GSA Schedule Consolidation Basics

GSA Schedule Consolidation Basics

By: Admin | Date: 2020-06-18

GSA Schedule Consolidation Basics

GSA Consolidated its 24 GSA Schedules into a single schedule back in October of 2019. What is it? Why did they do it? What was done? What does it mean for Future Schedule Holders?

What is it?

The GSA consolidated the previous 24 Schedules into 1 Schedule. However that single schedule has 12 Major Categories.

  1. Information Technology
  2. Professional Services
  3. Facilities
  4. Security and Protection
  5. Human Capital
  6. Industrial Products and Services
  7. Furniture & Furnishings
  8. Scientific Management and Solutions
  9. Office Management
  10. Transportation and Logistics Services
  11. Travel
  12. Miscellaneous

In some sense the GSA Schedule System has been reduced from 24 schedules to 12. Each of these Categories has Special Item Numbers for product and service categories which is how the GSA Schedule system has always functioned.

Why did they do it?

The idea behind consolidation is to get all GSA contractors down to one contracting vehicle per company. Then provide all contractors with a set of uniform terms and conditions across the schedule system. This then provides uniformity and consistency in the federal contracting system, greatly reducing administrative burden for all.

The three underlying problems that persisted in the GSA Schedule System.

  1. No consistency between acquisitions that were completed across the GSA Schedule System. All the schedule had at least some deviation that made buying and selling to the government more cumbersome.
  2. Duplication, why do businesses need to go through the same process obtaining multiple schedules in order to cover their specific federal market.
  3. Small business could not participate fully due to cost of coverage issues. Small businesses make up 80% of vendors on the GSA Schedule system and therefore this was reducing potential sales and harming the GSAs largest group of vendors.

What was done?

The GSA put together a panel of over 100 experts. They reviewed every term and condition present in the solicitation, contract, waiver and/or slight tweak in the GSA Schedule System. In some cases there were even additional terms and conditions at the SIN level highlighting how “un-uniform” the system had become.

Contract Clauses:

  • Clauses that were obsolete and were removed, totaling approximately 50.
  • Some clauses were moved to the FAR (Federal Acquisitions Regulations) rather than being covered at the GSA Schedule level. Moving them “up” provided greater consistency across the federal government.
  • Other clauses were already part of FAR and were removed because they were redundant.
  • The GSA hired professional writers that specialized in converting technical and legal language into plain language to reduce confusion. This is especially valuable for small business lacking federal business development teams.

Special Item Numbers:

  • Duplications within the schedules were consolidated as much as possible.
  • They looked for opportunities to consolidate SINs further when possible.
  • The GSA renamed Special Item numbers to utilize as much of the NAICS code system as possible, if NAICS code is not used twice on the schedule system it will become the SIN number.
  • Broad categories such as “Testing equipment” which could include lab testing and a foundation building testing equipment was re-categorized into more logical groupings on the schedule system.

What does it mean for future schedule holders?

The GSA will continue to award MAS contracts and the Schedule solicitations will remain open to new offerors during and after the consolidation. After October 1, 2019 (meaning currently) the GSA Schedule offerors will use SCP-FSS-001 Instructions Applicable to All Offerors.

Note: The act of consolidation alone will not impact how long it takes a contractor to get on Schedule. However, the components of the new Schedule will include streamlined terms and conditions and a re-formatted solicitation, which will make requirements clearer. In addition, as the GSA consolidates the Schedules they will be working to streamline and standardize business processes. This will give GSA the ability to eliminate administrative work for contracting officers so they can be more responsive to industry. This should eventually result in a time reduction for getting on Schedule.

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