GSA details schedule consolidation
- By Mark Rockwell
- Sep 03, 2014
The General Services Administration has taken another step toward consolidating its long list of professional services acquisition schedules.
As part of a number of professional services category management initiatives, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service is consolidating its Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) services offerings, GSA contracting officer Brad deMers wrote in a Sept. 2 post on GSA's Interact community page.
The move, he said, is tied to FAS Commissioner Tom Sharpe's category management program announced in April that is aimed at reducing redundant acquisition programs.
GSA has been considering how to handle the ballooning number of vendors on its multiple professional services schedules. Earlier in the summer, the agency considered a freeze on adding new vendors. That didn't materialize because the agency identified a solution to ensure it could continue to accept new offers on all professional services schedules as it investigates and develops alternative solutions. A GSA spokeswoman said the program outlined in deMers' post is that solution.
DeMers explained the consolidation is not part of GSA's Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI), but rather one of several efforts to develop FAS's professional services category, one of 17 used by the agency's federal customers.
GSA' MAS contracts for services have been a challenge for industry contractors, some of whom manage multiple MAS contracts. DeMers said 527 contractors hold more than one professional service schedule contract, which are negotiated, managed and audited independently --taking up contractors' time and money as well as taxing scarce contract administrative resources.
GSA reasons that by winnowing the number of schedules – or, optimally, creating one professional services schedule -- it can make contracts easier to use, increase efficiencies, eliminate separate offers for similar services and reduce administrative costs.
The agency has completed the early work on the initiative, including internal planning, discussions with industry associations, and feedback from several federal agency customers, deMers said. The idea of a single professional services contract "has been well received," he said, and FAS is moving to implement the rest of the initiative.
So far, deMers said, FAS has removed nonprofessional service special item numbers (SINs) that have no sales from the current Consolidated Schedule – excluding IT (70)—(SIN C132-51) and HR (728X)—(SIN C595-21).
The transition to the consolidated professional services schedule is set to run over the next year, with completion slated for November 2015.
Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.
Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.
Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.
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