GSA has announced recently that FedBizOpps.gov (FBO.gov) will be decommissioned and its critical functionality will be transitioned into beta.SAM.gov on November 8, 2019. GSA has published a fact sheet with important information about the transition. You can access and download the fact sheet here:
The General Services Administration released two pre-cursors to major acquisitions last week with the release of the draft solicitation for the $8 billion back-office cloud procurement and a request for information to expand the Centers of Excellence initiative.
The Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and GSA launched a major cloud and IT modernization effort by announcing an industry day on Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C.
And the Office of Personnel Management is exploring how to create a central portal for the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.
These are just a few of the more than 4,700 requests for proposals, RFIs and awards released on FedBizOpps.gov in the week after the partial government shutdown ended, opening up the acquisition floodgates.
Some users are reporting issues accessing the Federal Business Opportunities website — www.fbo.gov — but it is not clear whether the problems are technical in nature or related to the government shutdown.
Nextgov learned of the issue from readers through email and Twitter.
The FBO site is the portal through which the federal government engages with industry regarding procurements, acquisitions and requests for information, quotes or proposals. Any issue with the FBO site could further complicate the situation for contractors, who are dealing with their own batch of shutdown-related problems. Contracting experts suggest that vendor should submit questions and bids according to previously posted deadlines, even if the contracting agency is shut down.
FBO.gov is operated by the General Services Administration (GSA), which did not respond to questions from Nextgov by press time.
Keep reading this article at: https://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2019/01/users-report-issues-federal-business-opportunities-website/153925/
The General Services Administration (GSA) hopes a new pilot program to increase transparency in a fast track government buying service will lead to more competition, but some government vendors worry it will just produce more legal wrangling.
Over the next year, GSA is going to be publicly releasing data from some buyers in its eBuy system for the first time.
The eBuy system allows agencies to post requests for quotations for specific products and services on GSA schedules. Those requests are then released to vendors based on the special item number associated with the goods or services being sought. Once the bids are entered, the contracting officers can make awards directly, though there is little transparency for those not directly involved in the process.
Over the next year, pilot participants will log awards based on eBuy RFQs on the FedBizOpps website. Those awards will be tagged with the keyword “eBuyPilot.”
As the General Services Administration continues to build out the next iteration of a federal contractor web portal, the agency is looking for volunteers to test new functionalities incorporating contracting information from the Federal Business Opportunities site.
The Integrated Award Environment—the office charged with developing technological solutions and systems for contracting, grants and loans—put out a call for volunteers to test the new application program interface, or API. The API integrates FedBizOpps data with the beta version of the System for Award Management site, SAM.gov.
With an API, users can get automatic updates on new FedBizOpps posts, such as new contracting opportunities, updates to existing solicitations and requests for information.
“APIs allow computers to exchange pre-formatted data so that human intervention is not required,” according to the call for volunteers. “The API provides public opportunities—FBO—data in a format that is easy for other systems/applications to ingest.”
Keep reading this article at: https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2018/05/gsa-needs-vendor-volunteers-test-fedbizopps-api/148136/
Contractors would be wise to keep a close watch on FedBizOpps.gov, otherwise they run the risk missing the chance to protest a sole source award.
When an agency decides to make an award without competition, it often must publish a Justification and Approval (referred to simply as a “J&A”) on FedBizOpps explaining why a competition would not meet the agency’s needs. A potential competitor seeking to protest such an award at the GAO must file the protest before 10 days have passed from publication of the J&A, otherwise the protest may be untimely. A competitor that is not paying attention could be out of luck.
GAO dismissed a protest of a sole source award earlier this month where the protestor missed the cutoff by just one day. The protest, Western Star Hospital Authority, Inc., B-414198.2 (June 7, 2017) involved an Army procurement for ambulance services for the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
The work was originally competed, and Western Star Hospital Authority, Inc. submitted a proposal. The Army rejected Western Star’s proposal, saying that Western Star had not proposed pricing for all CLINs, as required by the solicitation.
Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/eagle-eye-government-may-slip-a-sole-source-award-past-an-unaware-contractor/
The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) reminds our clients — and especially small businesses — that it’s very important for you to respond to what are known as “Sources Sought” and “Requests for Information” published by federal agencies periodically in FedBizOpps.
