GSA moves forward with overhaul of Multiple Award Schedules

The General Services Administration (GSA) is moving forward with its plan to overhaul the Multiple Award Schedules, putting into action recommendations from the agency’s 2010 Multiple Award Schedules Advisory Panel, says an April 13 blog post by GSA Senior Procurement Executive Jeffrey Koses.

“The $33 billion program now demands transformation in order to maintain its status as a best acquisition solution in a fast-changing marketplace,” Koses says.

The transformation will include reducing price variability, minimizing burdensome regulations and processes and introducing additional flexibilities, the GSA’s blog post says.

The overhaul address two key recommendations from the panel’s report – providing agencies with information on prices actually paid for goods and services as well as eliminating the price reduction clause reporting requirements for contractors.

The price reduction clause forces contractors to report if they reduce prices for commercial clients and then, in turn, allow that same discount to government contracts.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/gsa-moves-forward-overhaul-multiple-award-schedules/2015-04-13

Read GSA’s blog at: http://gsablogs.gsa.gov/gsablog/2015/04/13/gsa-seeks-to-transform-the-multiple-awards-schedule-program-to-deliver-better-value/

Next GSA Schedule workshop May 18 & 19

Georgia Tech’s Contracting Education Academy now offers a hands-on, consultant-guided workshop designed to help businesses prepare a proposal to win a GSA Schedule contract in a matter of days — not weeks or months.

 

Details on the next GSA Schedule Proposal Preparation Workshop on May 18 and 19, 2015 can be found by clicking here.

Since Georgia Tech’s GSA Schedule Workshop was launched in January 2014, folks have traveled from 10 states to attend.  To date, every single businessperson who’s attended has prepared their proposal, has successfully submitted it to GSA, or has been awarded a contract.

What Attendees Are Saying

Post-Workshop evaluations show that 100% of attendees say the Workshop met or exceeded their expectations.  Here are typical statements made by attendees:

  • “I received a vast amount of information on how to apply for a GSA Schedule contract.  I valued the one-on-one question-answering provided by the instructors.”
  • “I expected a canned presentation consisting of a lot of theoretical advice, but I received practical and specific help to understand the GSA application.  I really valued the instructor’s knowledge and communication skills.”
  • “This workshop provided excellent advice and training, walking through all the documents in detail.  I valued the relaxed environment, the ability to work at my own pace, and the ability to ask lots of questions.”
  • “I now have a complete understanding of the step-by-step process to complete my company’s proposal to the GSA.  The workbook, examples, templates, and the presentation – all very well put together.”
  • “I expected a great presentation from Georgia Tech, but was afraid of information overload.  The presenter and the presentation were fantastic …. I now have a much clearer idea of how to get on a GSA Schedule.”
  • “I received one-on-one assistance with filling-out various proposal forms and walking through the submission and upload process.  Fantastic!”
  • “I received significant information and background on what GSA reviewers and contracting officers are looking for, and I valued the forms for completing my GSA Schedule proposal and building my pricing.”

The Facts about GSA Schedules

Is your company considering going after a GSA Schedule contract?  Maybe you should consider these facts:

  • The federal General Services Administration (GSA) awards about $50 billion in blanket contracts known as “Schedules” to hundreds of companies each year.
  • Eighty percent (80%) of Schedule contractors are small businesses who are successful at 36% of those sales.

The process to win a GSA Schedule contract begins with a proposal, an arduous task that often takes several months to prepare. But now, thanks to Georgia Tech’s Workshop — sponsored by the Contracting Education Academy — a GSA proposal can be actually completed during the Workshop.   If a business is not prepared to submit all the documentation at the time of the Workshop, the GSA proposal preparation process easily can be shortened to within 30 days following the Workshop.

Workshop Benefits

By attending Georgia Tech’s GSA Schedule Proposal Preparation Workshop, you will:

  • Save time and money with instructor-guided, do-it-yourself approach.
  • Avoid mistakes that can delay or stop a GSA Schedule proposal from being considered.
  • Receive expert guidance, hands-on personal help, and answers to all of your questions.
  • Be given access to exclusive templates and sample narratives based on successful GSA Schedule offers.
  • Receive up to 4 hours of individual consulting after the Workshop to review your package and receive further advice.
  • Earn 15 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

Registration Details

Don’t miss out!  To register for the Workshop, simply click here. If you have questions or need further information, please email info@ContractingAcademy.gatech.edu.

GSA Schedule Contract

Another proposal from GSA is class deviation for commercial agreements

March has been a busy month for the General Services Administration (GSA) in its efforts to implement what it has touted as a “new vision for Federal purchasing.”

