Next Tuesday, October 1st, marks the beginning of a new era for GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program. On that date, Phase I of MAS Consolidation will end with the issuance of a new, consolidated solicitation for the single schedule.
Phase I included a host of interrelated tasks necessary to develop a single solicitation covering the entire scope of the MAS program. Among the tasks to be accomplished were: (1) reviewing every term and condition in each of the 24 solicitations; (2) mapping duplicate Special Item Numbers (SINs) across current solicitations; and (3) using NAICS codes to reduce the current 900 SINs on 24 schedules down to approximately 300 SINs on a single solicitation. In addition, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) was tasked to use Category Management to reorganize offerings across the single solicitation.
The completion of these activities represents a significant step forward in shaping the 21st century MAS program. They also represent just a part of the effort. For example, FAS has evolved systems updates to accommodate the issuance of the single solicitation. Likewise, GSA has recognized the importance of training and outreach to GSA acquisition staff, customer agencies, and industry partners in terms of promoting a successful consolidation. In this regard, just this week Stephanie Shutt, Director of the MAS Program Management Office, once again briefed Coalition members on the consolidation and answered a host of questions from GSA’s industry partners. As Coalition members know, Stephanie and the MAS Program Management team have been stalwart in their outreach and training efforts, bringing the latest updates and clear, concise, and responsive information to GSA’s industry partners. Indeed, the collective efforts across all of FAS (Program Management, Policy, and Systems) to implement the MAS consolidation reflect a team effort and an open process that has included and considered perspectives from across the procurement community.
MAS consolidation provides a framework for increasing access to the commercial market, reducing unnecessary operational and contractual stovepipes, promoting solutions-based buying, and enhancing competition. Most significantly, MAS consolidation provides a foundation for continuing program enhancements, including reform of the pricing policies, adoption of the unpriced services SINs for hourly rate services, implementing an e-invoice capability, implementing data management tools and expansion of Order Level Materials. Building on the momentum of MAS consolidation, these enhancements will benefit GSA, customer agencies, and mission support.
Of course, as the tag line for this blog notes, completion of Phase I marks the “end of the beginning” for MAS consolidation. There remains much to accomplish, including addressing the Mass Modifications and consolidating multiple schedule contracts into a single contract, as appropriate, for contractors. Further, additional upgrades and enhancements to GSA inward and outward facing systems will be vital to success of the program. As we look to the next phases and the future of the MAS program, Coalition members, as always, stand ready to work with FAS in ensuring an efficient and effective transition to the “consolidated” program.