The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report on March 21, 2017, titled “Audit of Price Evaluations and Negotiations for the Professional Services Schedule Contracts.” According to the IG audit, GSA’s process to consolidate eight pre-existing schedules into the Professional Services Schedule (PSS) resulted in the award of new contracts without establishing price reasonableness. Contracting officers also used a combined “Pre and Price Negotiation Memorandum” template that does not conform to Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) policy. Finally, contract files lack sufficient documentation to determine fair and reasonable pricing. In February 2017, GSA’s FAS initiated price reevaluations for all 322 migrated contracts to ensure prices awarded were fair and reasonable.
At a recent industry event, Kevin Youel Page, the deputy commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), made a surprising revelation – GSA is considering making participation in its controversial Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) pilot program completely optional. Currently, only existing contractors can choose whether they want to participate, and even they have to participate if they add a Special Item Number (SIN) to their contract or renew it. Mandatory participation also applies to all new offers against Schedules included the pilot.
As part of the regulatory updates to Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts, General Services Administration (GSA) announced in an Interact blog post on March 9, 2017, that contracting officers may require contractors re-representing their size status from small to large to submit a subcontracting plan after the re-certification. A number of other impactful changes will be incorporated in the upcoming round of solicitation refreshes.
In a March 22 webinar, GSA noted that several of the updates have already appeared in recent refreshes to a few solicitations – most notably the Professional Services Schedule. Refreshes to the remaining schedule solicitations are tentatively planned for April 2017. Here are the changes contractors should review carefully before accepting the mandatory modification:
On February 7, the General Services Administration (GSA) hosted a roundtable panel event to discuss its pilot program under the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) rule. The discussion included Kevin Youel Page, the Deputy Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS); Judith Zawatsky, the Director of GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program Management Office; Elliott Branch, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Acquisition & Procurement); and Larry Allen, the President of Allen Federal Business Partners.
Significant regulatory changes instituting small business subcontracting improvements have been incorporated into the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), imposing additional small business-related obligations on large prime contractors (“Prime”). Although these changes went into effect on November 1, 2016, businesses may not experience their full impact until later this year. Existing government systems, such as the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS), need to be modified to accommodate several of these compliance requirements.
The GSA has started incorporating the updated FAR clauses containing these provisions into its Schedule solicitations via refreshes and mandatory modifications. The most significant changes being implemented are as follows: