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Contracting jolted out of complacency

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The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) released its long-awaited consolidated Schedule solicitation on FedBizOpps.gov on Oct. 1.

The new solicitation modernizes federal acquisition by consolidating and streamlining the existing 24 Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) into a single Schedule or contract for products, services, and combined solutions.

Sales through the old GSA Schedules hover at about $30 billion per year, making it one of the most widely used contract vehicles, and covers all types of products and services purchased by the federal government.

At this time, only new contracts will be placed on the consolidated Schedule solicitation, which streamlines and simplifies the order process for new contractors.

This means that any business not already holding a GSA Schedule or contract must now pursue the new Consolidated Schedule only under the new solicitation available at www.fbo.gov by search for solicitation number: 47QSMD20R0001.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Supply Schedule (VA FSS) will not be included in this consolidation process. Under delegated authority by GSA, the VA manages multiple award contracts for medical equipment, supply, pharmaceutical, and service Schedule programs.

With over $14 billion in annual sales, the VA FSS Service supports the healthcare requirements of the VA and other federal government agencies by providing Federal customers with access to over 1 million commercial products and services.

The over 15,000 contractors already on the GSA Schedule will not be affected by the new consolidation process until the mass modification takes effect in calendar year 2020.

Early in 2020 modifications will be sent to current contract holders who will maintain existing contract numbers with new, updates Special Item Numbers (SINs). This will be of special interest to companies who hold multiple GSA Schedules with duplication in current labor categories.

Federal agencies should see no disruptions to their purchasing practices during the transition.

“GSA MAS Consolidation will mean many changes to the way we do business – some small, some large, but all with the goal of providing consistency in the program for all stakeholders and making it easier for customers to find total solutions under one contract vehicle,” said Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Alan Thomas. “We’ve worked hard to make sure our new terms and conditions will meet the needs of our customers, and also streamline and eliminate duplicate contracts.”

The new GSA MAS solicitation is organized by large categories and subcategories. It was developed iteratively through the agile project process and incorporates ongoing feedback from customer agencies, the GSA acquisition workforce, and industry, including results from two Requests for Information listed over the past year.

Specifically, the consolidated solicitation features a simplified format, streamlined terms and conditions, and new categories and Special Item Numbers for products and services. This new format is intended to make it easier for contractors to offer products, services, and solutions, and for agency partners to find them.

The GSA MAS Consolidation is one of the four cornerstone initiatives of the Federal Marketplace (FMP) Strategy, GSA’s plan to modernize and simplify the government buying and selling experience for customers, suppliers, and acquisition professionals. GSA has made progress on several other policy, process, and technology improvement projects.

To learn more about what GSA is doing to improve the experience with the federal marketplace by reviewing the FMP Strategy at this web page: https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/organization/federal-acquisition-service/fas-initiatives/federal-marketplace-strategy

Gloria Larkin is President and CEO of TargetGov, the American Express Procurement Advisor, and a national expert in business development in the government markets.  Email glorialarkinTG@targetgov.com, visit www.targetgov.com or call toll-free 1-866-579-1346 x 325 for more information

 

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