USDS debuts new acquisition training program for digital specialists, recent FITARA scorecard shows most federal agencies backslid in their implementation of the IT acquisition law, and GSA wants to make it easier for agencies to acquire cybersecurity services faster. This is Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for May 25, 2018.
The Digital IT Acquisition Professional (DITAP) development program from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Digital Services (USDS) aims to give participants a hands-on approach to best practices in tech procurement. “This certification empowers acquisition mavericks to employ the need for speed when buying digital services,” according to a blog post by Joanie Newhart, associate administrator of acquisition workforce programs at OMB, and Traci Walker, lead contracting officer at USDS. DITAP has already graduated two cohorts of trainees through pilot programs and it forces participants to gain experience in contracting in a way that previous training programs did not.
The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) holds $100 million in grant funds that agencies apply for to use toward IT modernization projects. The Technology Modernization Board is encouraging agencies to submit even their most early stage proposals for how they would use funding to modernize IT within their organizations. “The proposals with the greatest impact, strongest business case and highest probability of success are selected to receive funding from the TMF,” Elizabeth Cain, acting director of the TMF Program Management Office, said. While there is no limit on how how much money an agency can request on their proposal, a successful range is generally between $2 million and $10 million. “It’s an increment where the board can really see the change that investment is going to make in the agency’s system or process, and that also allows us to fund multiple proposals within our $100 million allocation,” Cain explained.
The new FITARA scorecard shows that most federal agencies backslid in their implementation of the IT acquisition law—even some that previously excelled. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee downgraded 11 agencies in the new scorecard released this week. Eight agencies earned Ds, with the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Justice, State and Treasury declining in performance alongside Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Personnel Management and the Small Business Administration. The regression comes less than a week after the White House released an executive order designed to provide greater empowerment to agency CIOs and have them directly report to agency leadership.
The General Services Administration (GSA) plans to launch a potential $2.5 billion competition to update the government payroll and work schedule and leave management systems. A FedBizOpps notice says GSA considers awarding one or two blanket purchase agreements with a performance period of between 10 and 13 years under the NewPay Software as a Service Solution Procurement program. The agency and the Office of Management and Budget will conduct the acquisition through a phased evaluation approach among Information Technology Schedule 70 contract holders under Special Item Numbers 132-40 and 132-51.
The General Services Administration (GSA) wants to make it easier for federal and state agencies to quickly acquire cybersecurity services. According to a recent request for information, the agency is interest in updating the list of highly adaptive cybersecurity services (HACS) it offers on its IT Schedule 70. GSA hopes to update that list to “provide a more comprehensive assortment of cybersecurity services and expedite their discovery and acquisition,” according to the request.
And in other news:
Kratos Receives $38 Million in Unmanned Systems Contract Awards
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