On September 2, 2015, the General Services Administration (GSA) issued a request for information (RFI) with proposed changes to the IT Schedule 70 solicitation in an effort to ease the process for vendors – specifically new and emerging small companies – to work with the government. GSA is looking for industry feedback regarding the two-year corporate experience requirement and proposed related changes to project experience and financial responsibility determination requirements.
GSA is concerned that the current corporate experience requirements may restrict new and emerging companies from competing on the GSA schedule, which, in turn, limits government access to the newest commercial technologies. GSA is examining practices that can be barriers for small business and is looking at expanding the pool of competition.
GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth wrote in a Sept. 3 blog post:
[GSA] wants to work with companies to understand how they can more successfully access this space, even if they are new to or unfamiliar with government practices. And this is just the start: as part of my vision of GSA as an economic catalyst, we will be looking for other ways to ease the path to government business, especially for small businesses. Our agency will look for ways to reduce burdens, improve policies, automate steps, and streamline processes.
This effort is encouraging as it aims to support new and emerging small business and has the potential of benefiting the federal marketplace by expanding the pool of competition by introducing new and innovative commercial technologies.
For a potential GSA schedule contract holder, this change could help open more business opportunities with the government. Nevertheless, before rushing to submit a new offer, contractors need to consider whether they have the resources available to meet the minimum sales criteria. Does your company have a reasonable go-to-market plan, business strategy, and understanding of how the government works in order to be compliant with government regulations?
As for GSA, this will likely cause a surge of new offers. It will be interesting to see what metrics GSA will establish to decide whether a new company will succeed in the Federal marketplace and whether these emerging businesses will be given other concessions after award.
GSA is collecting feedback regarding the proposed changes until October 9, 2015.