GSA Explores Production of a Common Operating Platform for Crisis Management

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The Office of Mission Assurance details the agency’s needs in a new RFI.

Amid increasing strains, the General Services Administration’s Office of Mission Assurance is exploring the production of a Common Operating Platform to technologically underpin and advance the range of crucial crisis and emergency management operations it leads.

Though a Google platform currently supports the office’s efforts, GSA is considering tapping a vendor with ample expertise in systems development to build a new resource that improves interoperability and bolsters internal capabilities.

“Given the upsurge in online records management, teleworking and virtual requirements, and the number of automated business processes implemented and being planned at GSA, there is an increasing need for a consistent and coordinated agency approach to communicating work status and situational awareness using online tools and systems for emergency/crisis program management,” a request for information the agency released Wednesday states. 

Officials go on to clarify that “the relevant issue facing GSA is not whether to use systems already in place, but rather how to integrate all systems and program statuses at all levels into an agencywide platform to manage incidents and events in an emergency.” 

GSA is tasked with the leasing and maintenance of more than 9,600 federal buildings and a fleet of 215,500 government vehicles. It also provides acquisition support and many significant technology services to other federal agencies, employs roughly 19,000 employees and contractors and offers housing to more that 1 million federal personnel in GSA controlled space, according to the RFI. In support of those responsibilities around the clock—and particularly when crises surface—the Office of Mission Assurance implements security policies, and national directives around disaster and emergency response and management, mission continuity, and more. 

The present Google platform the office is using to bolster its efforts does not effectively automate necessary processes for various programs, and insiders are also looking for capacity and capabilities that go beyond what they’re currently accessing. Ultimately, the office wants a common operating tool that “automates continuity and emergency management program needs, crisis management tasks, training and exercise requirements, and provides executive level dashboards for various audiences,” the RFI notes. 

On top of creating the enhanced platform, GSA is potentially pursuing a contractor that can also provide ongoing security, maintenance and support for the tool and its systems. The solution would need to be “integrated, innovative and intuitive,” and either FedRAMP-certified or have an authority to operate. The agency also wants a platform that can seamlessly migrate data from legacy federal systems, be scalable, offer single sign on with multi-factor authentication, and more. 

GSA invites potential partners to weigh in on the relevant services they have to offer by July 13. Questions regarding the solicitation will be accepted until June 24, and the agency intends to provide answers to those by July 1. 

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