FAS Boss Talks Shop

In a recent interview, Alan Thomas, the Federal Acquisition Service commissioner, promises that agency customer and industry partners are helping to drive the schedules’ modernization strategy. This includes making it easier to buy products and services, such as allowing agencies to combine products and services —  order level materials (OLMs) or other direct costs (ODCs) — under one buy. Although the impact will likely not be felt until 2019, vendors and buyers can take advantage of the change today, according to Thomas. The “one buy” option requires a contract modification and special item number addition.  

Another major change is the elimination of minimum purchase thresholds, which is extremely helpful for those needing only one of an item, and not 5 or 10.

The next fiscal year is likely to see major changes to the Schedules program. Thomas said FAS will possibly consolidate schedules down to one or a smaller set of Schedule contracts, in order to make it easier for customer purchasing. This will remove the difficulty of figuring out which schedule to buy from in perceived overlaps. Thomas wants to reduce confusion for agency customers and make it less burdensome for vendors who may be managing many schedules. Implementation of this change would not take place until late 2019 or possibly 2020.

Another change Thomas is looking to implement is the reduction in the number of contractors on schedules, beginning with those who have not had any sales in two or more years. Schedule holders, be aware: sell your products/services through the Schedule and claim these on your 72(a) to ensure you aren’t on the chopping block. 

Other major changes coming to schedules revolve around transparency and fee adjustments. Thomas said vendors must be able to see what agencies are buying through RFQs or task orders so they know whether the Schedules are being utilized.  Will the new e-Buy pilot provide that transparency? Who knows. And we wonder what making the fee structure consistent across Schedules will actually ‘look’ like.

Finally, GSA and VA are trying to improve their collaboration across similar contracts. Thomas said VA is looking at the technology that GSA uses to manage its Schedule program and global supply program for more control, visibility and greater efficiencies in its micro-purchase expenditures.

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Actions needed for Schedule 75 Contract holders

On January 10, GSA released plans for Mass Mod A598, and now they’re following through. Changes for Schedule 75, Office Supplies, include new business rules, new TAA compliance standards, new environmental guidance, and a new letter of supply.

Contract holders must sign the new Letter of Supply, GSA Business Rules, and Critical Information Specific to Schedule 75, and return them to GSA by the deadline on June 30, as well as supplying new TAA Operating Procedures. Otherwise, their contracts will fall out of compliance, and GSA may take action such as removal of the GSA pricelist from GSAAdvantage, or cancellation of the contract itself.

After contractors complete all required documents, they should upload the files to a new Terms and Conditions modification in eMod. GSA will then finalize the modification and incorporate into the GSA MAS Schedule Contract.

For the necessary documents, and more information, visit the solicitation. And of course, EZGSA is always here to help you with questions! Call 301-913-5000 or email mbotello@ezgsa.com.

Office Relocation SIN Relocating!

Are you a Schedule 48, SIN 653-8 contractor? This office relocation area of the Transportation, Delivery, and Relocation Schedule is disappearing into the ether, and soon. GSA has decided to consolidate two very similar SINs under two different schedules.

  • If you also have a Schedule 71 IIK contract, SIN 712-3, you are golden and don’t have much to worry about — your services are already covered under the other contract; GSA will simply cancel your Schedule 48 SIN (or the entire Schedule if 653-8 is your only SIN).
  • For those with only the single 653-8 SIN on Schedule 48, GSA will move your services onto SIN 712-3. Typical government-ese bureaucratic work will be involved, but it’s not too egregious.
  • For those who have additional SINs on Schedule 48, you have a choice of deleting the relocating SIN and keeping your Schedule, as well as applying for the 71 IIK SIN after 1 July; OR delete the other Schedule 48 SINs, canceling the contract and transitioning to 71 IIK and then re-applying through streamline for Schedule 48.

Whew. Confusing, right? Fear not, we are here to help. Give us a call at 301-913-5000, and we’ll get you through it!

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GSA Reopening the Office Supply Schedule with New (and improved?) SINs

GSA is opening Schedule 75 to new offers after a number of years, and they’ve added a new Special Item Number (SIN), called Office Supplies Fourth Generation (OS4).

SIN 75-200 for Office Products  have updated requirements, including a demonstrated ability to meet all environmental reporting and green product requirements, a system to comply with the Trade Agreements Act, and updated Letter of Supply requirements. Overhauled  Letters of Supply will also be required for 75-85 (Restroom Products) and SIN 75-210 (Office Services).

The optional requirements for all above SINs are AbilityOne-Certifications and Transactional Data Reporting. OS4 includes SIN 75-220 for Office Products and Services as well as SIN 75-280 for Overseas Office Products and Services. There is no deadline to submit an offer for these SINs.

Read more and leave comments here.

A web conference discussing these changes and answering questions will be held on January 9 at 1:30 Eastern Standard Time. Tune in here.

 

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?