The General Service Administration procurement process can be tricky. Knowing what GSA Schedule Programs different items might be on can be difficult for agencies deploying systems as well as vendors selling products.
This was the case for items and services on GSA’s Schedule 70 – IT products and services – and Schedule 84 – security systems, law enforcement and building controls related products and services, says Lynn A. de Seve, president at GSA Schedules Inc. When it comes to products for FIPS 201 and physical access products could be found on both schedules. “It was very confusing for agencies trying to buy equipment,” she says.
FIPS 201 credentialing products and integrators were pre-approved through a process and referenced on a GSA Approved Product List (APL) which is a pre-submission requirement to be listed on a specific GSA item category. This category is known as a Special Item Number (SIN) and for FIPS 201 was to be listed on a Schedule Program 70, the IT GSA Contract.
However, the products and services to install a complete security system are typically purchased on Schedule 84. Recently FIPS 201 physical access control products were also added on Schedule 70 but these typically reside on Schedule 84. The overlap but lack of coordination or understanding caused great confusion for agencies purchasing and security providers. The credentialing aspect of physical access control systems is just one function, not the entire system, which can also include video monitoring and fire alarms.
Because of this confusion and concerns from contractors, government stakeholders and the Security Industry Association, the GSA has identified both 84 and 70 as appropriate sources and is working to rewrite both Schedule 70 and Schedule 84 to better define the identity management categories, de Seve says.While both programs will be revised, Schedule 84 is focusing on a major SIN rewrite in response to new requirements that will clarify for requirements for contractors and make it easier for agencies. “The GSA has been very open to industry input on this,” she adds.
SIA is hosting a webinar with members of the GSA Scheduling teams to discuss the proposed changes on February 25. This will includes the schedule 84 Branch Chief Chris Redmond, and Chi Hickey from GSA identity management office.
More information on the SIA webinar can be found here.