This week, GSA announced it is on track to debut its Consolidated Multiple Acquisition Schedule (MAS) Program Schedule Solicitation on October 1. GSA also gave federal contractors planning to bid on the MAS a head start on the process by releasing a final draft solicitation and an updated industry FAQs sheet. Let’s take a look at how to utilize this opportunity to prepare for the solicitation’s long-awaited debut.
GSA’s MAS Program “establishes long-term Government-wide contracts with commercial firms to provide government buyers with access to a wide variety of commercial supplies, services, and solutions.” GSA first announced its plan to modernize this Program “by consolidating its 24 Multiple Award Schedules into one single Schedule for products and services” on November 27, 2018. GSA aimed to “simplify the buying and selling experience for customers, suppliers, and acquisition professionals.” Over the past ten months, GSA conducted extensive market research and collected industry-wide feedback regarding its consolidation strategies, the new single solicitation format, and the streamlined terms and conditions.
GSA recently announced its plans to publish the Consolidated MAS Program Solicitation on FedBizOpps on October 1, so now’s the time to become familiar with the effects of the consolidation. As GSA explains:
The solicitation has been updated based on more than 1,000 comments received to GSA’s recent requests for information. This document defines and lays out overall MAS offer evaluation criteria, requirements, and terms and conditions. It will be published in its final form on October, 1, 2019.
To give interested offerors an early start on preparation, GSA provided a final draft of the consolidated solicitation and its attachments. This solicitation provides guidance on proposal drafting and submission. It urges interested offerors to review GSA’s MAS Roadmap for help “understand[ing] the offer submission process, what it means to have a Schedule contract and if it is right for you.” It also links to relevant solicitation templates and attachments and instructs offerors on electronic proposal submission using GSA’s eOffer System.
Here are some interesting aspects of the new consolidated schedules.
The solicitation breaks down GSA’s Schedule offerings into 12 Large Categories with corresponding subcategories and Special Item Numbers (SINs). The Consolidated MAS Available Offerings spreadsheet attachment contains a detailed list of the offerings under each Schedule. The MAS Clause Matrix and Clause Mapping to Category, Subcategory, and SIN attachments, on the other hand, contain “the details, components and layout of the solicitation,” including “clause references and additional instructions or requirements that are specific to each large category, subcategory or SIN.”
One item that interested offerors should pay special attention to is the MAS Consolidation Industry FAQs: Summer 2019 Update. GSA updated the FAQs during its presentation to the MAS stakeholders at the Travel, Transportation, and Logistics (TTL) industry meeting in April. The revised FAQs provide up-to-date information for contractors holding and pursuing GSA Schedules, including details on the Program’s streamlined procedures, upcoming MAS Program changes, and specifics about the 24 GSA-managed Schedules being consolidated.
The FAQs include some practical tips. As one example, if you’re about to hit send on an offer “against a legacy Schedule solicitation you must hit submit before October 1, 2019, or the offer will be lost and you will have to start a new offer based on the new solicitation.” Great to know before midnight on September 30 if, like many lawyers, you like to work up to the deadline.
For further information, check out GSA’s MAS Program Management Office’s “upcoming webinars dedicated to the new solicitation.” These webinars focus on “the overarching strategy for the upcoming MAS Consolidation” and “what these changes will mean for prospective offerors and current MAS contract holders.” They are also opportunities for interested offerors to “ask questions and hear directly from GSA’s subject matter experts.” Those interested can still register for the September 17 Webinar Session or register for the September 19 Webinar Session via GSA’s website.