The imminent release of the heavily anticipated multiple award Evolve IDIQ RFQ was a primary reason this past Wednesday’s industry event was extremely well attended, with GovCon leaders gathering to hear the latest details and timeline for this planned competition, as well as a wide range of other State Department requirements slated to be competed in 2023.   

If you came here looking for updates on the $8B enterprise IT Services IDIQ (page 90), this is not the place for you. In addition, no details will be provided here about the $135M multiple-award GATA III Training Assistance IDIQ (p 17) and no information be provided on the upcoming $750M multiple-award Advisory and Reporting IDIQ competition (page 68). The same is true for the $2.5B DPSS IDIQ (p 69); the planned Professional Staffing Services IDIQ (p 72) competition; or any of the upcoming ServiceNow or Mobile Application Support requirements expected to be competed in FY 23 (p 80).  

We are not going to take the time to break down the planned RFQ changes or timeline for Evolve here, or really any details for any upcoming competition, as a complete copy of the industry event slides and a link to a full video replay of the event can we found on the U.S. Department of State Industry Liaison LinkedIn page. (Note: See the page numbers above that correspond with some of the major IDIQs discussed, and the IRM section begins on page 78.) 

So, why am I here? 

We at OrangeSlices think it is important to recognize and celebrate the acquisition and contracting offices, and their respective leaders, who are showcasing how a Federal agency can effectively engage with industry.  

Led by Mike Derrios, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition & Senior Procurement Executive; Ramona Watts-Sutton, the Office of Acquisition Management (AQM) Director and Head of Contracting Activity; and Jaime Gracia, Director of Strategic Enterprise Programs; the Department of State is quickly moving up the ranks as being one of the most efficient and transparent contracting offices in the Federal sector today. 

How are they doing it?  

Open Quarterly Industry Meetings with broad participation from all corners of the agency – Some of the hubbub will naturally die down once Evolve is awarded, but the planned quarterly updates are well run and there is clear buy-in from the entire agency. As expected with any event, several agency leaders were unexpectedly unable to attend, but a senior replacement was identified, and they are prepared and expected to bring it. The event is free and open to anyone, and all documents were shared with the public through multiple channels, to include LinkedIn, shortly after the event ended. #Transparency 

Innovation and striving to be the best – All Federal agencies are now required to publish an annual opportunity forecast, with agencies varying greatly in terms of their commitment to the spirt and intent of the mandate. The State Department, and contractor MetaPhase, recently held a moderated planning session with industry to discuss how the agency can improve transparency and timeliness when it comes to sharing its opportunity forecast. An open invitation was provided publicly to industry inviting all interested parties to join the discussion. The organizers shared and asked for benchmarks / examples of how other agencies are doing it the right way, with the discussion centering around efforts to develop a forecast tool that will allow industry to identify and track upcoming requirements at the agency more easily. #innovation #results #drivingcompetition 

Social – The agency is effectively using multiple communication channels, with a clear emphasis on the use of social media, to include LinkedIn. From opportunity and event announcements, to sharing of ideas for innovation, this office is engaging with industry in a way few others do. An example includes a recent post by Jaime Gracia who is looking to pilot a new CPARS process, which he “thinks makes sense and can help streamline the process of CPARS itself and improve contract management and overall performance and relationships with” State Department suppliers. And anyone on LinkedIn will have seen the many posts by State Department Senior Procurement Analyst, Anna Urman, as she actively and regularly shares opportunities and supports dialogue with industry.  #corporateculture #socialfirst  

Intelligence based services and offerings, to include OrangeSlices, survive and thrive in part because of a lack of transparency by government. Agency leaders, to include program and acquisition officials, have historically been reluctant to share much if anything publicly for fear of misstep and lack of air cover from leadership. 

OS AI did not share what we heard here at the recent State Department industry event because we did not have to. The transparency shown by the agency ensures all in industry, not just those who can pay to be in the room, have a good set of baseline information and are now better equipped to have meaningful conversations about how they can support the important missions of the agency. Nicely Done.   

Related Posts 

Looking for an 8(a), WOSB, HUBZone or SDVOSB to partner with at the State Department? Click Here and filter the list by several key indicators, to include socio-economic status, NAICS, Contract Vehicle access, etc.  

About OrangeSlices AI      

Developed by a team of government and industry contracting subject matter experts, the OrangeSlices AI data driven platform is a publicly available searchable listing of the top information technology and consulting services contractors doing business with the Federal government today. Driven by a robust and comprehensive set of authoritative and trusted data sources, the OS.ai tool is intended to help government and industry leaders find the right partner to help deliver on the important missions of the Federal government. Learn more about how you can engage with OS AI here.     

 

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