The General Services Administration wants to make it easier for small tech startups to do business with the government through its largest IT contract.
GSA introduced a collection of new programs Thursday under an initiative dubbed Making It Easier, which will simplify the language around its IT Schedule 70 offer process to new vendors, and ease the burden for those innovative up-starts to get on board the acquisition vehicle.
GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth explained in a blog post the predicament GSA faces with the on-boarding new companies to the schedules.
“Every year, tens of billions of dollars go through GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules — and we’ve heard time and time again from the vendor community that getting a Schedule contract is too hard and it takes too long,” Turner Roth wrote. “And then once you’re there, it can be difficult to make changes to a contract.”
[Read more: GSA’s contracts revamp could help small IT companies]
FedScoop previously reported GSA’s efforts to use plain language and increase access to its Multiple Award Schedules program presented during a March agency industry day, focused around the MAS transformation, an effort to bring improvements to the long-term governmentwide contracts that provide more than 25 million products and services to agencies with shorter procurement times and lower administrative costs
“Imagine contracting that uses plain language English,” Judith Zawatsky, GSA’s program manager for the Multiple Award Schedules transformation, said in March. “We really need to help our partners understand how to do business with us.”
With that in mind, GSA created a plain language roadmap for IT Schedule 70, which “does a wonderful job of explaining the Schedule 70 offer process for new vendors in clear and simple terms,” Turner Roth said. Likewise, those vendors new to the schedule will receive a new standardized welcome package to explain what comes next.
It usually takes IT companies 110 days to get on Schedule 70. A new program called FASt Lane will reduce that to 45 days, and cut the time it takes to modify their existing contracts to just one or two days.
Another tool, the IT Schedule 70 Startup Springboard, will offer an alternative to younger companies that don’t meet the schedules’ two-year professional experience requirement. Instead, those innovative companies use the professional experience of their executives or key personnel, the project experience of key personnel, or documentation that demonstrates the company’s financial responsibility.
“This initiative will make it easier for these companies to get access to over $15 Billion in annual federal, state, and local IT opportunities,” according to a rundown of the new tool.