GSA explains lowered DEOS price tag

GSA worked with the Defense Department and vendors to push more efficiencies into the DEOS cloud contract, ultimately resulting in a lowered ceiling, said the contract's manager.

cloud applications (chanpipat/

The General Services Administration worked with the Defense Department and vendors to reconfigure the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions Blanket Purchase Agreement that resulted in a dramatically lower ceiling value from the initial award, according to the agency's manager of the contract.

GSA initially awarded DEOS, a 10-year contract to provide Microsoft's productivity suite Office 365 to DOD, to General Dynamics IT in 2019. The ceiling value of the award was $7.6 billion. The solicitation was revised amid protests and the contract was re-awarded to GDIT last month with a $4.4 billion ceiling.

At the time of the the re-award, GSA declined comment, citing the post-award protest period. With that period passed, officials explained the revised price tag.

"We worked with the DOD to provide landscape changes and refined requirements," to modify the DEOS cloud email and business software contract from its originally-awarded form, said Allen Hill, acting assistant commissioner for Category Management at GSA. Those modifications, he said during an ACT IAC webcast on Nov. 16, allowed vendors to refine their offerings, which reduced its value ceiling.

"It wasn't what you'd call a 'scope change.' It was more a refinement of how things would be executed and what exactly was needed in that execution," Hill said.

Hill and Laura Stanton, GSA's assistant commissioner for IT Category, said the agency is currently in the market research phase of a civilian-version of DEOS. Stanton said that version was still in the early stages of development, however, and offered no schedule for a request for information or other formalized process.

On another civilian/DOD-related contracting issue, GSA officials provided insight on how the agency would push DOD's emerging Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) requirements into emerging civilian contracts.

GSA has embedded CMMC language in the master the 8(a) Streamlined Technology Application Resource for Services (STARS) III contract and its Polaris small business governmentwide vehicle, said Keith Nakasone, deputy assistant commissioner for Acquisition Management at the agency. The level of CMMC certification will come at the task order level, depending on the ordering agency's needs, he said.

That means vendors don't have to be certified at the master contract level. "It's going to be based on the orders that come through" the contracts, he said. "We included the CMMC language so it is in scope" of the contract," he said. That allows contract users to set their own levels of certification for vendors, according to Nakasone.