DHS Commits $250M a Year to GSA’s OASIS – Are You Preparing to On-Ramp?

August 7, 2015

When a new government-wide contract vehicle comes onto the scene, contractors face the difficult decision of whether to expend precious bid and proposal resources on an unproven contract. GSA’s OASIS proved especially thorny in this respect – here was a brand new ‘hybrid’ contract for complex, integrated professional services that seemingly overlapped with GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules. At the time of the initial awards for OASIS and OASIS SB, only the Air Force had made a commitment to use the vehicle, so no one knew if GSA’s projections of $12.0B in sales were more than a pipe dream.

Fast-forward less than two years and the outlook for OASIS is getting greener all the time. Sales to-date are nearly $270M, with over 65% of those obligations going to small business. While the majority of these sales are to defense entities, 12 different agencies have purchased off OASIS thus far. In March of this year, the Army matched the Air Force’s commitment of $500M in annual spend on OASIS, and just last week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging an additional $250M a year.

As OASIS becomes more and more successful, the number of contractors asking about on-ramps increases. GSA has been very transparent throughout the OASIS lifecycle and recently addressed this important question on its GSA Interact group. The bad news is that no on-ramps have been scheduled at this time, but that doesn’t mean that interested vendors should just twiddle their thumbs until the notice hits FBO – there are things you can do now to make yourself more competitive.

One of the interesting aspects of OASIS is how the results of the initial competition come into play for on-ramps. In order to be able to replace an existing OASIS contract holder via on-ramping, a contractor “must have a proposal score equal to or higher than the lowest scoring Contractor within the Pool” (you can review information on the OASIS pools in this blog). GSA helpfully published those scores for the benefit of those looking to on-ramp:

GSA states that the evaluation criteria for on-ramps will be the same as it was for the original award and has kept that solicitation available on FedBizOpps for reference. If your company is thinking about on-ramping to OASIS, I highly recommend taking a close look at Section M of the solicitation for the full scoring table. Take advantage of the time you have now to maximize opportunities for points – increase your subcontracting, seek out multidisciplinary contracts, clear up any issues or discrepancies in CPARS, or get your business systems approved. Good luck!