GSA Releases IT Security and Authentication Solutions for Federal Agencies

GSA released a Draft Identity, Credentialing, and Access Management (ICAM) Solutions Catalog in response to an Executive Order and a new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policy. These ICAM Solutions will assist federal agencies in managing and monitoring user access to information systems in order to ensure secure operations and could change security and authentication procedures for federal contractors. From the President on down, cybersecurity, including authentication, is a pressing concern for all federal contractors.

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GSA Demystifies DUNS Replacement ID

Change can be confusing. Change can be frustrating.” No, this is not from the cover of a self-help book. This is GSA’s acknowledgment that, often, we fear change.

To combat fears about changes to the DUNS number, GSA recently released a Q&A providing some answers on the new Unique Entity ID (UEI) Standard, which is set to replace the current DUNS system in December 2020. The Q&A followed GSA’s online meeting on the topic in July, which hosted over 700 attendees. GSA answered general questions about the transition, the UEI that will be used, and how to obtain a new identifier. Let’s take a look.

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GSA On Track to Release Consolidated MAS Program Schedule On First of October

This week, GSA announced it is on track to debut its Consolidated Multiple Acquisition Schedule (MAS) Program Schedule Solicitation on October 1. GSA also gave federal contractors planning to bid on the MAS a head start on the process by releasing a final draft solicitation and an updated industry FAQs sheet. Let’s take a look at how to utilize this opportunity to prepare for the solicitation’s long-awaited debut.

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Proposed FAR Update to Allow Small Business Set-Asides for Contracts Outside USA

Traditionally, small business set-asides are not utilized in Federal contracts performed outside the United States. The SBA allows for contracts performed outside the United States to use set-asides or sole-source awards, but the FAR does not reflect this. Recently, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and NASA have proposed an update the FAR that would reflect the allowance of small business set-asides and sole-source awards in contracts performed outside of the United States. 

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U.S. Government to Ditch the DUNS

Earlier this month, the GSA announced a new Unique Entity Identifier Standard for Federal awards management. The new standard will go into effect December 2020. It will replace the current DUNS number system as the official identifier for all businesses contracting with the U.S. Federal Government. This should make registering to do business with the federal government a little easier, but the proof will be in the roll-out.

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GAO Report: Agencies Need to Improve Data on Construction Contract Changes

Many federal construction contractors know that contract changes can be frustrating business. Changes can be unilateral or bilateral. They can stress a contractor’s finances. They can delay the overall project. And they can result in animosity between the agency and a contractor.

Fortunately, GAO has shined some light on the problems in the contract change process. Indeed, in a recent report, GAO concluded that agencies, particularly the Army Corps of Engineers and GSA, need to develop better systems to collect data about changes in construction contracts.

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GSA Announces Plans to Consolidate MAS Contracts and Asks for Industry Feedback

The General Services Administration is conducting market research for its planned consolidation of the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. Earlier this month, GSA publicly announced the new single solicitation format, including streamlined terms and conditions, and its intention to collect feedback from government contractors in the industry. According to GSA, the consolidation is part of its two-year modernization process for the program that began in November of 2018. The consolidated MAS solicitation is scheduled for release later this year. And if you have concerns or suggestions for GSA on this significant consolidation, there is still time for your input.

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