Ch Ch Ch Changes … to the GSA Schedules

GSA is preparing to release a round of Schedule refreshes next month, so prepare for a bunch of mass modifications. And if you are in the midst of completing your GSA Schedule proposal, either submit now or expect to review the entire solicitation again come April.

New policies represented in the GSA Schedules will include small business subcontracting changes, updates to those entities that can access the Schedules for purchases, SCA adjustments, and modifications in the Disaster Purchasing Program. For instance, the Red Cross and other qualified organizations will have access to the Schedules during emergency preparedness and disaster relief. Additionally, the following specifics may be of interest to our clients:

  • Subcontracting plans for ‘other-than-small’ businesses will now be at the CO’s discretion. For all intents and purposes, however, these will still have to be submitted with your proposal.
  • The Pathways to Success training has been removed as a requirement for streamlined offers.
  • Montenegro and New Zealand are now TAA compliant countries.
  • Federal contractors now receive paid sick leave.

If you have any questions about how these changes will affect your Schedule contract, feel free to give us a call at 301-913-5000. We look forward to assisting you with this new round of changes.

Scared of the CAV or IOA?

Is your GSA Schedule in good health? The government ensures that your GSA Schedule stays sound by performing occasional audits, checking that your business is following the rules under which the contract was awarded. While you may have the best intentions of remaining in compliance, new hires, misunderstandings about regulatory requirements, and price changes can trip you up, causing problems in the audit itself.

EZGSA offers a Schedule Check-Up that helps to prevent negative audit findings. Many of our clients utilize this service once a year, just as you get a physical once a year — as an objective view of your GSA Schedule’s soundness.

In the GSA Schedule Check-Up, we review:

  • invoices;
  • sales to your Most Favored Customer;
  • sales to all government agencies;
  • internal Commercial Sales Practices procedures;
  • 72A reporting and payments; and
  • open market sales.

If discrepancies are found, we assist you in correcting the problems as well as developing new procedures that will prevent replication of the problems.

Contact us at 301-913-5000 or sales@ezgsa.com to see if your business can benefit from a Schedule Check-Up, either as a yearly preventative or before the Auditor visits.

Need-to-Know Tidbits About Schedule 65IIA

In trying to modify a client’s GSA Schedule 65IIA, we have had to deal with some changes in the solicitation and wanted to make you all aware of potential problems.

First, Contracting Officers are no longer allowing distributors to provide Letters of Supply and now require all such letters to originate from the manufacturer only.

Secondly, the solicitation now requires that the facilities where all devices are manufactured be registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This has proven troublesome for resellers on the Schedule, especially those who have previously honored agreements with manufacturers that now balk at this extra level of administrative oversight.

If you have questions or need help dealing with an issue such as this, contact us at admin@ezgsa.com or 301-913-5000.

Disaster Response for Contractors

As a contractor to the US government, what should be our response to disasters? How can we help? We see pictures of the devastation, and it seems very far away. There is a hurricane approaching the coast of Florida. Baton Rouge needs rebuilding. Fires in California have been burning for weeks.

Helping as a contractor is simple: continue offering your products and services; specifically, reach out to state and local governments in regions that need assistance.

The federal government extends GSA pricing to state and local governments during times of emergency recovery. GSA Schedules offer the lowest rates and the least hassle for many  government entities in crisis. By buying through GSA, communities are able to recover sooner and with less expense. When there are serious emergencies, you don’t have to do something extraordinary. Simply being available and offering your business expertise may be the best thing you can do.  

There are certain indicators that we plan on: agency forecasts and contract cycles. But we should also be aware that every year there tragedies happen. Expected, yet unpredictable. These events can  motivate you to help rebuild the lives of others. Offering your products and services through the GSA to areas in need is a great way for you to help immediately.

Can Business Partners Put Your GSA Schedule At Risk?

It goes without saying that the GSA Schedule contract is between the listed business and the government. However, in reality, there are other parties who, while not held to the terms of the contract, still have a significant impact on the ability for a business to execute their contract. Suppliers or manufactures, for example, can change their rates; but it is incumbent upon each contract holder to adjust their commercial pricelist and avoid overcharging the government.

Even seemingly small changes by business partners can have serious repercussions.  This week an EZGSA client presented this problem: their major supplier, Motorola, was removing the MRSP from vendor pricing sheets. The cost to the vendor didn’t change, but there would no longer be a listed price. Yet because our client’s GSA prices were based off of a discount to the MSRP, the old GSA prices were now rendered null and void.

To continue selling to the government without addressing this would violate at least the Price Reductions Clause, and probably the False Claims Act, both of which subject the offending company to numerous penalties. And those penalties can compound the longer they are left unaddressed. Thankfully, we were able to identify the issue promptly and work with the Contracting Officer to create a new basis of award for the client.

Be aware of any changes made by the companies with which you do business. If you see something that seems out of the ordinary, ask for help. Price changes may be the result of manufacturing changes, which may indicate that the Country of Origin has changed. A new price list may require a new letter of supply. Any number of changes to how businesses choose to work with you may result in your needing to change the GSA Schedule terms and rates.

For more information or assistance, contact EZGSA at Iwohner@EZGSA.com or 301-913-5000.