The operative message from last week’s GSA Expo is that GSA has an opportunity for constructive change.  During his meeting with the Coalition, Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini discussed the ongoing top down review of GSA’s operations and his outreach to customer agencies regarding how GSA can provide even greater value in delivering sound, efficient and effective governmentwide procurement programs.   In doing so, Administrator Tangherlini described GSA as the savings agency for the federal government.  Administrator Tangherlini’s top down review provides the framework for constructive change that enhances GSA procurement operations.  We look forward to an engaging GSA in a Myth-Busters dialogue on this important work.

At the FAS Myth-Busters panel discussion before the Coalition Partnership dinner, FAS Commissioner Steve Kempf and his team focused on their priorities for serving customer agencies.  Chief among the priorities is the Next Generation Schedules.  The Next Generation Schedules is a wonderful opportunity for constructive change based on a top down review of GSA schedule policies, procedures, and contract structure.   There are opportunities to further enhance the value of the GSA schedules program for customer agencies and industry partners.   In our view, the key to the Next Generation Schedules is focusing on and adopting commercial best practices that increase program efficiency and effectiveness through sound opportunities and competition for commercial services and products.

In particular, the Coalition is excited that FAS has made addressing “other direct costs” on GSA schedules a top priority item.  Utilizing existing Federal Acquisition Regulation clauses to effectively and efficiently incorporate ODCs on schedule service orders will increase competition and value for customer agencies while helping to reduce contract duplication.  It would be wonderful to start the new fiscal year with ODCs capability incorporated into the GSA schedules ordering process.  During the FAS Myth-Busters panel, the potential addition of “cost reimbursement” capability to the GSA schedules was also highlighted.  The Coalition strongly supports this strategic effort and looks forward to working with FAS.

Looking ahead, in June, the Comment of the Week will launch a series focusing on the Next Generation schedules.  As part of this series the Coalition will be reaching out to our members and the procurement community at large for feedback.  Finally, next week look for the Coalition’s draft document outlining Federal Supply Sechedule Blanket Purchase Agreement Best Practices.