A one-stop shop
GSA considers offering a new convenience service for agencies
The General Services Administration is requesting comments on a plan to add ancillary repair and alteration services to the GSA schedules program. The agency wants to provide a one-stop shopping experience for users who now have to go to other procurement vehicles to get those services.
Such office or building construction services are sometimes required to fulfill schedule procurements. For example, an agency that purchases computers under Schedule 70 must buy office furniture under Schedule 71. Suppose that agency also needs help altering its existing office space to accommodate the furniture and installing cabling for the new computers.
The way the schedules are structured now, users would have to procure services separately to fill both needs. The additional step complicates the installation process and incurs extra costs for the buyer.
GSA has proposed offering the ancillary repair and alteration services by adding a Special Item Number to existing GSA schedules, creating a new schedule or finding other alternatives.
Before making those additions, however, GSA said statutory and regulatory issues must be considered.
Schedule contracts are typically awarded according to procedures outlined in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 12, which governs the acquisition of commercial supplies and services.
GSA said it needs to ensure that all statutory and regulatory rules are considered before making changes to include ancillary repair and alteration services.
GSA must also consider whether to spell out those requirements at the contract level or in the relevant task orders.
Currently, when an agency uses the schedules to satisfy a requirement for agency-specific restrictions such as adding security clearances, those provisions can be included at the task-order level, according to GSA.
Legislative and FAR regulations, however, mandate that certain payment and performance-protection requirements take place at the contract level.
GSA asked that comments on the proposed change to the schedules be submitted to the FAR secretariat by Oct. 21 to allow time to consider them for incorporation into a final rule.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.