This is the third part of a six-part article on upcoming changes in federal contracting.

If a BMO Services were to operate the same way as previous FSSI models, a federal agency building might have to hire a contractor from much farther away in order to get the heavily discounted BMO Services price, says Bornstein.

“There’s a concern that local small businesses who service government buildings may be out of the picture,” he says.

Given the travel limitations of a service-based industry, Bornstein says he doesn’t know how GSA hopes to structure its BMO Services strategic sourcing solution.

And it appears as though GSA is also unsure how to proceed.

“There are innumerable factors that are impacting this decision,” GSA officials wrote in a GSA Interact blog post dated Nov. 25. “If the U.S. coverage area is broken down along traditional geographic regions, it might prevent GSA from best serving its customers with its unique property management and service needs by segmenting properties of the same type (e.g. border patrol or military bases). However, a national coverage approach may make it difficult for a small business vendor to participate due to service area limitations, or for vendors to accurately offer a single price for a service that could fluctuate based on service levels dependent on climate type, etc.”

Walter Cotton III is co-author of the contracting section of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 and founder of the Columbia, Maryland-based MPU Network, an advisory group with an exclusive focus on consulting in the realm of federal procurement. He is familiar with FSSI through his work in the wireless industry, which has already been folded into GSA’s strategic sourcing plans. Although Cotton III admits to this being “high-octane speculation,” he says interested parties are taking into consideration that GSA and the federal government have been mobilizing their workforces, jettisoning physical assets and consolidating the facilities they manage into urban clusters. This, says, Cotton III, could make implementing the BMO Services FSSI more feasible.

GSA, for its part, is openly surveying contractors for feedback on how to implement BMO Services. Through its GSA Interact website, GSA has asked contractors how they would handle the regional versus national dilemma; if there are methods that have resulted in alternative cost savings for customers when procuring BMO services; if consolidating properties under one contract can create savings; and much more.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is make sure we’re collaborating with the industry,” says Battaglini.

Balek believes this is all just window dressing and that GSA will formulate its BMO Services strategy regardless of any contractor input.

GSA is “going through the appearance of providing interested parties the appearance of due process when, in fact, there is none,” he says.

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New FSSI Could Affect 2,500 Building Service Contractors
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How Federal Strategic Sourcing Differs From The Private Sector