The General Services Administration is on target to award the large business version of the Alliant contract by the end of the month.
John Johnson, GSA’s assistant commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services (ITS) office, says they still are on schedule.
“The staff is very committed to make that happen,” he says. “It would be some exceptional activity that would take us off that track.”
Johnson, who spoke at the recent Federal Networks conference sponsored by Suss Consulting in McLean, Va., adds that GSA has spent a lot of time on quality control to put them on solid footing to defend against any possible protest.
GSA had hoped to award Alliant at the end of 2008. It originally awarded the $50 billion contract to 62 vendors in July 2007. But several protests forced GSA to pull the award back and re-evaluate bids.
The schedule slipped last fall to March 2009.
GSA has high expectations for Alliant to help the agency continue its upward sales trend.
Johnson says ITS ran six of the top 20 contracts in terms of overall revenue in 2008. He adds that with Alliant and small business Alliant, ITS could have eight of the top 20 in 2009.
GSA also saw several of its socio-economic contracts perform quite well in 2008. Johnson says the small business governmentwide acquisition contracts, 8(a) Stars and Committ NextGen, increased sales by 36 percent, while the Veteran-owned small business GWAC saw an increase of 235 percent over 2007.
He adds that GSA’s network service contracts and schedule contracts held steady in 2008 as well.
To further ensure GSA’s customers are getting what they need, Johnson says ITS is looking at how to adopt Web 2.0 tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In.
“What can we do to improve our relationships with industry?” Johnson asks. “We held a training session on how these tools work and how they could be used in the future to improve our services.”
He adds that GSA already has discussed some opportunities to improve information sharing with vendors when it comes to request for information (RFI) or sources sought notices.
“We could post a strategy or RFI and received real time comments,” he says. “Now it is very much a one way conversation.”
Another approach GSA is taking is to develop software to measure an agency’s or vendor’s impact on the environment.
The tool would measure the organization’s carbon footprint by analyzing data the agency or vendor puts in.
“The goal is to get a baseline of what the agencies are spending now and find areas they can save money and energy,” Johnson says.
He adds the agency’s facility, technology and human resources organizations would input data such as energy consumption or distance travelled by employees to get to work and the software would give them the environmental impact of the agency.
GSA did some preliminary testing of the application. Johnson expects it to be ready by the fall.
“Once agencies use the tool, we will look at what we offer on the schedule and other contracts to see if there is anything missing in terms of services we could provide to help them lower their consumption,” he says.
Some of these tools may include cloud computing, the use of thin clients or further data or storage consolidation services.