On January 15th, the Congressionally-mandated DoD Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations, otherwise known as the Section 809 Panel released the final installment of its three volume report including recommendations. GovFlex is highlighted in the report as an innovative new approach leveraging commercial practices to provide an online talent marketplace to the federal government.
GovFlex was noted as providing leading gig economy and e-commerce portal capabilities with the potential to bring the benefits of the private sector to the military and government agencies. Those benefits include enhancing competition, expediting procurement, streamlining ease-of-use and enabling market research.
We were pleased to see the 809 Panel deliver their analysis and conclusions within the broad context of government-wide efforts related to GSA’s initiatives in response to Section 846 of NDAA 2018. In particular we noted the following passage from the Panel’s recommendation:
“Congress continues to recognize the importance of aligning government buying to commercial practices and technology, most recently by promoting use of e-commerce portals. Section 846 of the FY 2018 NDAA directed GSA to “establish a program to procure commercial products through commercial e-commerce portals for purposes of enhancing competition, expediting procurement, enabling market research, and ensuring reasonable pricing of commercial products. This initiative will deliver greater access to commercial innovation, increase opportunities to leverage commercial practices and provide built-in competition of readily available supplies and services in the open marketplace. Based on similar technology, online talent marketplaces provide similar advantages for acquisition of commercial services.”
It’s encouraging to see Congress, DoD and GSA exploring the full potential of innovative solutions like online digital marketplaces, and more importantly take definitive actions to move in their direction.
The Panel recommends that DoD should pilot an expedited contracting authority for IT consultants facilitated by an online talent marketplace tool with a qualified independent consultant list. It further notes the importance of “readily available” services which require no customization and include short-term expert consultant services.
If implemented this recommendation could have far reaching impact on government contracting across all federal agencies. In addition it could significantly expand opportunities for independent experts, consultants and 1099 technical specialists, who would be more readily accessible to government clients.
Our GovFlex team was privileged to be included in the Panel’s review and analysis of leading practices related to online marketplaces. You can find additional information in the report’s recommendation 45.
For those interested in the details of the report and/or recommendation 45, please see Vol 3, Part 1, page 162:
GovFlex will continue to monitor the progress of the Panel’s recommendations and provide updates as next steps are taken. .