The Progressive GSA
We’ve all heard it before: Experience is the best teacher. While this may be true, technology, through its rapid availability, improvement, provides highly effective solutions for a wide-range of issues that previously required extensive experience to resolve. Companies, organizations, and individuals are relying on innovative technological solutions more than ever to solve complex and multi-faceted issues such as home-buying, investment banking, and accelerated communication. Now, the United States General Services Administration (GSA) is following suit by adopting a forward thinking technological approach that will simplify the sale of technology to the government by new Information Technology Contractors.
Traditionally, Â GSA has required that technology firms have at least two years of corporate experience, which is the agency’s current requirement for contractors to obtain a spot on the Schedule 70 â€” GSA’s list of approved Information Technology vendors, but in a new request for information (RFI), GSA is seeking advice about how the federal contracting system can be improved.
Instead of the two year experience mandate, GSA would instead require contracting agencies to submit a written description of their relevant experience as well as documentation demonstrating financial responsibility. By implementing this new measure, GSA could effectuate an increase of emerging small businesses to the Schedule 70, gain better access to innovative companies, transcend leading-edge technological solutions, and acquire a wider range of contracting options. The result would likely mean a proliferation of new contractors’ with the ability to meet sales criteria, among other measures.
So, how likely is it that GSA will repeal its two-year experience requirement? The answer may lie in the hands of contractors and their ability to use persuasive rhetoric to convince GSA to make a favorable decision. Indeed, until September, 18th 2015, GSA is collecting input from both public and private agencies by inquiring about the conceivable benefits of implementing such a reformative measure. According to NextGov.com, some of the specific subjects that contractors are urged to answer include:
- What are the potential benefits and downsides to removing the two-year corporate experience requirement?
- What other requirements or processes prevent businesses from obtaining a Schedule 70 contract?
- What requirements and processes make it hard to work with the government even after getting a Schedule 70 contract?
Although GSA has yet to make a concrete decision regarding their new endeavor to repeal its two-year experience rule, small business contracting agencies, such as Sabre88, will remain hopeful in receiving positive news.