On November 27, 2018, GSA announced it will consolidate all 24 of the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) into a single schedule, which will include more than 10 million commercial products under one set of terms and conditions. GSA plans to begin awarding new contracts under this schedule by FY2020.
MAS Program Management Office Director Stephanie Shutt says the transformation will have three phases. Phase one entails creating the new schedule and “shutting down the existing ones so that new offers only go to this new schedule.”
Phase two will include mass modifications to convert current single schedule contract holders over to the new schedule. Those contractors will not need a new contract number. Contractors with multiple schedule contracts will have to consolidate them. GSA plans to offer a couple of options for the consolidation process so contractors can choose the one that works best for them.
Phase three will mark the transition into the continuous improvement stage of the schedules program.
This long-term, multi-year initiative to deliver a fully-reimagined end-to-end experience has been long awaited. The initiative is part of GSA’s Federal Marketplace strategy to make the government buying and selling experience easier, more efficient, and modernized. It also aligns with GSA’s strategic goal to establish itself as a premier provider of efficient and effective government acquisitions.
Through feedback from GSA’s annual customer satisfaction survey, industry partners and customer agencies have been calling for change. One specific complaint from vendors holding multiple schedules is the frustration that comes with different contracting officers applying terms inconsistently, or having to deal with separate systems for contract administration.
After much anticipation, this huge change has been met with apprehensive optimism. In the past, GSA attempted something similar – anyone else remember the old Solutions And More (SAM) Schedule? – but failed because of numerous internal hurdles with management and paper contracts. Now, 20 years later, GSA is confident that its technology and management team will make this initiative a success.
Roger Waldron, president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, says the change is a win for GSA, customer organizations, and industry. Waldron stated, “All three will gain efficiencies…It makes the schedules more flexible and easy to use for customer agencies.” Instead of going through multiple contracts to buy different products and services, everything can be combined into one easy transaction.
In addition to being more efficient, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy stated that the change also addresses the “need to have our workforce work on higher valued work.” Without having to repeat the same actions and collect the same data for different schedules, workers will have more flexibility to address other tasks or problems.
With constantly improving technology and practices, GSA seeks to continually refine its services and make government acquisitions the best it can be. MAS consolidation is just one of many instrumental advancements to come.
For any questions, please contact Jennifer Aubel or one of our GSA Schedules specialists at 301.231.6200.