Webinars, Seminars, and an Exposition

GSA is hosting several upcoming events:

October 8th -10th – The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) is holding their annual meeting and exposition October 8th – October 10th. The event will take place at the Washington, DC Convention Center with over 700 exhibits and 30,000 attendees and offers a great opportunity to meet Department of Defense decision makers. To register and obtain additional information, visit their website at  http://ausameetings.org/2018annualmeeting/ for additional information.

October 11th  – 1:00-3:00 PM EST  – Webinar offered by the Building Maintenance and Operations (BMO) and Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA). An overview of the BMO acquisition strategy for the government-wide strategic sourcing contract vehicle and detailed ordering procedures. Eligible attendees who register will be provided a virtual meeting link prior to the training. https://www.gsa.gov/events/building-maintenance-and-operations-overview-dpa-training-virtual-892018

October 18th – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST – Webinar offered by GSA Office of Travel, Transportation, and Logistics (TTL) Medium and Heavy Vehicle Branch (QMAAB). Expect training on Subcontracting Plans and reporting in the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSARS). It is recommended that large businesses required to have a Subcontracting Plan attend this meeting. It is strongly encouraged that questions be submitted in advance of the webinar. To join the meeting:

To join the meeting:

https://meet.gsa.gov/autovirtual/

Conference Number(s):

US (Toll): 1-719-325-2013

US (Toll-Free): 1-866-928-2008

Participant Code: 629681

 

Please give EZGSA a call if we can answer any questions at 301-913-5000.

Reverse Auction is Reversed!

GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is decommissioning the ReverseAuctions (RA) platform on September 30, 2018. The RA platform will not be available for either the creation or management of auctions after this date. Auctions with end dates after October 1, 2018, will be allowed to conclude as scheduled, and GSA will maintain RA system access for users, allowing for the retrieval of auction related documents through December 31, 2018.

Note: FSSI OS3 vendors can continue to log in and bid on OS3 auctions.

 

Oh Say Can You See? Focus on the Micro-Purchase Threshold

During a recent industry day, GSA reiterated that the Portals Program will focus on transactions under the Micro-Purchase Threshold. The current draft of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act grants a GSA request to increase the Micro-Purchase threshold for purchases through approved portals to $25,000. If included  in the final draft, this will make the Portals Program the preferred vehicle for any micro-purchases. The GSA Schedules Program will remain the preferred contracting vehicle for all other commercial item procurements. GSA said this would simplify the acquisition process and address federal buying requirements (such as considering AbilityOne and designated small business contractors for procurement).

On the other hand, not all industry partners are so enthusiastic. Will this create two completely separate market places for the same services and products, at two different price barriers? Some contractors are nervous that the Portal initiative might create a different compliance structure from Multiple Award Contracts,  potentially leaving businesses with difficult decisions. The concern is that the move will create parallel systems of compliance and companies will have to weigh the cost of navigating both.

Roger Waldron, president of Coalition for Government Procurement, has an example. “If there are compliance requirements in one channel and they don’t exist in another channel, do (businesses) stay in the channel where they have compliance requirements and increase costs and lower margins? They are going to be making those kinds of business decisions ultimately.”

In response, GSA officials said they are still weighing how to design the policies for the portals and would be testing the new micropurchase threshold in a proof of concept pilot sometime next year. Jeffrey Koses of the Office of Governmentwide Policy said GSA is “still trying to determine if this is more of an [indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity] type of relationship or is this something else. It’s a fair question. I don’t know if we have all of the answers at this point.”

GSA released two RFIs about the regulations needed- one for suppliers that sell on commercial e-commerce platforms and one for commercial providers. Leave your thoughts there, or in our comments.

Ride the On-Ramp to OASIS

GSA to add On-Ramps to OASIS unrestricted pools

On May 9, GSA announced plans to add vendors to two underused OASIS pools: pool two for financial services, and pool six for aircraft R&D.

OASIS, a set of 10-year government wide multiple-award-contracts, totals $60 billion for knowledge-based services such as management and consulting services. GSA plans to make 15 contract awards for pool two, and two contract awards for pool six. A final RFP should be released by May 31, after which vendors will have 30 days to submit proposals.

Since fiscal year 2015, most contract holders on most pools haven’t won many orders. GSA is currently focusing on the pools with the lowest spending levels. Contractors considering a bid should assess themselves against the self-scoring evaluation in the original solicitation. There are currently no minimum scores for the pools on the table.

 

OLM rule finalized

OLMs, Order-Level Materials, are goods and services that are not covered by original FSS contracts or BPAs, but are necessary to the completion of a particular order. Historically, FSS prohibited agencies from adding them into task orders and delivery orders placed against contracts. This meant agencies could only acquire them by placing task orders on multiple-award-contracts, and were hence forced to make two separate procurements. However, on January 24, FSS issued a final rule to authorize agencies to acquire OLMs when placing orders, offering greater flexibility and efficiency.

The rule makes clear that OLMs are not open-market items, but rather may be added to an order under the new GSAR provision 552.238-82. The list of schedules authorized to allow for OLMs should soon be available here. 

Under the new rule, agencies may add OLMs up to one-third the value of the order, with some restrictions. Except for travel OLMs, each proposed OLM above the simplified acquisition threshold of $150,000 should come with three quotes. This ensures that prices are fair and reasonable.

Industry partners with affected GSA FSS schedules will receive bilateral modifications from GSA adding the OLM Special Item Numbers (SINs) to their GSA contracts. Before accepting, contractors should ensure that they have policies and procedures in place to comply with the three-quote requirement and the OLM limitation of one-third of the total order value.

Overall, this looks like a welcome change that will increase efficiency and decrease administrative costs.