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NITAAC Strategic Priorities for FY22 The New Year brings resolutions and a renewed emphasis on change. In fact, data from YouGovAmerica suggests that about a quarter of Americans will make resolutions, and 20% think they'll accomplish them. In the spirit of New Year traditions, I wanted to share with you the NITAAC strategic goals and priorities for FY2022. Priority #1: Accept No Substitutes: Nobody Does Federal IT Acquisition Quite Like NITAAC Although many things change, customer service and our commitment to excellence remains the same. Customer service is not something we take for granted at NITAAC. We've geared our operations around our customers’ needs so whether they are just beginning a solicitation and need help with research, or they’ve already placed a task or delivery order on one of our vehicles, NITAAC is committed to making sure they get answers faster, so they can keep their acquisitions on track. In 2022, we will seek ways to continually improve upon our service delivery. To that end, we will be developing new training programs, website resources, white papers, blogs, videos and other resources, such as virtual industry days, to support our federal partners and their information technology (IT) missions. Priority #2: Revolutionize IT Acquisitions with CIO-SP4 We are steadfastly working to bring the next great Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC), Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) to market. The $50 billion GWAC will focus on enabling emerging technologies in IT — such as blockchain, cybersecurity technologies, agile software development and "as-a-service-solutions" — as well as reducing administrative burden on the competitive process behind the GWAC. On January 11, 2021, we posted Amendment 013. Additionally, the CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP3 Small Business vehicles are currently being extended for up to one year to ensure there is no gap in contractual coverage between CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP4. This will push performance of task orders well into Q3 2028, giving agencies plenty of runway to place their acquisitions now and get the benefits of FAR 16 flexibilities. The new projected award date for CIO-SP4 is no later than November 11, 2022. Priority #3: Leverage DITAP Certification The current push for modernization is not just about updating or replacing old technology. It’s about “creating the platform for change”— that is, finding more cost-effective, innovative approaches to delivering IT and improving service to the citizen. A common component of the push for IT modernization is delivering data, information and transactional services across multiple platforms to enhance how citizens engage with the government. Unfortunately, buying digital services is not a skill that is gained through the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) curriculum. Many seasoned Contracting Officers are now facing a start-of-FY2022 deadline to learn and apply new skills for Digital Services (DS). In 2022, we plan to leverage our Digital IT Acquisition Professional (DITAP) certification to assist federal agency partners whose Contracting Officers have not yet achieved this distinction. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and remote working have made it increasingly difficult for Contracting Officers to take the six-month training. All NITAAC Contracting Officers and specialists are already DITAP certified, and are specially trained to handle procurements on each of our three Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts for IT – CIO-SP3, CIO-SP3 Small Business and CIO-CS. Not only have they completed the rigorous training process, but they are also experienced in implementing the most innovative and streamlined strategies in IT acquisitions. Priority #4: Continue to Leverage Best in Class (BIC) GWACs: CIO-SP3, CIO-SP3 Small Business and CIO-CS There is much promise in leveraging BIC. A significant portion of our revenue resulted from being able to leverage our BIC status. But, even more importantly, the designation will result in even further cost avoidance for our agency partners. In 2022, we will continue to educate agencies about the value and cost-savings leveraging our BIC-designated vehicles affords. Priority #5: Eliminate Redundancies and Deliver More Value with NITAAC Government-Wide Strategic Solutions (GSS) NITAAC delivers quality IT equipment at competitive rates. In fact, federal agencies who use NITAAC realize dramatic savings when purchasing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) IT products. Using NITAAC allows federal agencies to reduce the administrative cost of establishing their own IT contracts and leverage the buying power of civilian agencies for laptops and desktops. The more federal agencies participate, the greater the overall savings. Agencies get the same low price regardless of the quantities ordered. In FY22, we will have a renewed emphasis on helping federal agencies understand how they can realize dramatic savings when purchasing COTS IT products through NITAAC GSS. Although most resolutions are abandoned, our commitment to our strategic priorities is unwavering. I am excited about the promise of FY2022 and look forward to continuing to reimagine acquisitions and deliver procurement excellence.
The current push for modernization is not just about updating or replacing old technology. It’s about “creating the platform for change”— that is, finding more cost-effective, innovative approaches to delivering IT and improving service to the citizen. A common component of the push for IT modernization is delivering data, information and transactional services across multiple platforms to enhance how citizens engage with the government. Unfortunately, buying digital services is not a skill that is gained through the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) curriculum. Many seasoned contracting officers are now facing a start-of-FY2022 deadline to learn and apply new skills for Digital Services (DS). Realizing the void in digital services knowledge, in 2018, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) introduced the Digital IT Acquisition Program (DITAP). It is a specialized and immersive training program that helps contracting officers gain digital services expertise. The program also raises the overall competency of the acquisition workforce. DITAP focuses on teaching federal contracting officers how to design innovative and flexible procurements for services and solutions, such as human-centered design, iterative development, cloud and everything-as-a-service (XaaS). Any purchase over $7 million must be handled by DITAP certified personnel. OFPP gave agencies a hard deadline of FY 2022 to train and begin buying technology using DITAP-taught and other evolving approaches. Agencies have been instructed that any technology purchase worth more than $7 million must be handled by a contracting officer or specialist that has earned DITAP certification, often referred to as FAC-C-DS. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and remote working have made it increasingly difficult for contracting officers to take the six-month training. In fact, to date, only 400 contracting officers have completed the certification. NITAAC contracting officers and specialists were among the first 400, trained and certified early on to seek evolving technology and service our customers at the cutting edge. As 2022 quickly approaches, many agencies are left wondering how to manage their digital IT services procurements without the proper credentials. NITAAC has the solution. As all NITAAC contracting officers and specialists are already DITAP certified, they are specially trained to handle information technology procurements on each of our three Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts for IT – CIO-SP3, CIO-SP3 Small Business and CIO-CS. Not only have they completed the rigorous training process; but, they are experienced in implementing the most innovative and streamlined strategies in IT acquisitions. OFPP does offer remedies for contracting officers who have yet to obtain their credentials, such as requesting a waiver and obtaining the appropriate certifications within a year. A delay in certification, however, could lead to a penalty for an agency. According to the OFPP, “non-compliance may result in increased risk to effectively soliciting, evaluating and administering critical digital service contracts that could have lasting ramifications on the agency.” How other agencies can access NITAAC Contracting Officers NITAAC’s Assisted Acquisitions Service is the perfect solution for agencies who lack DITAP certified professionals but have digital IT services requirements. With Assisted Acquisitions, federal agencies benefit from the capabilities and expertise of NITAAC contracting officers, as well as the efficiencies and economies associated with leveraging resources and requirements. It’s a win, win for all. If you are interested in partnering with us on a requirement, or simply want more information, contact NITAAC Support at 1.888.773.6542 to speak with an intake specialist. NITAAC contracting officers also take questions every business day about our government-wide acquisitions contracts through our help desk at NITAACsupport@nih.gov.