Current Federal cloud procurement methods are a bit messy, with standardization across agencies lacking. With its new Request for Information (RFI), the General Services Administration (GSA) is looking to tackle this problem and streamline cloud procurement. The GSA is concerned that current procurement methods are leading to confusion and a lack compliance with FedRAMP requirements. To curb the contract discrepancies, the GSA released a new RFI seeking industry input to “identify examples of preferred contract language agencies should incorporate to convey FedRAMP requirements in their solicitations,” according to a FedRAMP blog.

FedRAMP says it will use industry input to create standards and best practices for Federal agencies. The GSA has pledged in the RFI that the feedback will help Federal organizations to transition to cloud services “in a way that is not prohibitive to competition and innovation.”

The RFI was spurred partially by feedback the GSA received from the private sector.

“We hear a lot from industry that agencies do not provide clear requirements for cloud services or ascribe legacy requirements to this new paradigm,” the RFI said. “These discrepancies seem particularly pronounced around things like deployment models, portability, interoperability, data ownership, SLAs, migration requirements, integration requirements with agency systems, etc.”

The project was created because FedRAMP noticed that “many contracts do not include the FedRAMP requirements in an effective way.” The program’s organizers also explained that many of the issues that they see with the contracts “arise from unfairly limiting competition, unclear roles and responsibilities, confusion on who will pay for a security assessment for FedRAMP, timelines for achieving a FedRAMP authorization, who from the government will work with the vendor to achieve a FedRAMP authorization, etc.”

The RFI is looking for examples of both effective or ineffective language that Federal agencies or companies in the industry have seen in contracts they have encountered in the past. Interested organizations have until Dec. 15 to their submit their feedback using the approved template. For more information, click here to view the full RFI.

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MeriTalk Staff