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!

Heard it Through the GSA Grapevine…

A plausible source at GSA has told EZGSA proposal specialists that the minimum yearly sales requirement for GSA Schedules is going to be increasing soon.

While this won’t be a problem for contractors that already more than meet the current sales requirement of $25,000 in the first two years and $25,000 per year subsequently, it could make it even more difficult for those businesses that struggle with selling off their Schedule.

If you need help or have questions about this increase, please contact your EZGSA proposal specialist or call 301-913-5000.

Schedule 736: Enhancement Proposal

GSA Region 2 FAS Intends to Re-organize 736 for Usability

GSA has proposed enhancements to Schedule 736 to make it more customer-friendly and offer greater visibility to occupations and categories under the schedule. The Schedule will be streamlined to two SINs, one for Wage-Grade Occupations (736-1) and one for Professional Labor Categories (736-5).

Vendors under 736-2 through 736-4 will be consolidated under the two primary SINs based on current offerings. The three redundant SINs will be deleted after the migration. The solicitation will be updated to reflect current regulations regarding temp help. It will also include a new ordering guide for customers.

Vendors who offer both Wage-Grade Occupations and Professional Labor Categories will be required to separate out their offerings, as well as create and submit a new pricelist to facilitate the changes. This can be done through eMod. Prices and labor categories should not change at this time.

The SIN descriptions will be enhanced to show the entire List of Occupational Categories based on the DOL Occupations Directory.

The goal is to increase schedule use in a time when full time hiring is greatly decreased.

What do you think of the changes?

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.

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/