Government Shutdown to Impact GSA

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April 8, 2011


The Government Shutdown of 2011 is certain to have a major impact on the General Services Administration (GSA) and we sat down to discuss this unique situation with Kevin Chace, President of Nu Cen-tury Inc. a company which specializes in marketing to the Federal Government. Mr. Chace’s company, Nu Cen-tury Inc., helps businesses secure GSA Contracts and then further aids them in their efforts to negotiate the tricky process of Federal Marketing.

We asked Mr. Chace as CEO of Nu Cen-tury Inc, if he had any information that might prove relevant to current and/or prospective GSA Contract holders. Mr. Chace stated that, “GSA administrator Martha Johnson has done a good job of informing contractors of the potential issues with the Government Shutdown. She indicated that the 1995 Shutdown was a major wakeup call for the GSA and that they now had sufficient resources to deal with this issue. She stated that the GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service would still function even during a Shutdown.”

This seemed inconsistent with the rhetoric coming out of most Washington circles so we asked if he could explain why. “Well, we have advised existing clients of Nu Cen-tury Inc, that in most cases, things will be business as usual with their GSA Contract. You need to remember that GSA is essentially a quasi-Governmental institution and that less than half of the overall GSA budget comes from Government appropriated funds.”

Nu Cen-tury Inc. is correct. In a public statement this morning, Martha Johnson of the GSA explained that the Federal Acquisition Service would in fact remain functional for the foreseeable future. But she did indicate that individual GSA Contract holders should contact their individual contracting officer.

Mr. Chace added, “While I certainly don’t see the harm in contacting your contracting officer, we have advised clients of Nu Cen-tury Inc that such actions are voluntary and not essential in light of what we’ve been getting out of GSA. Basically, if it makes a contractor feel more secure they should go ahead and call their contracting officer. But it’s more about piece of mind than anything else.”

But what about prospective contractors? According to Nu Cen-tury Inc, one impact of the Government Shutdown will likely be that contract negotiations will be put on the back-burner until such time that the issue is resolved. But that doesn’t impact the business that is considering moving into the realm of GSA Contracting. Ironically, the slow pace of Government bureaucracy probably means that the Government Shutdown will have little or no impact on the time it takes, from start to finish, for a prospective GSA Schedule holder to have their application prepared, submitted and approved. “It takes some time to gather all the data to submit a proper GSA application, so unless the Government Shutdown is going last for several months, the impact on a prospective GSA Schedule holder will be negligible at best,” says Chase. “In fact, at Nu Cen-tury Inc we are actually advising potential clients that this is the perfect time to begin gathering all of the relevant materials that the GSA will eventually need to approve their application. People should work with us now so they can have everything ready to go once GSA is back running at full strength.”

Hopefully the Government Shutdown will be measured in days not weeks. If it’s measured in months, we’ll all have a lot more to worry about than just the GSA!

Casey Dorgood
April 8th, 2011

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