GSA begins pilot using OTA-like streamlined acquisition process

The GSA building in Washington, D.C. (Tajha Chappellet-Lanier / FedScoop)

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The General Services Administration announced Monday its client support center for acquisitions will use a streamlined process, designed to attract startups, to procure innovative, commercial solutions.

As part of a pilot, GSA’s FEDSIM innovation team will rely on the commercial solutions opening (CSO), a solicitation outside the Federal Acquisition Regulation, to acquire technologies and services in the production phase or adapted from existing products from “traditional and non-traditional government contractors.”

“The goal of this pilot program is to provide a streamlined approach for acquiring innovative commercial products and services,” GSA says.

CSO is a recently created tool with simplified contract terms, which Section 880 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2017 authorized GSA to create the pilot. It’s similar to the Other Transaction Authority of defense agencies but differs in that it’s not legally binding, GSA says.

FEDSIM will post solicitations from client agencies for specific projects of technical areas of interest as they open.

New technologies, processes, methods, applications, and adaptations at the time a proposal is submitted will be considered.

The CSO process consists of submission of a written solution brief, an oral presentation if applicable, and a request for proposal.

Currently, FEDSIM is accepting briefs for three Defense Department CSO solicitations: AFWERX Hub, Marine Maker and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief DAMAGE.

The Defense Innovation Unit also uses CSOs to speed up vendor selection for innovative needs.

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Acquisition, Commercial Solutions Opening, FEDSIM, General Services Administration (GSA)
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