It’s Government Sequestration, but don’t forget to manage Government Property in accordance to FAR 52.245-1

Normally, September is the time to plan for the next fiscal year for most Government contractor. But it’s different now because of the Sequestration. The uncertainty from the Sequestration is felt not only in the Washington D.C. area, but also across the nation.

Recently, I spoke with a government property management expert in the beautiful Midwest City of Overland Park, Kansas. He shared with me some insights on how contractors can manage through Sequestration, ensure existing contracts comply with FAR, and approach new business development.

Steele Tollison is the managing director of Certified Services International (www. Steele has many years of experience in managing materials and equipment, including EPC and government property. He has worked with companies across the globe, applying FAR 52.245-1 policies and procedures on USAID projects.

Currently, he provides consulting services on government property management policies and procedures related to FAR 52.245-1. He also helps companies implement systems to support these policies and procedures by providing training and hands-on operational assistance. According to Steele, a government property management system should include both people and technology. Without well trained people, the value of the technology is not fully realized. I very much agree with that.

Steele observed that during the Sequestration, companies tend to postpone the implementation of a government property management system, and that could pose a significant risk to future businesses.

 “Our Government is committed to accountability and savings. Projects are more carefully considered. Regulations governing award and execution are more carefully applied. Compliant systems provide contractors visibility of their GFP from cradle to grave. You can better service your projects, quickly respond to inquiries and professionally address audits. Eventually, this Sequester will ease and more bid invitations will be released. Demonstrating a compliant system may mean the difference between being invited to bid, or being excluded”.

Steele is familiar with different software systems supporting government property management. In his many years of experience, he has helped evaluate different systems, write RFPs and supervise the implementation of different systems. He has seen some contractors not thinking through the Total Cost of Ownership when acquiring a system, and therefore spending too much. In this environment of Sequestration, contractors particularly need to spend wisely.

“There are several robust systems available with the capacity to meet the requirements of even the largest Government Agencies. Key investment factors include:

  • FAR 52.245-1 Compliance
  • Maximum user quantity
  • Security
  • Volume of individual items, line items and fields
  • Reporting
  • Interface with other systems
  • Software cost per user
  • Annual licensing
  • Implementation, upgrades, hosting costs
  • Training, documentation cost
  • Anticipated growth
  • Ease of operation

The “mega” systems address these, but a 20-user system might mean a 5-year TCO of $520K plus several months to stand it up. There are economical alternatives providing agile, fully compliant solutions. Government contractors just need to do their research”.

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