Panel: Agencies need GSA pricing primer

The Multiple Award Schedule Advisory Panel today recommended that the General Services Administration clarify how to get a good price for an initial contract from a vendor.

The panel of government officials and industry representatives agreed to recommend that the GSA administrator lay out a clear map for contracting officers to get the lowest price when negotiating with a contractor for a MAS contract for professional services.

The recommendation states: “For GSA schedules for services, the price objective is to obtain fair and reasonable prices at the time of contract formation by pursuing the lowest overall cost alternative to the government, consistent with the statute. We recommend that the GSA administrator issue clear and consistence guidance to implement the price objective.”

The panel also approved a recommendation for GSA to make available more information on schedules contracts’ terms and conditions to customer agencies. Several panelists from customer agencies said the information is difficult to get from GSA.

For example, Debra Sonderman, panelist and director of the Office of Acquisition and Property Management at the Interior Department, said Interior spent a lot more money than expected when it entered a task order on a schedules contract despite not knowing that the contract’s terms and conditions had changed.

The panel recommended that "GSA improve the manner in which terms and conditions [of MAS contracts] are made available to ordering agencies in order to ensure that orders are placed in a manner consistent with the schedule contract.”

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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