The General Services Administration introduced new initiatives Monday to better engage small and innovative companies that aren’t traditionally government contractors.
Through its Making It Easier initiative — launched in April to give private companies of all shapes and sizes an easier path to do business with federal agencies, particularly around IT — GSA is releasing quick start guides to complement its IT Schedule 70 Roadmap to help contractors who are unfamiliar with the federal contracting process, restructuring its help desks, streamlining its multiple award schedules improvement process and issuing a report on the MIE program’s success so far and future plans.
In the program’s initial rollout, GSA introduced the ITS FASt Lane, the IT Schedule 70 Startup Springboard and the IT Schedule 70 Plain Language Roadmap, all aimed at breaking down barriers that prevented some companies from joining IT Schedule 70.
The additions build on the success of those first programs, said Kevin Youel Page, deputy commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.
The FASt Lane program, which aims to cut down the time to get contractors on schedule, has so far awarded contracts to 108 companies, mostly small businesses. The time it took to get them on schedule was about 31 days. Under that process, contract modifications — of which GSA has processed 2,260 since the launch in April — take just two days, adding new products or services to and existing contract.
“Now we’re moving at the speed of business,” Youel Page said.
The Startup Springboard, which targets smaller, innovative companies, has engaged 195 startups. Five of those have submitted offers, one of which received an award. GSA officials couldn’t give more details on those companies but characterized them as startups offering innovative technologies that fit government’s needs.
“I’m delighted to see these programs take off, and their success is proof that GSA is doing its job as an economic catalyst for businesses and communities across the country,” Youel Page said.
“It’s really important to bring these types of companies onboard in this manner in that … these companies have value to add both to private industry and to the public, and we’re looking for an avenue to make it feasible for this value to be able to come to government, which previously has not existed,” Judith Zawatsky, program manager of GSA’s MAS Transformation, told reporters.