MAS BPAs, are a good thing

When federal agencies need to place product or service orders, on a recurring basis, they often turn to Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA.).

A MAS BPA is an agreement established by an authorized ordering activity with a Schedule contractor to fill repeat demands for supplies or services, in accordance with FAR 8.405-3.  MAS BPAs and all succeeding orders have the same terms and conditions as the initial Schedule contract. MAS BPAs save the government time and money and give agencies control over their procurements. (GSA Interact August 18, 2021)

MAS BPA benefits:

  • Easier for agencies to fill recurrent needs
  • Efficient for agencies contracting for similar types of work
  • Savings in the form of volume discounts
  • Consistency within the terms and conditions of the BPA
  • Decreases in procurement costs, acquisition time, and administrative effort
  • Small business set-aside procedures assist the government in meeting socioeconomic goals (ibid)

MAS BPA features:

  • On-Ramps – allowing additional contractors as required or to refresh small business participation
  • Funding – funding is required only when an order is placed
  • Faster Ordering – more streamlined ordering process
  • Estimated Value – no minimums or caps
  • Agency Level Terms and Conditions – agencies may add terms and conditions as long as there is no conflict with the original MAS contract terms and conditions
  • Category Management – as outlined by the Office of Management and Budget, all MAS BPAs support category management (ibid)

As a mechanism for promoting fair competition, FAR 8.405.3(a)(3)(i) states a preference for multiple-award MAS BPAs. In addition, MAS BPAs may be extended past five years if necessary to meet program requirements. Some agencies have long-term MAS BPAs to meet agency missions. (ibid)

A single-award MAS BPA can not exceed one year, however, it may have four one-year options. The head of an agency approves all single-award BPAs exceeding $100M. In addition, Order Level Material (OLM) procedures are allowable at the BPA or order level to add contract support items, making MAS BPAs a win for government agencies and contractors. (ibid)

Questions about MAS BPAs or a GSA Schedule award? Give us a call.

 

Digital Certs, Out; Docusign, In

As of 30 November 30, all Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) holders are required to use DocuSign to digitally sign Documents in eOffer and eMod. (GSA Interact, October 28, 2020)

Additionally, GSA plans for the eOffer and eMod system to join FAS systems, including FAS Sales Reporting Portal (SRP), GSA Advantage Purchase Order Portal, GSA Vendor Portal, eBuy Seller, and the Mass Mod Portal, using GSA’s FAS ID multi-factor authentication (MFA). GSA’s FAS ID, allows contractors to access GSA applications using a single email and password. This transition will take place in Q2 of 2021.

During 25 – 29 November, contractors and offerors will not be allowed to submit offers and/or requests for modifications in eOffer and eMod. GSA advises planning ahead! If your document requires a contracting officer’s signature, it must be obtained by 23 November 2020. (ibid)

Digital certificates are required until the transition to DocuSign and GSA FAS ID is complete. Although digital certificates are not required once DocuSign is complete, those certificates may be required by other government agencies or private companies, therefore GSA advises holding onto your hard copies. (ibid)

Scrambling to get those documents signed by November 23rd? Give us a call.

 

 

Not a “tricky” October 31st Deadline

A Multiple Award Schedule deadline is fast approaching. All contractors must do the following to remain in compliance with the MAS Consolidation Mass Mod A812:

  1. Update your catalog in GSA Advantage
  2. Update your Price List (text file) (GSA Interact September 8, 2020)

To remain in GSA Advantage, your SIP or EDI catalog to the consolidated MAS SINs must be updated before October 31, 2020, or you risk disruption to your catalog status or access to eTools. To accomplish the update, see the SIP/EDI Catalog Update Guide. All catalog submissions must be approved by your CO. (ibid)

Additionally, all schedule holders must update their Price List (Text File) using the MAS Consolidation Price List Guide, organizing their contract offerings under the new SIN structure. (ibid)

To aid contractors with their updates, webinars are being offered as well as a Vendor Support Center Help Desk at vendor.support@gsa.gov or call 877-495-4849. (ibid)

Having trouble getting your questions answered? Give us a call.

FAR 51 Deviation Authority is expired!

Here’s what you need to know.  Contracting officers were permitted to give contractors access to the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) and GSA Global Supply Programs if appropriate, for the fulfillment of their agency requirements. They used the FAR 51 Deviation Authority vehicle for this purpose. On 23 October, the FAR 51 Deviation expired. It will no longer be used on orders placed after this date. Under Refresh 1, clause CI-FSS-056 Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 51 Deviation Authority (Federal Supply Schedules) (Jan 2010) is deleted.

In lieu of FAR 51 Deviation, agencies may use Order Level Material (OLM) procedures to acquire other direct costs (OCDs) and material support items to meet specific order requirements. Additional information for OLMs may be found at www.gsa.gov/olm.

Many question if a contracting officer can issue a letter of authority (required by the Deviation) anytime during the life of the order, if the order or BPA was awarded on or before 23 October 2019. The short answer is yes, as long as the order was issued prior to the 23 October Deviation expiration date. However, if the BPA was awarded prior to then, and subsequent award terms were awarded after 23 October, those subsequent award terms may not use the deviation.

Wondering if you are grandfathered in and still able to take advantage of the FAR 51 Deviation Authority? Give us a call.

Specs of the New IT Large Category

In GSA’s new Consolidated Schedule, Information Technology comprises one of the twelve large categories under which you can hold products and services. This large category has seven subcategories, including the following:

  • electronic commerce
  • IT hardware
  • IT services
  • IT software
  • IT solutions
  • IT training
  • telecommunications

Former SINs 132-33 and 132-34 now fall under NAICS code 511210, software licenses. Also, 132-54 and 132-55 now use code 517410, commercial satellite communications solutions (COMSATCOM).

If you submitted a FastLane proposal to IT in the past month or so, it has been put on hold until January 2020.