(Photo taken by: Elizabeth Moon - AFCEA International)
Recently I had the privilege to be a contestant on the most recent AFCEA Shark Tank. While we did not 'win' the competition, Federal Government Experts, LLC (FGE) in conjunction with our Technology partner Coral BlockChain took the preverbal public leap of faith in unveiling what we hope will to become the best kept Federal Acquisition solution ever developed.
Over the last several months our team has been working diligently and under the strict guidance on a technology that will inevitably revolutionize the way both the Federal Government and their industry counterparts conduct its business.
Rapid Acquisition Facilitation Tool R.A.F.T. -
Today’s Federal Contracting environment is continuously evolving as the government’s needs change at a moment’s notice. This fluid environment culminated with the statutory requirements, policies and oversight requirements that are intended to provide ‘Fair and Open’ competition are often seen as burdensome, convoluted and insurmountable to both the Acquisition Professionals who are charged with facilitating successful procurement instruments and their industry counterparts who look to prepare, bid and ultimately capture these opportunities.
In FY19 the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized appropriations of over $507B of funding to the Department of Defense (DoD) for its day-to-day mission sets. Of this authorization nearly $380B are for the Departments – Weapon Systems, Goods and Services that are necessary to run the department; the government buys 98% of its goods and services via procurement instruments each and every day to satisfy its objective of obligation funds in the aforementioned section of this blog.
The first Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) was written in 1983, since this time – believe it or not the four corners of the book have remained the same, despite the changes in government, business and ultimately the technologies, services and people that are used to execute the mission of the USG.
Pioneers and Senior Government Officials such as the Department of Defense’s Under Secretary of Defense Ellen Lord
“The Defense Department is pursuing acquisition improvements to improve the effectiveness of its solicitation processes, to advance the cybersecurity of needed solutions and to meet rising adversarial threats”
- Have been promoting the use of streamlined acquisition approaches and other than FAR based contracting concerns to address several concerns within today’s acquisition workforce and contracting environment(s) to include:
o Lead time necessary for FAR Based contracts
o Requirement(s) Definition – developing clear, concise objectives for industry
o Regulatory requirements – FAR, DFAR and local agency instructions
o Refresh / Development of a Robust industry Base
This list could conceivably never end as the issues and challenges facing our Federal Contracting landscape are continuously expanding, yet the solutions to address these concerns are sometimes limited in their utility, inability of applying agile concepts to a rigorous regulatory acquisition process and ironically the reform that it tries to enact to streamline the acquisition process – is thwarted by the same rules, regulations it intends to streamline.
Until now, the United States Government has attempted to address these concerns in a one dimensional ‘all encompassing’ solution. This is highlighted by legislative requirements such as:
- Defense Workforce Initiative Act (DAWIA) – The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) was initially enacted by Public Law 101-510 on November 5, 1990. It requires the Department of Defense to establish education and training standards, requirements, and courses for the civilian and military workforce.
- Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) - The Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) of 1984 (41 U.S.C. 253) (FAR Subpart 6.1″Full and Open Competition”) is a public law enacted for the purpose of encouraging the competition for the award of all types of government contracts. The purpose was to increase the number of competitors and to increase savings through lower, more competitive pricing.
- Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) - requires contractors who are negotiating certain government contracts – e.g., sole source contracts where there is no established “market price” for the good or service — to submit cost and pricing data to the Government that is truthful, accurate, and complete.
Federal Government Experts, LLC has developed a multi dimension solution to begin to provide solutions to both private industry and the Federal Government for these challenges and concerns. The Rapid Acquisition Facilitation Tool (R.A.F.T) is solution is intended to be a “Facilitator” of the acquisition processes, which provides an end-to-end acquisition solution for private (commercial) industry clients as well as their government requirement owner counterparts.
