Chris Hamm, GSA Officials Overview ‘Innovation in Acquisition’ Push to Potomac Officers Club

Chris-HammThe General Services Administration wants increased participation and input from industry on contracting requirements as the government seeks to change its methods for the acquisitions of technologies and professional services, GSA officials told the Potomac Officers Club Thursday.

Chris Hamm, director of GSA’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center, said his organization in particular is starting to do more acquisitions with FEDSIM in place as a strategic sourcing hub for GSA and third-party consultant to do technical audits.

Hamm told the GovCon executive audience agencies have strongly leaned toward use of low-price, technically-acceptable contracts over the past five years but more are increasingly working to structure contracts around new and emerging technologies.

“We’re trying to make innovation fit under our current contracts but criteria for innovation is difficult to measure, ” Hamm said.

This event Thursday in Falls Church, Va. was the fifth and last of the POC’s “CIO Speaker Series” for the summer and early fall that focused on innovation efforts at agencies and industry’s role in that push.

Three additional GSA executives joined Hamm in a panel discussion for the event’s second-half to overview how contractors can participate in the government’s overall innovation agenda.

Jim Ghiloni, GSA’s professional services management program executive, updated the audience on the agency’s efforts to consolidate its professional services schedules and said that move is still on track to be completed by the end of this calendar year.

Kristen Knapper, who leads FEDSIM’s civilian sector,  gave her perspective on the Continuous Diagnostic and Mitigation program GSA helps run for the Department of Homeland Security.

“Each agency has different requirements with each CDM order for software tools and services, ” she said.

“We’re still seeking our first OASIS order on the civilian side.”

Michael Donaldson, director of Defense Department enterprise services at FEDSIM, offered an invitation to industry executives in attendance for increased partnerships.

“We’re happy to run a pursuit with anyone until an interagency deal is signed, ” he said.

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