Welcome to the Weekly News Kick Off from the FedPulse blog. There is always interest in making government procurements easier, and this week several agencies took steps toward that very thing. Perhaps 2015 will see even more progress in this area. Enjoy these highlights!
GSA Aims to Expedite Approval of Federal Cloud Offerings
The General Services Administration has created a new FedRAMP assessment category that has a goal of helping vendors obtain security clearance for their government cloud products faster than usual, FCW reported. The FedRAMP Ready designation will be granted to cloud-based platforms that have already undergone audits by an agency program management office and an accredited independent third-party assessor. The system also offers potential government cloud users and authorizing personnel a means to initiate an authorization.
DoD Bolsters Small Business Programs to Exceed FY14 Contracting Goal
Andre Gudger, director of the Defense Department’s Office of Small Business Programs, has indicated an increase in small-business contracting. Gudger said the department has been turning to small businesses as “mission enablers” due to their agility and adaptability to new and emerging threats, technologies and capabilities. The Pentagon awarded an estimated $53 billion worth of prime contracts (23%) to small businesses in fiscal year 2014, surpassing the 21.35% goal for the year, Claudette Roulo reported for DoD.
DoD, GSA, NASA Publish Final Rule on Federal Procurement Instrument ID System
The Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA have released the final rule on establishing a uniform identification system to standardize procurement activities across government as part of amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, effective November 13. The procurement instrument identification system will utilize activity address codes as unique identifiers for federal procurement awards.
Health IT Coordinator’s Office Prepares Road Map to Interoperability
The Office of the National Coordinator For Health Information Technology is building a shared road map for health IT stakeholders to establish interoperability across the health IT system. According to two ONC officials, the road map considers core technical standards and functions, certification, privacy and security measures, rules of engagement and governance and a supportive environment, as well as sets goals for the three-, six- and 10-year milestones.
GAO Urges DoD, DHS Acquisition Personnel to Review Market Research Procedures
The Government Accountability Office has urged acquisition personnel at the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to re-examine their documentation procedures on procurement information. GAO said that such an effort could help strengthen competition and inform current and future acquisitions by using fundamental market research techniques to find out how and when the data was collected or achieved and what this data means in relation to the contract.