FAR 51 Deviation Authority is expired!

Here’s what you need to know.  Contracting officers were permitted to give contractors access to the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) and GSA Global Supply Programs if appropriate, for the fulfillment of their agency requirements. They used the FAR 51 Deviation Authority vehicle for this purpose. On 23 October, the FAR 51 Deviation expired. It will no longer be used on orders placed after this date. Under Refresh 1, clause CI-FSS-056 Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 51 Deviation Authority (Federal Supply Schedules) (Jan 2010) is deleted.

In lieu of FAR 51 Deviation, agencies may use Order Level Material (OLM) procedures to acquire other direct costs (OCDs) and material support items to meet specific order requirements. Additional information for OLMs may be found at www.gsa.gov/olm.

Many question if a contracting officer can issue a letter of authority (required by the Deviation) anytime during the life of the order, if the order or BPA was awarded on or before 23 October 2019. The short answer is yes, as long as the order was issued prior to the 23 October Deviation expiration date. However, if the BPA was awarded prior to then, and subsequent award terms were awarded after 23 October, those subsequent award terms may not use the deviation.

Wondering if you are grandfathered in and still able to take advantage of the FAR 51 Deviation Authority? Give us a call.

Specs of the New IT Large Category

In GSA’s new Consolidated Schedule, Information Technology comprises one of the twelve large categories under which you can hold products and services. This large category has seven subcategories, including the following:

  • electronic commerce
  • IT hardware
  • IT services
  • IT software
  • IT solutions
  • IT training
  • telecommunications

Former SINs 132-33 and 132-34 now fall under NAICS code 511210, software licenses. Also, 132-54 and 132-55 now use code 517410, commercial satellite communications solutions (COMSATCOM).

If you submitted a FastLane proposal to IT in the past month or so, it has been put on hold until January 2020.

GSA Schedules’ Summer Diet

GSA decided it’s high time that 24 multiple award schedules shrink all the way down to one.

To accomplish this, GSA is conducting an analysis across all Schedules, which include 10 million commercial products and services that bring in more than $31 billion in sales annually. Public feedback can be provided on the consolidation through a recently released request for information (RFI); it asks the public to weight in on the contents as well as clauses and provisions being considered. (Nextgov, June 2019)

According to Stephanie Shutt, director of the MAS Program Management Office, streamlining terms and conditions will make if it far easier for vendors to work with the government and vice versa. (ibid)

The current plan is a single schedule for services and products that are “mapped to the current government-wide category structure.” Special Item Numbers (which help identify products) are also falling under review. New SINs will follow shortly and as with the MAS, will be open for public comment. (ibid) We’ve also heard rumors that GSA will be dispensing with SINs all together, and will instead use NAICS codes.

Big changes! Give us a call with any questions about the RFI or how your current contract might be affected.

Modding the Mods

Sign of things to come? Who knows. But if your GSA Schedule falls under Region 2 (the Northeast and Caribbean), new required interactive modification templates have been released. Schedules affected include:

  • 00CORP
  • 738 X
  • 736
  • 67
  • 75
  • 76
  • 81 I B

With the new one-Schedule-fits-all release in less than three months, we’re betting this new method for submitting mods will take over all Schedules sooner rather than later.

Got questions? Give us a call!

Couple of Specifics in 00Corp Refresh

The latest Refresh 34 of the Solicitation introduced some major changes in the requirements for the PSS (00CORP) schedule.

The Solicitation added a new Clause SCP-FSS-008 applicable only to offers under 00CORP. Below is directly from the Solicitation:

      1. Add new Provision SCP-FSS-008 Specific Proposal Submission Instructions for Schedule 00CORP – PSS. Provision SCP-FSS-002 no longer applies to offers submitted under 00CORP – PSS. SCP FSS-008 makes the following changes to proposal instruction requirements:
      2. Only one project experience is required per each SIN
      3. No project substitutions are allowed
      4. All training courses proposed must have training course descriptions; all products or ODCs must have descriptions
      5. All additional proposal instructions specific to PSS SINs are removed from the SIN descriptions and included in SCP-FSS-008.

We’ll continue looking into the changes, but call us in the mean time at 301-913-5000 if you have any questions.