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GSA Launches Accelerated Contracting Process for Startups

A new pilot program accelerates contracting process for startups, Microsoft launches hybrid cloud offering, and more. This is Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for August 17, 2018.

GSA Launches Accelerated Contracting Process for Startups

The General Services Administration (GSA) launched a pilot program for a new service that aims to refine and accelerate the contracting process for startup companies’ and federal market entrants’ commercial offerings. The agency said the Commercial Solutions Opening procedure provides new firms with fast-track vendor selection timelines and simplified contract terms, as well as an option for commercial vendors to secure their intellectual property. GSA will operate the service and support other agency procurements under the Assisted Acquisition Service.

A New Generation of Intelligence Collaborative Tools on the Way

The intelligence community is entering a second era for its massive IT modernization project designed for better collaboration and integration across its 17 disparate agencies. The IC IT Enterprise (IC ITE) was first conceived of several years ago with the lessons of Sept. 11, 2001, in mind: The IC must better coordinate and share data. With the change in leadership at the top of the IC, which came with a new administration, IC CIO John Sherman described various initiatives aimed at building on the initial phases and successes of IC ITE in what he is calling IC ITE’s “second epoch.” New tools, applications, and systems must fit users’ needs and enable the workforce to operate more effectively than previously, he said. Cybersecurity, while not new, is now a necessity, Sherman said, and must be front and center within the community’s priorities.

Microsoft Launches Hybrid Cloud Offering for Azure Government

Microsoft has made its Azure Stack hybrid cloud offering available to Azure Government cloud platform users. “With Azure Stack for Azure Government, agencies can bring core and advanced cloud services to the edge—right to where they’re needed, making it possible to process data in the field without worrying about latency or internet connectivity,” Natalia Mackevicius, program director for Azure Stack, noted in a recent blog post. Microsoft has also completed a third-party assessment that allows it to offer the needed documentation to help agencies accelerate the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program high baseline certification for Azure Stack-based workloads.

Census Awards Last Major IT Contract Ahead of 2020 Count

The Census Bureau awarded one of its final tech contracts and detailed strategies for locking down response data against potential cyber threats. The award comes as officials work to get preparations for the 2020 count back on track. According to an FCW report, Unisys Corp. won a coveted three-year contract to stand up and manage the IT infrastructure that will power field operations through the entire 2020 count. The deal is worth up to $102 million. Under the contract, Unisys is responsible for building and supporting technical systems for regional census offices and the company is also tasked with providing help desk services for two paper data capture centers, where the bureau will process mail-in responses.

Also in the news:

18F Cuts ATO Times From 6 Months to 30 Days

Next Agency to Host GSA Centers of Excellence Will Be Announced by October

Bill Zielinski Tapped to Lead GSA’s IT Acquisition Branch

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

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