New memo of understanding extends to most non-service Defense agencies.
Defense Department procurement officials have agreed to expand their use of the General Services Administration’s single contract for complex professional services known as OASIS, GSA announced.
The One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services contract, and its related version for small business firms, provides a unique vehicle through which agencies can buy commercial and noncommercial services in program management, management consulting, logistics, engineering, science and finance.
Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy officials in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics signed a memorandum of understanding in early June that will commit $500 million yearly from budgets of the Pentagon’s so-called “4th Estate,” the acquisition and finance offices that serve all the military services.
“OASIS has been employed successfully across the Department of Defense, particularly the military services, for some time,” said Claire Grady, director of Defense procurement and acquisition technology and logistics. “I am impressed with OASIS’ performance, in concert with the leadership emphasis within the Department of Defense on the effective management of professional services, to further mission and acquisition goals.” OASIS also “supports our commitment to cost-effectively meeting the Warfighter's needs by securing the lowest fees for usage,” she said.
GSA Professional Services Category Executive Tiffany Hixson said, “The MOU strengthens the existing partnerships between GSA and DoD, providing DoD with streamlined contracts to more effectively meet their mission requirements while eliminating costly duplicative contracts.”
OASIS will allow Pentagon acquisition offices to sign deals that span multiple professional service disciplines, GSA said. It allows for ancillary acquisition of information technology and provides contract flexibility at the task order level, including cost reimbursement.
Through OASIS, agencies are expected to cut administrative costs associated with multiple indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts, reduce contracting officers’ time investment, and allow new insights into spending details.
The 400-company Professional Services Council welcomed the development. “It aligns DoD support activities with Navy and Air Force MOUs already in place,” council CEO David Berteau, a former assistant Defense secretary for logistics and materiel readiness, told Government Executive. (The Army confirmed that it too has such an MOU.) Collectively, the 4th Estate agencies spend about $100 billion, of which $70 billion is for contracts, Berteau said. Too often, people on Capitol Hill view such agency spending as separate, “but the recipients of the spending are the combat services,” he said.
The new MOU, however, “is inconclusive and imprecise about actual implementation,” Berteau added. “The real question is what actual tasks and services are contracted through OASIS. Our member companies will watch the execution carefully. If it’s used so that DoD can be a smarter buyer and better customer, all of our members will ultimately benefit.”