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FCW Insider: Missives from today's MAS panel meeting

FCW reporter Matthew Weigelt filed the following missives from Monday's meeting of the Multiple Award Schedule Panel.

The MAS panel approved six motions, which it will include in its report to the GSA administrator. The motions relate to solutions, which the panel describes as a combination of goods and services to reach a larger job.

Motion #1
Recommend that the administrator perform a comprehensive review of GSA policies and guidance that facilitates the acquisition of solutions under the schedule program.

Regulations are vague about this new phenomenon of combined products and services, and the panel wants the administrator revise rules to help agencies understand solutions.

Motion #2
Recommend that orders for solutions under schedules must be firm-fixed price and performance-based.

The panel wants the administrator to require that solutions purchases have firm prices and keep contractors in check.

Motion #3
Procurements for solutions are subject to the same competitive forces at the order level, similar to the panel’s recommendation for products and services.

Motion #4
The Price Reduction Clause cannot and should not apply to the acquisition of solutions.

The panel doesn’t want the solutions subject to the Price Reduction Clause, which requires contractors to give the government the lowest price it gives to any of its other customers. Panelists said the clause couldn’t apply to solutions because they are unique, unlike commodities. The panel also recommended in previous meetings that the clause not apply to services for the same reason.

Motion #5
Update schedule guidance to clarify (make explicit) that prices for solutions must be determined to be fair and reasonable at the order level.

Motion #6
Recommend that administrator explore the addition of cost-type Special Item Numbers (SINs) to schedule programs for services on a voluntary basis for those contractors with the capacity to manage cost-type contracts.

The panel wants contracts give a detailed breakdown of their baseline costs, instead of a general cost they now give GSA.


And from earlier in the day:

The Multiple Award Schedule Advisory Panel is holding its first meeting in November. In earlier meetings, panel said it wanted to be writing its report on its recommendations on how to improve the General Services Administration’s Multiple Award Schedules program, which will be sent to the GSA administrator.

In May, former GSA Administrator Lurita Doan, who created the charter for the panel because of industry’s frustration with GSA, estimated the panel would be finished by October.

As its meetings may soon conclude, the panel chairman Elliott Branch said the panel’s meetings this week would begin talking about dividing up the work to write and edit the report. The panel wants to have the report for the administration in December.

Jim Williams, GSA acting administrator, said he’s interested in recommendations and he would take a serious look at them and not leave them for the next administration to consider.

Here is what is happening next:

  • The panel intends to have the first draft of its report Nov. 24.

  • The panel cancelled its Nov. 12 meeting.

  • The panel’s next meeting is tentatively Dec. 8 or Dec. 9.

  • The panel plans to hold future meetings to discuss the report, but the holiday season is making it tough to get a quorum of members at a meeting.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Nov 10, 2008 at 12:18 PM


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