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.

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).

Done With DUNS?

GSA issues RFI for alternative to Dun & Bradstreet’s legal identifiers

GSA has issued a RFI and a draft performance work statement in pursuit of an alternative to the current legal identifiers supplied by Dun & Bradstreet. GSA is “exploring all viable means of continuing to meet its ongoing need for entity identification and validation services after the contract’s expiration.” The new RFI builds upon an earlier request from February, and primarily seeks feedback on the statement of work.

The draft states that GSA aims to fill both technical and business needs. They highlight the need to “Determine entity uniqueness, which could include the assignment and/or use of a unique entity identifier in perpetuity, validation of certain entity data, and associated services,” as well as a method of understanding the hierarchy of entities,  and “a method to determine relevant information about an entity that is being excluded from doing business with the government.”

Technical objectives include real-time data for validation services, machine-readable formatting that doesn’t require custom software, and transfer and resting data encryption. The RFI has been widely welcomed by Dun & Bradstreet, as well as other industry partners. The contract expires in 2018, so be ready for changes.

Same Old Song (Ugh)

Ready for another government shut-down? Of course you’re not. None of us are. But the real possibility of a work stoppage when Congress returns from summer recess has us singing the blues all over again.

As reported in the Washington Post yesterday, the Professional Services Council (PSC), which represents more than 400 government tech and service companies, has sent out a warning to begin preparing for the expiring spending plan on 30 September. Additionally, without raising the debt ceiling, short term spending will cease. Uncertainty about spending plans and expectations from the current administration is causing the most unease.

Again, from the Post: the PSC chief executive says,” I have never seen this many moving parts this unconnected to each other this late in the game. It’s not intellectually difficult … but where do the votes come from, and is the president going to sign it?”

Stay tuned.

DoD eMall is dead. Long Live FedMall!

Same function, different name. We welcome FedMall to the land of commerce, contracting, and commercial-off-the-shelf federal purchasing.

With this new site, government buyers experience a more user-friendly interface, enhanced search functions, and easy comparability of similar products.

Contractors must complete a familiar process, very similar to what was required of eMall. This includes having an authentication certificate (CAC card, PIV card, etc.); your CAGE code; active SAM registration; and your contract number. The contract number represents your existing GSA Schedule or other Long Term Agreement or Blanket Purchase Agreement. Office supply providers are the one exception to this — they simply upload their products.

To begin the process of being listed on FedMall, go to https://www.suppliers.fedmall.mil. For more information, you can review the Quick Start Guide or contact us here at EZGSA (301-913-5000).