Weekly Wrap-Up
Week of June 21, 2021
After More Than Two Decades, GWACs May be Due for a Refresh
(Federal Drive Podcast)
Industry Group Warns Onerous Criteria for GWACs May Benefit Large Contractors
(FedScoop) The Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI) has urged caution over the introduction of further evaluation schemes for contractors bidding on governmentwide acquisition contracts, or GWACs.

In a report issued Tuesday, the industry group said that while it supports action by the federal government to tackle rising cybersecurity threats, the use of overly complex evaluation criteria benefits large incumbent companies working in the federal technology space, and may be stifling innovation.
Advocacy Group Asks Biden Administration to Consider 7 Reforms for Governmentwide Contracts
(Nextgov) The Biden administration—like the Trump and Obama presidencies before it—is pushing agencies to use large preestablished contract vehicles like the governmentwide acquisition contract, or GWACs. But while these procurement vehicles create stability in the federal market, they are limiting competition among certain sets of innovative companies, according to a letter sent to the administration and GWAC managers Tuesday.
ADI Report Outlines 7 Recommendations for Governmentwide Acquisition Contract Reform
(GovConWire) The Alliance for Digital Innovation has released a white paper providing recommendations on how the U.S. government could update governmentwide acquisition contracts to accelerate federal agencies’ access to commercial innovation and help them carry out cybersecurity and information technology modernization efforts.

The nine-page document outlined seven recommendations to modernize the structure of GWACs and the first is focusing on the most relevant evaluation criteria.
The Underlying Process for GWACs Hasn't Changed Since 1994; ADI Says It's Time
(Federal News Network) For the Department of Health and Human Services, spending a higher percentage of its $40 billion procurement budget through governmentwide acquisition contracts isn’t just a matter of convenience.

It’s the way HHS will get a better and deeper view into where components are spending their fiscal 2021 procurement budget. The greater use of GWACs and other governmentwide multiple award contracts—known as “best-in-class” contracts—is how HHS will accelerate its use of data to drive spending decisions under the category management initiative.

Katrina Brisbon, associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisitions at HHS, said the agency hasn’t been an early adopter of category management.
ADI Statement on Robin Carnahan Joining GSA
(ADI Blog) ADI is thrilled to see the Senate confirm Robin Carnahan to be the next Administrator of the General Services Administration. Robin is an outstanding leader who will ensure GSA is best positioned to help President Biden deliver on his Build Back Better agenda by providing world-class technology solutions and digital services to their Federal customers. We look forward to partnering with her to help GSA provide agencies increased access to the best and most innovative commercial IT and cybersecurity capabilities that meet their mission objectives.
DHS Applied for TMF Funding for 4 Projects, CIO Hysen Says
(FedScoop) The Department of Homeland Security has applied for Technology Modernization Fund money to support four of its modernization projects, CIO Eric Hysen said Tuesday.

Hysen intends to make the department an “active user” of the TMF, which recently got a $1 billion injection under the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act, he said at the Professional Services Council’s Federal Acquisition Conference.
Connolly Floats Legislative Fix for IT Working Capital Funds
(FedScoop) Congress probably needs to revisit the Modernizing Government Technology Act because some agencies still haven’t created IT working capital funds, based on legal advice from their general counsels, said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., Monday.

The Subcommittee on Government Operations he chairs may open up a policy dialogue with those agencies and their counsels, but more likely a legislative fix is needed, Connolly said.
CISA Collaborating With White House on Forthcoming Zero-Trust Strategy
(Nextgov) The White House is working on a strategy to boost organizations’ use of security systems that look for threats within networks, in addition to guarding the perimeter, according to a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency official.

CISA Deputy Executive Assistant Director Matt Hartman said while working to create a model to guide federal agencies’ implementation of zero trust, as the practice is known, “we have partnered closely with [the National Institute of Standards and Technology], we have worked closely with [the National Security Agency] and others on this, closely with the White House as they're going to be putting out a strategy.”
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