Final Rule released for Common Commercial Terms

GSA Final Rule Defines Common Commercial Terms

On February 22, GSA issued a Final Rule addressing common terms that are inconsistent with Federal Law. The rule aims to streamline agreements over CSAs, EULAs, Terms of Sale, and similar sets of terms and conditions. The rule reverses several controversial provisions from an earlier Proposed Rule and class deviation by reverting the order of precedence and eliminating the requirement to provide full text of all provisions.

The rule also formalizes the longstanding stance that certain terms and conditions cannot be enforced by law via a paragraph addition to GSAR 552.212-4. The paragraph identifies 15 common commercial terms, which are viewed as non-negotiable and required by federal law. It prohibits automatic  renewals, and provides that disputes are governed by federal law. The change allows GSA to ignore these clauses during negotiations, thereby reducing time and expenses. Among the included terms are:

  • commercial supplier agreements
  • unenforceability of unauthorized obligations
  • solicitation provisions and contract clauses for the acquisition of commercial items

GSA responded well to industry complaints about the proposed rule, modifying or reversing the most egregious propositions.

For more information see the National Law Review.

Proposed Schedule 736 Enhancements

GSA Region 2 FAS Intends to Upgrade and Re-organize Schedule 736

Proposed modifications to Schedule 736 aim to make the schedule more customer-friendly and make Wage Grade Occupations and Professional Labor Categories more visible. According to the plan, there will be two primary SINs: 736-1 for Wage Grade Occupations and 736-5 for Professional Labor Categories. SIN 736-99 will remain unchanged.

The new categorization only applies to pending and not-yet-approved wage grade categories. Vendors under SINs 736-2, 736-3, and 736-4 will be consolidated into the two remaining SINs based on their current offerings. After the consolidation, those SINs will be deleted. FAS will update the solicitation to reflect all current Temp Help regulations, and contain a new ordering guide for customers.

Vendors who offer both Wage Grade and Professional Labor Rates will have to separate out their offerings. Through eMod, they should add either of the two primary SINs that apply to their offerings. Creation and submission of a new pricelist will be required, but price changes and new labor category additions are not allowed at this time.

Existing task orders will not be impacted, and will remain valid until their natural expirations. The SIN descriptions will show the entire List of Occupational Categories based on the fifth edition of the DOL Occupations Directory.

Ultimately, FAS aims to increase utilization of the schedule (as full-time hiring is becoming greatly abridged), streamline procurement and end contract redundancy, and facilitate greater capture of marketshare.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about these changes, please call our office at 301-913-5000.

Heard it Through the GSA Grapevine…

A plausible source at GSA has told EZGSA proposal specialists that the minimum yearly sales requirement for GSA Schedules is going to be increasing soon.

While this won’t be a problem for contractors that already more than meet the current sales requirement of $25,000 in the first two years and $25,000 per year subsequently, it could make it even more difficult for those businesses that struggle with selling off their Schedule.

If you need help or have questions about this increase, please contact your EZGSA proposal specialist or call 301-913-5000.

Get your (webinar) Links in!

GSA Reopening the Office Supply Schedule with New (and improved?) SINs

GSA is opening Schedule 75 to new offers after a number of years, and they’ve added a new Special Item Number (SIN), called Office Supplies Fourth Generation (OS4).

SIN 75-200 for Office Products  have updated requirements, including a demonstrated ability to meet all environmental reporting and green product requirements, a system to comply with the Trade Agreements Act, and updated Letter of Supply requirements. Overhauled  Letters of Supply will also be required for 75-85 (Restroom Products) and SIN 75-210 (Office Services).

The optional requirements for all above SINs are AbilityOne-Certifications and Transactional Data Reporting. OS4 includes SIN 75-220 for Office Products and Services as well as SIN 75-280 for Overseas Office Products and Services. There is no deadline to submit an offer for these SINs.

Read more and leave comments here.

A web conference discussing these changes and answering questions will be held on January 9 at 1:30 Eastern Standard Time. Tune in here.

 

The Contract-Gift that keeps on giving

GSA offers continuous contracts to successful MAS contractors

With so many of our current clients approaching the sunset of their 20-year contract Schedule periods, we are pleased that GSA has finally released an official rule to help with ongoing Blank Purchase Agreements (BPAs).

In the past, the end of the Schedule options meant contractors had to perform a juggling act with their government clients to keep BPAs from becoming inactive or going to a competitor. When BPAs extend past the expiration date of their underlying MAS contracts, orders can be placed until the last day of the schedule contract, but no option periods can be used after the Schedule contract expires.

GSA has finally allowed contractors to maintain overlapping or continuous contracts. These contracts are essentially duplicate MAS contracts for different periods of performance. Holding two contracts is not mandatory, and for many contractors, would be unnecessary. But for others, it can be a business-saver.

For those that do need it, continuous contracts will allow contractors to complete work under BPAs, while simultaneously seeking new  business opportunities. Contractors should be aware that this may result in extra reporting burdens, but will be happy to know that MAS now has a streamlined process and revised requirements for previously successful contractors submitting offers for new contracts under the same schedule.

Readiness assessments, financial statements, corporate experience, open ratings report, and relevant project experience requirements have all been eliminated or greatly reduced for successful MAS contractors. To qualify, contractors must propose the same Special Item Numbers as those awarded under existing contracts, meet the minimum sales requirement under the existing contract, and demonstrate a pattern of satisfactory past performance.

For more information, check the vendor support center or contact us here at EZGSA (301-913-5000).