Yes, Virginia, the Government Needs Shipping Containers Too

A new RFI is out regarding the possible addition of a new Special Item Number (SIN) for shipping containers. Companies interested in responding to the RFI need not hold a GSA Schedule 81 I B Contract.

SIN 617-14, Shipping Containers, is set to include many types and sizes of containers. These include intermodal containers, cargo/freight containers, dry freight, ISO containers, general purpose containers, high cube or hi-cube containers, and collapsible/inflatable flat pack shipping containers. The draft SIN does not propose limitations on the circumstances in which the shipping containers can be sold — this means companies can sell shipping containers through the SIN for routine or intermittent use or for emergency disaster shipments.

GSA is also proposing an update to an existing SIN under Schedule 81 IB. A description change from “Maintenance, Repair and Modification of Containers” to “Modification/Repair/Customization of Containers.” This change accounts for various speciality characteristics.

If you have questions about GSA Schedule 81 I B please give us a call at (301) 913-5000.

 

eBuy Open Launches

eBuy Open takes eBuy a step further — this electronic Request for Quote (RFQ) system launched just this week. The one-year pilot will test whether¬† vendors without a GSA Schedule contract will be better able to determine their intentions with regard to the Schedules or subcontracting opportunities.

GSA’s idea is to increase new entrants in its acquisition vehicle programs, increase¬†competition, and promote transparency. This latter part will be promoted through federal buying opportunities receiving public view in eBuy of opportunities posted, after contract award.

A test group of government purchasers is included in the one-year pilot program, comprised of contracting officers from the GSA Office of Internal Acquisition and the FAS Region Southwest Supply and Acquisition Center for GSA-funded procurements. The test group will upload award notices for public viewing of each eBuy award. Opportunities can be found by entering the keyword “eBuyPilot” in the search box.

Please call EZGSA at 301-913-5000 if we can assist or answer any questions.

Sign on the dotted line…

On the recent-GSA-trend front, our EZGSA proposal specialists have noticed our Contracting Officers making a small but significant change to GSA Schedule awards.

Until recently, COs would provide us with a GSA Schedule contract number immediately upon issue and contractor signature of the SF1449. This allowed businesses to begin marketing their Schedules immediately, as well as prepare for new task orders with interested government clients. Recently, however, the COs have been waiting to give a contract number until it has been countersigned. And the number is being issued with a modification, effectively changing the contract before it’s been awarded.

A little confusing, yes. Tragic, no. But if you have questions, give us a call and we will do our best to answer them. 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.

 

Proposed Schedule 736 Enhancements

GSA Region 2 FAS Intends to Upgrade and Re-organize Schedule 736

Proposed modifications to Schedule 736 aim to make the schedule more customer-friendly and make Wage Grade Occupations and Professional Labor Categories more visible. According to the plan, there will be two primary SINs: 736-1 for Wage Grade Occupations and 736-5 for Professional Labor Categories. SIN 736-99 will remain unchanged.

The new categorization only applies to pending and not-yet-approved wage grade categories. Vendors under SINs 736-2, 736-3, and 736-4 will be consolidated into the two remaining SINs based on their current offerings. After the consolidation, those SINs will be deleted. FAS will update the solicitation to reflect all current Temp Help regulations, and contain a new ordering guide for customers.

Vendors who offer both Wage Grade and Professional Labor Rates will have to separate out their offerings. Through eMod, they should add either of the two primary SINs that apply to their offerings. Creation and submission of a new pricelist will be required, but price changes and new labor category additions are not allowed at this time.

Existing task orders will not be impacted, and will remain valid until their natural expirations. The SIN descriptions will show the entire List of Occupational Categories based on the fifth edition of the DOL Occupations Directory.

Ultimately, FAS aims to increase utilization of the schedule (as full-time hiring is becoming greatly abridged), streamline procurement and end contract redundancy, and facilitate greater capture of marketshare.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about these changes, please call our office at 301-913-5000.