On March 5, 2014, GSA announced a proposed rule to reform pricing practices and contractor reporting requirements under multiple award schedule contracts.

In its latest move, on March 20, 2015, the GSA issued a proposal to streamline the negotiation of Commercial Supplier Agreements, which are commonly used in acquisitions of software and other information technology. Such agreements typically contain standard contract terms that GSA regards as inappropriate in the context of a sale to the government. As a result, protracted negotiations with GSA are often necessary to reach agreement on acceptable terms before software and other items can be offered for sale on the Federal Supply Schedule.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.natlawreview.com/article/another-proposal-gsa-class-deviation-commercial-agreements

OFPP initiates 360-degree reviews of the acquisition process

Vendors now can really tell agencies how they feel about their acquisition processes and procedures.

The guidelines for Acquisition 360, a Yelp-like approach to rating the acquisition process, arrived last Wednesday from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Administrator Anne Rung. The nine-page memo details how agencies should seek customer feedback from contractors and internal stakeholders on how well the contracting process went for specific procurements.

“This effort is not intended to be used to rate individual contracting officers, program managers, or integrated project teams (IPTs), or to compare procuring offices generally, as the complexity of procurements varies greatly among agencies, and unexpected challenges can arise,” Rung wrote in the memo. “However, these tools are meant to help agencies identify strengths and weaknesses with industry partnerships so they can make internal improvements on the planning and making of contract awards.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/517/3821690/OFPP-initiates-360-degree-reviews-of-the-acquisition-process

How to unleash the full potential of GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules

President Barack Obama recently received a briefing from the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) on category management and the Common Acquisition Platform (CAP). The briefing is a very significant symbol of GSA’s important role in government management. It highlights GSA’s central role in providing procurement services and programs that support customer agency missions across the federal enterprise.

As a former GSA employee, it was great to see the White House focus on the important, unsung work GSA does day and day out on behalf of the American people.

Strategically, category management and the CAP have the potential to improve GSA’s delivery of best value commercial products, services and solutions to customer agencies. As you know, FAS has reorganized around market sectors or industry categories to better focus on market trends and customer requirements.

Category management has the potential to improve FAS’s management of its contracting programs through increased understanding of customer mission requirements and commercial market trends. The CAP has the potential to provide the federal enterprise with transparent, competitive information regarding already existing contracting programs, best procurement practices and market trends. The CAP can address contract duplication and provide federal market information that can further assist customer agencies in making sound, best value procurement decisions.

Keep reading this article at: 

GSA proposes overhaul to Multiple Award Schedules

Under a proposed General Services Administration (GSA) rule, the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) would get an overhaul to address recommendations by the 2010 Multiple Award Schedule Advisory Panel.

The proposed rule would address two key recommendations from the panel’s report – providing agencies with information on prices actually paid for goods and services as well as eliminating the price reduction clause reporting requirements for contractors.

The price reduction clause forces contractors to report if it reduces prices to commercial clients and then, in turn, give that same discount to government contracts.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/gsa-proposes-overhaul-multiple-award-schedule/2015-03-04

With Academy’s help, Oklahoma business advisors learn GSA Schedule process

Sixteen business counselors from the Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network (OBAN) recently participated in a two-day workshop on the intricacies of the GSA Schedule process.

OBAN provides marketing and technical assistance to Oklahoma businesses interested in selling products and services to federal, state, local and tribal governments.  OBAN’s mission is to create jobs and expand the economy in Oklahoma by providing resources to Oklahoma businesses.

Sixteen Oklahoma-based business counselors benefited from instruction about the GSA Schedule process provided by consultants from The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech.

Oklahoma-based business counselors benefited from instruction about the GSA Schedule process provided by consultants from The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech.

The counselors gathered on March 3 and 4, 2015 on the campus of the Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City to receive advice about how they can guide their business clients through the proposal process to win a GSA Schedule contract.  The instruction covered prerequisites to the process, decision-making in the selection of the appropriate Schedule and Special Item Numbers, preparation of the required proposal narratives, financial requirements, negotiations, award, and contract administration.

Consultants from The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech provided templates and engaged Workshop attendees in the actual preparation of a proposal to GSA.  OBAN counselors were asked to imagine themselves as real businesses working through the process — actually preparing proposal documentation for GSA’s review.

