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.

GSA Chief Wants to Reveal Task Order Data

GSA Chief Emily Murphy May Make Task Order Data More Transparent

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Emily Murphy is contemplating making information on all multiple-award contracts public in the name of transparency. At present, only companies with spots on the solicitations can see relevant solicitations and awards, which offers business intelligence and a competitive edge on the federal market. In 2016, GSA spent over $110 billion through 2,600 multiple-award contracts.

Murphy has had  conversations with both the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Governmentwide Policy. She is currently waiting for the  Federal Acquisition Service to deliver options that might offer some greater transparency. According to Murphy, “This needs to be addressed not just in the microcosm of the GSA schedules…. We need to be looking across government and making sure we are not disadvantaging the schedules program versus other programs, and we are not putting our vendors or our customers at a competitive disadvantage.”

Transparency is only one of four goals Murphy has set for  her term running GSA. Read more here.

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).

Rolling Down the FedRAMP

GSA recently announced the launch of the FedRAMP Tailored Baseline for Cloud Service Providers with Low Impact Software-as-a-Service systems. FedRAMP Tailored aims to support solutions that have low risk and low costs for agencies. This means a streamlined process for a variety of applications. Tailored also standardizes an approach to determine risks associated with cloud applications and provides the government with the freedom to use the cloud while maintaining security.

FedRAMP tailored was open for comment in January and July of 2017. The program provides base security control requirements for industry to meet. Agency authorizing officials are responsible for adding controls where necessary for compliance. GSA believes “The FedRAMP program, including our goals for Tailored, is a key part of issuing an informed, risk-based authority to operate.”

For more information, see the FedRAMP Tailored website. 

GSA System Delays

We wanted to let you all know that GSA is experiencing a few delays, specifically with all e-filing and some modifications.

At this point, our contract management team is reporting that all Schedule 70 mods are being reviewed between 45 and 60 days after receipt, much longer than usual. We assume that this is due to the typical summer slow down (vacations) as well as trainings and technical issues.

Technical issues are affecting the VSC website, as well as eMod, eOffer, and mass mods. We have had reports of PINs not working, the database not finding contractors, incorrect DUNs numbers being returned, etc.

So if you’re experiencing either of the above — it’s not you, it’s GSA (!).