As you know, GSA is undertaking an initiative to modernize the GSA Schedules Program. GSA has contracted with the Mitre Corporation to conduct a “white space” study of the GSA Schedules Program. The Coalition was invited and has participated in discussions with GSA and Mitre regarding the study. In doing so the Coalition was asked for feedback on the form and content of a Schedule contractor survey prepared by Mitre. As GSA and Mitre continue their review of the program it is vitally important for members to respond to the survey which can be found here. To GSA’s credit, it is seeking your feedback on the program and potential improvements—let’s all continue the dialogue with GSA!
In some ways GSA has already launched elements of a modernization effort. For example, the Professional Services Schedule Consolidation Initiative will allow contractors to consolidate their offering under a single professional services schedule contract. This initiative has great potential for reducing administrative and overhead costs for government and industry, increasing transparency and competition for customer agencies, and increasing access to commercial innovation and best value solutions across a spectrum of professional services. Consolidation provides opportunities for improved efficiency and savings for customer agencies seeking, and schedule contractors offering, cross-cutting commercial service solutions to meet customer agency needs.
The Coalition has supported and continues to support consolidation. Indeed, the Coalition has been a leader in promoting schedule consolidation. Starting in 2011 we identified and consistently discussed with GSA the reinvigoration of “corporate” or consolidated schedules as a key pillar in modernizing the GSA schedules program. Here are just a couple of examples from 2011 and 2012 of our thoughts regarding schedules consolidation. Since that time, the Coalition, at the invitation of GSA, has provided additional thoughts regarding the overall modernization of the GSA Schedules Program including, among other documents, our:
- “Other Direct Costs” White Paper,
- Schedule Pricing Reform White Paper,
- Quick Fixes for the GSA Schedule Program and
- White Paper on transforming IT Schedule 70 into the Information Technology Commercial Innovation Schedule.
Consolidation of the Professionals Services Schedule provides a wonderful platform for implementing the recommendations contained in these papers. Importantly, the Professional Services Schedule Consolidation also provides an important opportunity to address evergreen contracting—contract close out for current 20 year contracts and the submission of new offers by incumbent contractors who are approaching the end of their current 20 year contracts. The Coalition is establishing an Evergreen Working Group to make recommendations on this very issue (see article below). It is time to work together for a set of policies and procedures that foster efficiency, competition and certainty for customer agencies and contractors. It is time to revisit evergreen contracting! More on this in next week’s blog!