Here’s what OBAN representatives had to say about the workshop:

  • “This was a very thorough overview of the GSA proposal process.  I valued the instructors’ knowledge of the subject material and willingness to deviate in order to address all questions.”
  • “I valued the presentation, the discussions, and the hands-on training.”
  • “Great workshop — the information, the handbook, and the templates.”
  • “I received instruction on all the steps in the preparation of a GSA proposal, including templates and writing exercises to help me understand the challenge.”
  • “I valued the discussions, practical examples, and the eOffer demonstration.”
  • The resource materials will prove to be very valuable as I counsel my clients.”
  • “I valued the in-depth conversations resulting from Q&A throughout the workshop, along with the breakdown of the full proposal process.”
  • “Valuable templates with coaching in an open Q&A format.”
  • “I received an in-depth overview of the proposal response process, along with best practices, possible roadblocks, and resources to help expedite an accurate and complete response.”
  • “This was an in-depth workshop that covered the entire GSA proposal process — I valued the knowledge of the instructors and the detail of the workbook we received.”
  • “Excellent instruction and insight from very knowledgeable people who have actually successfully submitted proposals to GSA.”

Groups interested in arranging for the GSA Schedule workshop, or other government contracting instruction, to be brought to their community may contact The Contracting Academy at Georgia Tech at 404-894-6109 or info@ContractingAcademy.gatech.edu.

GSA Schedules and DoD’s confusing FAR 8.4 deviation

On March 13, 2014, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) issued a class deviation to FAR 8.404(d). This deviation directed that ordering activity contracting officers are responsible for making a determination of fair and reasonable pricing when using GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules (FSS). The deviation essentially incorporates complex FAR 15.404-1 price analysis techniques into the streamlined FSS ordering procedures with the vague caveat that the complexity and circumstances of each acquisition should determine the level of detail of the analysis required.

In discussing the rationale for this deviation, DPAP has consistently focused on the variation in pricing across the FSS program. In particular, the example of a $29 stapler listed on an FSS contract has been cited by DPAP as creating a “significant” risk that Department of Defense (DoD) contracting officers will simply order the $29 stapler rather than search for a cheaper stapler on another FSS contract. For those of us of a certain age, the use of this example reminds one of the $600 toilet seat reportedly purchased by the DoD back in the 1980s. Like the toilet seat purchase, however, there is greater context that undercuts the stapler example cited by DPAP.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/acquisition/blog/2015/02/13/gsa-advantage-dpap-far-waldron/23365305/

GSA wants to boost market share of Schedules to 33 percent of federal spending

The General Services Administration (GSA) is exploring different ways to boost its contract spending market share and enhance its Multiple Awards Schedule program, according to agency officials.

Tom Sharpe, the commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at GSA, said he wants to boost the agency’s market share of federal spending from 15 percent to 33 percent in three years.

New contract vehicles such as the OASIS contract for professional services and the move to a “category management” system of expert contract advisers will help, Sharpe said.

He said at a GSA industry forum Feb. 13, hosted by the Professional Services Council, that the agency might roll out more versions of OASIS in the future for other contract areas besides professional services.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/acquisition/gsa-gwac/2015/02/13/gsa-changes-schedules/23359425/

GSA Schedule prep workshop to be held Feb. 17-18 in Seattle area

The Contracting Education Academy’s popular GSA Schedule Proposal Preparation Workshop will be conducted in the Seattle, Washington area on Feb. 17 and 18, 2015.

Georgia Tech’s hands-on workshop helps businesses prepare – in as little as two days – a proposal to obtain a GSA Schedule contract.

GSA Schedule Contract logoThe federal General Services Administration (GSA) awards about $50 billion in blanket contracts known as “Schedules” to hundreds of companies each year. Eighty percent (80%) of Schedule contractors are small businesses who are successful at 36% of those sales. The process to win one of these contracts begins with a proposal, an arduous task that typically takes several months to prepare.

Now, thanks to Georgia Tech’s workshop, a GSA proposal can be actually completed at the workshop. If a business is not prepared to submit all the documentation during the workshop, the GSA proposal preparation process easily can be shortened to within 30 days following the workshop.

By attending this workshop, business people save time and money with an instructor-guided, do-it-yourself approach as well as avoid mistakes that typically delay or stop GSA Schedule proposals from being considered. Attendees receive expert guidance and valuable documents, including templates and sample narratives based on successful GSA Schedule offers.

The GSA Schedule Proposal Preparation Workshop is conducted by experienced government contracting professionals who have helped many businesses successfully land GSA Schedule contracts. Real-world business scenarios are presented during this interactive workshop, tackling all the difficult and confusing aspects of the proposal process. As an added bonus, The Academy provides workshop attendees with four hours of consulting time with instructional personnel – after the workshop – to answer any remaining questions, review proposal packages, and provide follow-on consulting.

SeattleThe Seattle GSA Schedule Proposal Preparation Workshop will be held on February 17 and 18, 2015 at Green River Community College, Kent Station Campus, Kent, WA – located just 8 miles southeast of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

To register for this one-of-a-kind Workshop, please click here.