GSA MAS Consolidation – Streamlining Government Purchasing

By Adam Hyman, Director, Government Programs

Over the next two years, the General Services Administration plans to consolidate the agency’s 24 Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts into a single schedule. This change offers IT vendors an opportunity to expand their offerings beyond Schedule 70, without maintaining separate contracts — and this is a good thing.

The benefits to both vendors and government are many; eliminating duplication, providing a single set of terms and conditions, reducing “out of scope” issues and enabling greater flexibility for providing a total solution to government customers – to name just a few.

Currently, GSA organizes schedules by specific supply and service types into “categories.” Most of us are familiar with Schedule 70, the Information Technology category. But, in acquiring a total solution, our government customers have sometimes been required to use schedules from other categories to purchase everything they need. Categories that bleed over into IT solutions often include Office Management, Security & Protection, Total Solutions for Law Enforcement and even Facilities & Construction.

In theory, under the new initiative, vendors will only be required to hold one schedule contract and will be able to add any product and services category to that same schedule. If implemented correctly, this will reduce the administrative burden on the contractor, the government customer and GSA.

As immixGroup holds Schedule 70 contracts that include our suppliers’ IT products and services, we are closely monitoring the progress of this initiative. immixGroup recently attended the latest GSA Industry Day in December 2018, where GSA clarified several issues top of mind for current schedule holders. One question that came up concerned Cooperative Purchasing and the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR). While these rules don’t apply to every schedule today, under the single schedule, they will apply at the category level for those categories that are in scope.

As far as timeline, here’s what we can expect to see:

Phase 1 – New schedule development – FY19
Creation of a new solicitation for the single schedule contract
Review of all terms and conditions
Flagging of SIN duplication
Release of new schedule and closure of existing schedules to new offers

Phase 2 – Mass modifications – FY20
Updating of terms and conditions for existing schedule contract holders (Contract holders will keep existing contract numbers and may include SINs that were on separate schedules)

Phase 3 – Multiple contract consolidation – FY20
Consolidation of multiple contracts into single contracts for existing contract holders

While the consolidation will eliminate the need for schedule contractors to manage multiple contracts with multiple contracting officers, it is important GSA consider that specific contracting officers and regional offices may have specific expertise in particular schedule types (e.g., office supplies versus complex enterprise IT). While GSA transitions, we are concerned that as contracting officers learn to manage new categories, there will be steep learning curves and confusion, which may delay and disrupt current business.

Training, which GSA indicated to be a necessity in this transition, is only part of the solution. GSA must recognize there are fundamental differences between the various products and services sold via the schedules program. For instance, some items like software and cloud services will carry additional, vendor-specific commercial terms and conditions just as they do today under the IT 70 Schedule.

GSA also needs to ensure process consistency across all contracting offices and contracting officers. CO’s across the various schedule types, different contracting centers, and even the same schedule type, work differently, using different templates and asking for different information. GSA needs to ensure that all similarly situated schedule holders are treated alike and subject to the same GSA processes and policies.

Finally, the timing of this announcement is a bit surprising, as GSA is in the middle of an even larger and more complicated undertaking, namely the Commercial Platforms (i.e., e-commerce) Initiative.

We are proactively providing our thoughts and comments to GSA and will keep you apprised of developments.

 

Want to hear more insights into the rapidly changing contracting environment? View this on-demand video, “The New Winds of Government Contracting,” from the recent Government IT Sales Summit.

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About Adam Hyman
Adam Hyman is responsible for the overall management and compliance of acquisition contract vehicles held by immixGroup, such as GSA Schedule 70, NASA SEWP V, NETCENTS-II, ESI BPAs and a variety of others including state and local contracts. Hyman brings more than fifteen years of experience in contract administration and program management in the public sector marketplace. He has a B.B.A. in management from American Intercontinental University.

3 Responses to GSA MAS Consolidation – Streamlining Government Purchasing

  1. Greg Cranley says:

    Good information Adam

  2. Pingback: GSA MAS Consolidation – Streamlining Government Purchasing - Government Aggregator

  3. Pingback: DOT Looks to a Consolidated Contract Vehicle | Government Sales Insider - Government Aggregator

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