When an agency issues a Sources Sought or an RFI, they are trying to identify sources that can fulfill their buying needs and determine whether there is potential for a small business set-aside and obtain other marketplace information for acquisition planning purposes.
“Some vendors may not take the time to respond to a Sources Sought/RFI. Instead, they may focus their efforts on preparation for a bid when the solicitation comes out,” explains Sherry Savage, Program Manager for the Defense Logistics Agency’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program. “For the vendor, however, the Sources Sought/RFI is their chance to influence the acquisition strategy. If capable companies do not respond, the opportunity for a set-aside may be lost.”
Sources Sought and RFIs can be found using the “Advanced Search” function in FedBizOpps. More than 6,400 of this type of procurement opportunity were published in calendar year 2016.
When responding to a Sources Sought or an RFI, it’s important to pay attention to the detail specified as needed by the federal agency. “Provide thoughtful input — don’t just send a capabilities statement,” advises Ms. Savage. “The vendor should put together a personalized package that concisely answers the questions asked in the Sources Sought/RFI.”
If you have questions regarding a particular Sources Sought or RFI, you should contact the government agency’s point of contact (POC) provided in the notice.
And, of course, for assistance with or advice about responding to a particular Sources Sought or RFI, feel free to contact your nearest GTPAC procurement counselor found here: http://gtpac.org/team-directory. (Outside the State of Georgia? Find a PTAC located near you here: http://www.aptac-us.org/find-a-ptac)
For more details about how to respond to a Sources Sought or an RFI, please consult our earlier article on this subject at: http://gtpac.org/2010/09/what-is-a-sources-sought-heres-the-answer
Marketing is a valuable tool that can do wonders to help an organization achieve its goals. For companies focused on selling goods and services to government agencies and other government contractors, creating targeted and robust awareness of why they matter and how they can help are critical.
There are times, however, when marketing is not a friend to government contractors.
One of those times is when a company has achieved the “holy grail” of opportunity development: being in front of the opportunity and having connected the dots of information and relationships with the budget, need and authority dots. What would cause a company to consider marketing an adversarial activity in that situation? When the agency determines a need to “market” the opportunity to seek interest from other potential vendors.
Let’s face it, if you’ve spent time and money developing the opportunity to include influencing the solution, pricing and acquisition strategy, you are not going to be a fan of letting others try and take a bite of that apple, right?
Keep reading this article at: http://publicspendforum.net/fedbizopps-respect/
The number of federal agency Sources Sought Notices for small businesses appears to have increased dramatically in recent years.
Sources Sought notices for small businesses referenced on the Federal Business Opportunities website FBO.gov rose to 2,610 in fiscal 2014, more than quadruple the 565 counted in fiscal 2004, according to an analysis by Set-Aside Alert.
That is good news for small business owners, because they are often advised to search for, and respond to, Sources Sought Notices that match their capabilities in order to get a foot in the door early in the process as opportunities are developing.
“We are seeing an explosion in Sources Sought Notices,” Gloria Larkin, government contracting consultant and president of TargetGov, said at a recent industry conference for small business federal contractors.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.setasidealertnews.com/leading-stories.html
For more information about “Sources Sought,” see: http://gtpac.org/2010/09/16/what-is-a-sources-sought-heres-the-answer/
If one type of FedBizOpps search does not turn up a solicitation, try a different search – or run the risk of missing the solicitation.
That is the message to contractors from a recent GAO bid protest decision, in which an offeror was unable to discover a VA opportunity by searching the “Place of Performance” field on FedBizOpps. As it turned out, the solicitation would have popped up if the offeror had tried other types of FedBizOpps searches, and the GAO held that it was the offeror’s responsibility to more thoroughly attempt to locate the solicitation.
In The Creative Mobility Group, LLC, B-410380.2 (Dec. 19, 2014), the VA issued a request for quotations for home medical equipment services for patients of Veterans Integrated Service Network 11 medical facilities in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. The VA posted the opportunity on the FedBizOpps website.
Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/fedbizopps-searches-be-thorough-or-be-out-of-luck/