In early 2019, the General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service announced two major plans to update the Information Technology (IT) Schedule 70 contract. The first, announced in February 2019, modifies the Cloud Special Item Number (SIN). The second, announced in April 2019, revises the Software SIN.
The IT Schedule 70 contract is an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Multiple Award Schedule contract which specializes in advanced IT products, services and solutions. It is acclaimed for its cost saving benefits and support to the small business community; 80% of the contract holders are small businesses. It is the largest procurement vehicle and the most widely-used acquisition offering in the federal government.
February 2019 brought the first major update to the IT Schedule 70 contract, the Cloud SIN (132-40). GSA saw the need for adopting cloud and modernizing IT infrastructure, but in also recognizing the complexity involved, they introduced the update to the Cloud SIN. Initially, customers using the IT Schedule 70 contract to purchase cloud products also needed to separately buy cloud IT services. With the modification, the contract now includes the cloud oriented professional services customers need, eliminating the need for separately procured products. This significantly saves the customer time and energy. Changes also include a redefinition of cloud products for user clarification. This enables customers to make more specific purchases, rather than one large blanket purchase.
Two months later, GSA announced another important adjustment to the IT Schedule 70 contract. This modification updates the Software SINs to give government agencies a more efficient route to purchase software services. The update redefines ‘term software’ and ‘software as a service’. This will more narrowly define IT services the government seeks to purchase. Additionally, adjustments are being made to facilitate legal affairs. One of the main aims of this modification is to align the way software is sold commercially. Customers can now transfer software licenses between federal entities, making procurement more efficient.
The IT Schedule 70 contract modifications developed in response to the recent surge of interest in government-wide IT services. Policy changes that focus on updating how government agencies buy and manage technology began in 2015 with the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). An emphasis on software procurement emerged in 2016 with a memo improving software licensing and the MEGABYTE Act which established a forum to assist agencies with their software acquisition needs. With the rise in demand of cloud and software services, one can expect to see an increase in the modifications of procurement methods. GSA has made it their goal to monitor the market demands for government agencies and deliver innovative procurement methods that benefit both the customer and sellers.