With the Federal Sequestration, and budget cutbacks, most departments of the Federal Government are reporting lower spending for construction this year, especially on smaller projects. Reports from our federal contractors around the state seem to confirm that. There are a few exceptions as NASA transforms itself to become a place welcoming to private industry. Federal spending seems to continue to be brisk on larger projects outside the capacity of small or medium sized contractors. On my recent trip to Washington D.C. to meet with legislators regarding construction issues, I noticed the D.C. horizon to be filled with tower cranes.
One very large contract that will skew the numbers in the coming year will be the $10 billion Oasis contract that is being released by the General Services Administration. OASIS stands for “One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services” contracts. By it’s very definition, no small or medium contractors need apply. The procurement program will be used to buy professional services such as management, consulting, engineering, logistics, and finance services. Other services will also be offered. The program is divided into two contracts, an unrestricted contract that includes 50 percent small business subcontracting goals, and OASIS Small Business, a small-business set-aside contract. The opportunity for small to medium contractors is to investigate this program and work to become subcontractors to help the prime contractor meet it’s small business goals. The task of getting work with OASIS will not be easy with the Federal Government preferring lowest price and technically acceptable contracts. The subcontractor will need to be both sophisticated and competitive.