Additionally, FGE’s solution will not require organization to perform massive realignments, nor require a company to create a dedicated infrastructure to support the solution as we’ve designed the tool to be tailored to the needs of the client and begin adaptation and execution in each organization’s current acquisition environment, with the use of deep machine learning – R.A.F.T. will enable better decision making based on the ‘ism’s’ and policies outlined in the initial deployment and will continue to ‘learn’ and lean out unnecessary practices within the defined processes. Irrespective if your organization is a small, other than small business or federal agency – R.A.F.T.’s technology utilizes data analytics, Artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology (including but not limited to):
- Develop, maintain, execute process workflow automation
- Ensure single secure sign on via biometrics and stronger than PKI encryption
- Adaptability to current business practices and organizational – security and business policies
- Data integration of archivable, historical information
Workflow Automation (WF): R.A.F.T.’s technology is a designed based on your organizational processes. The execution and automation adapt to your workflow rules and improves efficacies of human tasks, data or files and previously siloed systems by cross functionally creating SMART connections both co-located and geographically dispersed assets in secure cloud or harden environment.
R.A.F.T. ‘WF‘ Automation Key Benefits:
- Streamline and speed up internal processes by reducing manual entry and request handling.
- Reduce errors and re-work.
- Reduce risk of improperly approved requests, contracts, hires, etc.
- Improve compliance with audit trails.
- Increase output and increase productivity.
- A unified, personalized request experience for employees.
- Track request status (completed, pending, or in-progress, etc.) in real time
- Identify performance trends (group and individual) over time.
- Reduced license overhead for enterprise systems (ERP, CRM, etc.)
- Monitor team progress against Service Level Agreements.
(Figure above demonstrates R.A.F.T.’s work flow automation and Collaboration Hub)
(Figure Above illustrates the (bid/no bid) / acquisition data management – R.A.F.T. Dashboard)
Single Secure Sign On: R.A.F.T.’s technology ensures that your procurement sensitive and business sensitive data is secure. R.A.F.T. features manage keys and control the use of encryption across a wide range of R.A.F.T.’s services and in your data. R.A.F.T. KMS is a secure and resilient service that uses FIPS 140-2 validated hardware security modules to protect your keys.
- Create keys with a unique alias and description
- Import your own key material
- Define which IAM users and roles can manage keys
- Define which IAM users and roles can use keys to encrypt and decrypt data
- Choose to have R.A.F.T. KMS automatically rotate your keys on an annual basis
- Audit use of keys by inspecting logs in your secure environment
- Create custom key stores
R.A.F.T. was developed to adapt to the needs of the client by developing streamlined processes, reduction in latent procedures, ensuring accountability (auditability) and alleviated resources by establishing automation through state of the art analytical technology. R.A.F.T. operates irrespective of the location of performance, additionally it is agnostic of requirement.
- Proposal Process Automation – with the use of Neurolinguistic programming in culmination with our patent (pending) data integration hub and analytical technology; R.A.F.T. enables users to leverage their technical, past performance as well other relevant data sets to develop a compliant and technically responsive proposal to Federal, State, Local and commercial requirements.
- R.A.F.T.’s provides an end to end solution for cradle-to-grave acquisition management and contact administration and governance. Our technology enables procurement activities as well as requirement owners to have access to agency best practices, tools, templates and Artificial intelligent assistant in the development of requirements through close out of contractual concerns.
R.A.F.T has aligned its technology solutions to the core competencies of the federal acquisition marketplace, as well the needs of the private sector. The overall objective of R.A.F.T. is to:
- Facilitate better engagement of collaboration of both government and industry by enabling state of the art technology to bridge the gap between the government’s requirements and industry’s ability to respond in a manner that adheres to the Federal regulatory process by being ‘innovatively’ compliance and developing a user interface that affords maximum user acceptability with ease of use and providing a true best value solution on each and every procurement action.
The R.A.F.T. team is seeking opportunities to continue to deploy our technology with both private and public sector entities. To date we have developed business opportunities with both the department of defense. If you’d like to learn more about how R.A.F.T. can provide your organization a competitive edge in the bid/capture as well as federal acquisition market place contact the
R.A.F.T. team at RAFT@FGExperts.com or (571) 344-0725.