Court of public opinion, just because a GSA Agency rep says it doesn’t make it so…

September 14, 2013

While we prepare our case moving forward, I cannot personally answer all of your inquiries. However, on the subject topic I will respond for public record.


Although our case, win or lose, may help firms who do no get selected in their post award protest arguments; that is not our intent. This is an act of public service to help Smalls and Mid-caps grow and compete in federal contracting on equal footing with Bigs in the only manner successful to date; through Joint Ventures.

While subcontracting to Bigs should be applauded, we all know that all subcontracting goals are inconsequential. That is, they are not mandatory. Essentially, these goals are as toothless as the word “may” in legislation in comparison to the word “must”; remember the “Parity” fight? Furthermore, we all know that Subcontractor past performance has a lesser exchange rate than Prime contractor past performance… apparently GSA agrees with this position, because subcontractor past performance is not weighted at all for OASIS.

Now, recently the GSA has gone on record stating:

“GSA has maintained the position that, while it welcomes proposals from Joint Ventures, those entities must demonstrate a successful track record of working together to supply the complex, integrated professional services that are the heart of the OASIS program.   This position effectively treats Joint Ventures equally with all other Offerors with regards to relevant experience, which GSA considers fair to all parties.”

Well folks, just because GSA says it doesn’t make it so…

In his business case (the real one none of you received), GSA Deputy Director, Todd Richards stated, and I quote:

“Integrations [former name for OASIS] will be structured to comply with CTAs as defined in FAR Subpart 9.6 as prime/subcontractor arrangements. It is not expected that joint ventures will be allowed as there are numerous issues surrounding liability associated with non-performance.” See A1 – GSA INTERNAL APPROVED BUSINESS CASE at 25.

He admitted as much during Oral Hearings, so who’s trying to fool whom here? It’s all media-spin folks – using our tax $$$$ to boot.

Additionally, GSA has also gone on record stating:

“OASIS is intended for large dollar volume, complex service acquisitions.”

But, exactly what “complex services” is the agency looking to procure? The Agency is not procuring services for itself, and based on its own records it only has Four (4) agencies that signed up as first-adopters. In fact, at neither the time of the solicitation release, nor response receipt from industry, will the Agency know exactly what the definition of “complex services” is or “will be” under OASIS – nor does it know exactly what it wishes to purchase.


Its all “smoke & mirrors”… the definition of “complex services” in the form of a requirement will not (and cannot) be known by the Agency at the time of the solicitation competition. Rather, the requirements for complex services will be exactly known at the level of task-order competition; … and each definition will be unique in comparison to any requirement before or after it. 

Lastly, you may recall that the GSA made the same argument about “high-dollar” task-orders almost 10-years ago with Alliant. But, in the final analysis, it has been proven that rather than the $44.3M lauded by the GSA media-spin machine, the actual avg. task-order awarded in the [Unrestricted] track was only $15.1M in comparison with $13.4M for Smalls; a difference of only $1.7M. Just another boogeyman to scare Smalls away from the table.

So again I ask, who’s trying to fool whom here? Just because GSA says it doesn’t make it so…

One Voice…

R. Sutherland


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