Hard Shutdown

Shutdown? Shut up!

Since Saturday, the United States government has been closed, shut down, unplugged (etc.), including the General Services Administration (GSA) and FAS. Right now, GSA is deferring to 4220.1K ADM, the Order which dictates “Operations in the Absence of Appropriations.”

What does this mean for our clients? Unfortunately, if you currently hold a GSA Schedule, you will not see any work done on your contract modifications and will not receive any government payments. Work for government agencies under the GSA Schedule must be halted during this time unless it is of mission critical importance (you will have been notified if this is you). Companies with proposals into GSA will be in a holding pattern for now, whether they are recently submitted and being triaged to the correct Contracting Officer, under administrative review, in negotiations, or awaiting final award.

“GSA’s role as an aggregator of large numbers of government assets and a supplier of critical tools, equipment, and supplies to other Federal agencies requires that GSA retain adequate staffing under a lapse in appropriations in order to protect Federal property under GSA’s custody and control and to continue to provide critical support to other Federal agencies’ exempt and excepted activities necessary for the protection of life and Federal property.”

In other words, GSA is mostly shut down. Buildings remain open for maintenance, power, and cleaning in a reduced capacity. Small crews are also being kept around to ensure protection of GSA assets and property, and to support other essential Federal agencies. GSA is held more responsible than other agencies to maintain their regular tasks. Think of it as a GSA skeleton crew. When the shutdown is over, GSA will update plans, decide what to do about missed events, and catch up with all the work piling up right now.

We are hopeful this shutdown ends soon. Stay vigilant, folks!

Is eOffer Easier?

eOffer’s New Look

eOffer recently gave the website a makeover for section 508 compliance. Section 508 requires that all federal agencies ensure that persons with disabilities have comparable access to electronic material. This means larger type, more intuitive website mapping, and a more accessible user interface.

Don’t get too excited though: eOffer’s interface still isn’t quite caught up with the times. Only small portions of navigational areas are responsive, headers are cramped, much of the type is still small, and mobile is another beast entirely, although a slightly prettier one than in the past.

To check out the new “look and feel” for yourself, head over to  https://eoffer.gsa.gov/

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).

Summer Slow Down

As we pass Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer, it’s helpful to remember that your GSA Contracting Officer (CO) will most likely have a vacation coming up, just like you.

If you know that an important RFP release is imminent, which will require modifications to your Schedule, we strongly suggest you begin working on the mod requirements now. Time-sensitive changes can bring showers of stress to your lazy summer days, especially if you find out that your CO has just left for a three-week vacation/training on the day you submit. To ensure smooth sailing, give your CO a heads-up about the upcoming mods in advance; ask the CO when s/he expects to be out and how you can avoid lengthy delays of a modification.

Being pro-active now can save you the pain of a lightning strike in mid-July! If you need help with a modification or have further questions, contact your EZGSA proposal specialist at 301-913-5000 or email us today.

News You’d Rather Not Use…

Our sources throughout the GSA product schedules are indicating that the recent process for submitting a modification to the CO for approval before actually submitting it through eMod will be codified in the next round of Schedule refreshes.

While this will cut down on a CO’s official modification time in-house, it will probably mean longer wait times for contractors to obtain mod approval, as there will be no clock measuring the time that the CO will have the mod pre-submission.

We are hopeful that this analysis is incorrect, and your CO will understand that your Schedule modifications require timely approval and only assist the contractor in selling more products to the government. Hopeful….