GSA mulls new cloud acquisition vehicle

The General Services Administration wants to home in on the needs of federal cloud customers as it considers replacing soon-to-expire blanket purchase agreements.

Shutterstock image: Cloud concept.

The General Services Administration is considering establishing a broad cloud-specific contracting vehicle that would help agencies handle their growing cloud service needs.

GSA's existing cloud blanket purchase agreements are expiring, and federal customers are evolving past the cloud services designations under GSA's Schedule 70 and other contracting vehicles that include cloud services. Therefore, the agency is thinking about creating a next-generation cloud-specific contract, said Stan Kaczmarczyk, director of GSA's Cloud Computing Services Program Management Office.

"We're working on a business case now" for what could be either a governmentwide acquisition contract or an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for cloud, he said at Washington Technology's Cloud and Mobility Industry Day event in Falls Church, Va.

Federal business volume for cloud services will reach $2.254 billion in fiscal 2017, Kaczmarczyk said, adding that GSA's cloud infrastructure-as-a-service BPA has already expired and its email-as-a-service BPA will expire in two years, paving the way for a new contracting vehicle.

If development, market research and GSA's management review of a potential cloud GWAC or IDIQ contract go smoothly, Kaczmarczyk said a request for information could be issued by September 2016.

"We can't rush," he said. "We need to get it right."

The goal is to give GSA's customers a more streamlined way to acquire cloud services. The agency has already moved in that direction by dedicating a Special Item Number for cloud services on the IT Schedule 70 contract, Kaczmarczyk added.

"The cloud SIN will help, but we're trying to narrow things down" to clarify services and capabilities for federal customers with a next-generation contracting vehicle, he said.

One federal CIO at the event said the proposed contracting vehicle could be good fit for his agency. The CIO, who spoke on background, currently uses an in-house contract for cloud services but said he would consider GSA's cloud-specific vehicle if it becomes available.