside of GSA procurement web site www.gsaadvantage.gov. ; A solution to this problem would be take away the buyers PHYSICAL credit card and store the credit card information online via www.gsaadvantage.gov ; This also protects the credit card # and information from possibly being compromised. Again this software project can be done with no additional funding. Amazon.com is a perfect example if you want to see how this works. I know the government is not a company but I am certain GSA has great software engineers to accomplish this task via a top priority and no additional funding software project. For open market purchases buyer currently utilize fbo.gov and/or other existing procurement sites. The same projects can be accomplished via these sites. 2) An independent software company should be allowed to screen scrape information from gsaadvantage.gov to prove selected FSSI Vendors "DO NOT" offer the lowest prices/ best quality. 3) Via Vendor uploads develop back end software to monitor and reject outrageously priced items. Example a $25,000 toilet seat or $5,000 hammer. Statistical databases exist via the free market to determine low / high prices per item hence halting outrageously priced item(s) uploaded to gsaadvantage.gov. GSA software engineers would need to create software to utilize this database. 4) I believe various government buyers have different volume purchase requirements. FSSI is not a one size fits all solution. Example many government buyers have less than a $3,000 requirement. Internet purchasing may be more advantageous for this type of purchase. Example open competition via gsaadvantage.gov 5) GSA claims its employees are overworked and can no longer handle additional and/or existing vendors. All existing employee manual operations should be analyzed via GSA’s Software Engineers to automate current manual human labor. It may be possible to handle unlimited vendors and buyers once this project is completed. Each new additional GSA Human assignment should be analyzed by software engineers for possible automation. Again this can be a non-funded project as explained above. 6) I strongly believe an independent software company should be allowed to give alternative 21st Century solutions versus FSSI. 7) Reduce the number of schedule solicitations. Currently GSA claims it costs $3,000 per year, per contract to maintain each contract and numerous GSA employees. There are 40 solicitations (GSA and VA). The solicitations should be consolidated down to a handful—with a goal of a single solicitation (contractors could then choose to consolidate their contracts or maintain separate contracts depending on their business models). The current structure of the schedules often forces companies to submit multiple offers for multiple contracts when a single contract would be more efficient. Consolidating solicitations allows companies to efficiently and effectively consolidate contracts rather than having multiple contracts across schedules and business lines. This approach would provide the opportunity for contractors and GSA to reduce costs associated with seeking, obtaining and managing multiple schedule contracts. It is an opportunity to leverage contractor and GSA resources through a more efficient structure. Consolidating schedules would lead to a more efficient and effective platform for market research by customer agencies. Also all human manual work should be analyzed via GSA software engineers for automation and efficiency. 8) I have heard from the grapevine that GSA's software is awash in horrible spaghetti software code making it virtually impossible to make necessary modifications to move this agency into the 21st century. Hiring competent small business software companies would be the logical choice to fix this problem. This can be done without additional funding via laying off various GSA employees and/or putting all secondary software projects on the back burner. 9) It is this writer's belief GSA's FSSI procurement solution is nothing similar to Corporate volume purchasing. Example lets take Walmart. They currently have 66,000 vendors and counting each day. GSA's FSSI eliminates virtually all competition with possible oligopoly price fixing. Keep in mind all vendor prices are available via gsaadvantage.gov Giving very few companies exclusive selling rights via a long term contract and eliminating competition is not the answer. Why have 1,000s of existing GSA software programs go to waste monitoring a few vendors. GSA needs to enhance existing software to truly and easily maintain a vigorous open competitive market via existing web sites (gsaadvantage.gov and other existing procurement sites). Programmatically controlling the buyer via software is the 21st solution.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }