Everything You Need to Know About the GSA MAS Consolidation

The GSA MAS Consolidation happens on October 1, 2019 and will dramatically change the 24 schedules into 1. Not acting after these changes could mean non-compliance, resulting in loss of sales. Are you prepared? We’re here to outline everything you need to know about the GSA MAS Consolidation and how to prepare. Let’s start with the basics.

What is GSA?

The General Services Administration (GSA) is an, “independent agency of the U.S. government, established to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. GSA connects federal purchasers with the most cost-effective and high-quality commercial products and services through several contract vehicles,” (www.gsa.gov).

What is MAS?

The most popular contract vehicle is the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS). The MAS program allows contractors direct access to opportunities not available on the open market. It was created to streamline government purchasing of commercial products and services and to leverage the buying power of the federal government in the process.

What schedules will be consolidated?

The 24 GSA-managed schedules will be consolidated. The current MAS structure includes 24 different schedules differentiated by types of products or services offered. Each schedule is broken down further to the Special Item Number (SIN)-level. Currently, there are about 900 SINs in the MAS program. Consolidation will condense that number to 300 SINs.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has its own program comparable to the GSA Schedule called the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS). This program is independent of GSA, so the VA FSS will not be subjected to the Consolidation at this point in time.

Why is GSA consolidating?

The GSA MAS Consolidation is happening for multiple reasons.

  1. It provides consistency for all stakeholders.
  2. It’s conducive for total solutions under one contract vehicle. Under the current GSA contract structure, procurement officers are often required to purchase from multiple contracts to accomplish total solutions.
  3. It streamlines the schedule terms and conditions and eliminates duplicate contracts.

When is the Consolidation taking place?

The new schedule and its solicitation will take effect on October 1, 2019. Existing schedule solicitations are open to new offerors until September 30, 2019 and will be reviewed under the Legacy solicitation. If the offer is rejected, it will need to be re-submitted under the new solicitation format. For new offerors going by Legacy Solicitation, you must submit before October 1, 2019, otherwise your offer will be lost in GSA’s eOffer system. If you are a company actively pursuing a schedule, you may need to accept the updated terms and conditions for the new solicitation. The Mass Modification of updated terms and conditions will be released in January 2020.

How will GSA Consolidate?

The GSA MAS Consolidation is taking place in three phases:

  • Phase 1 - Develop the New Schedule

Phase 1 will take place until the end of 2019. This phase includes creating a new solicitation for the single schedule; reviewing every term and condition; mapping duplicate Special Item Numbers (SIN) across the current solicitations; using category management to better organize offerings; and releasing new schedule and close existing schedules to new offerors.

  • Phase 2 – Mass Modifications

Phase 2 will start in January of 2020. This phase includes complete mass modification for all existing contract holders (simply to update terms and conditions) and vendors may select SINs that were previously on separate schedules. Single contract holders will have completed the Consolidation process once they accept the Mass Modification.

  • Phase 3 – Multiple Contract Consolidation

Phase 3 applies to multiple contract holders and will consolidate multiple contracts into a single contract. Multiple contract holders’ consolidation method will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. The Contracting Officer will contact the contractor with options.

What does this mean for new contract offerors?

Schedule solicitation is open to new offerors during and after the consolidation. Though the GSA MAS Consolidation provides consistency, it is not guaranteed to impact the time it takes to get a contract award. Generally, it takes 6-12 months to get on a contract, and GSA anticipates any new offers received from October 2019 until the end of 2019 should not expect a reward until at least January 2020 under the new contract terms and conditions.

The Consolidated Schedule requirements will be clearer with streamlined terms and conditions and re-formatted solicitation. Other processes, such as price negotiations, will still occur under the consolidated Schedule.

What does this mean for current contract holders?

For current contract holders, this means business as usual. There will be no change to opportunities visible in eBuy, you can process contract modifications and accept new orders, and you still need to comply with your current terms and conditions.

  • Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) – Established BPAs remain effective until BPA or Schedule Contract expires.
  • Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) – For those of you enrolled in the TDR pilot, it will not expand. It will remain in effect for the same categories of products and services that it currently applies to.
  • Cooperative Purchasing – Cooperative Purchasing will not expand. It will remain in effect for contractors currently enrolled and for the same products and services it currently applies to (Schedule 70 and Schedule 84).
  • Small Business Set Aside Special Item Numbers (SINs) – GSA provides specific SINs that are solely set aside for small business contractors. Small business set aside SINs will not be affected by consolidation.
  • Contract Numbers – Contract numbers will remain the same.

Category Management Changes

Another change resulting from the MAS Consolidation is the reorganization of category management. The arrangement will consist of 12 Large Categories, which break down into Subcategories, followed by Special Item Numbers (SINs). You can find a handout of the Large and Subcategories here.

GSA’s intent is that this eliminates category duplication, which will make it easier to find products and services. Good news – especially for small businesses – is that companies offering multiple categories will no longer have to apply to multiple different schedules. The process will now just be a SIN addition, which is much easier compared to the time and effort it takes to get on a new schedule. This creates consistency as NAICS codes are already used to determine size standard and are used for the federal open market opportunities.

Terms and Conditions

As GSA continues to review all MAS terms and conditions, vendors should know that there will be no new terms and conditions. They are only using terms and conditions that currently exist within any of the 24 schedules solicitations. The only changes will be to restructure and eliminate outdated and irrelevant T&Cs.

Phase 2 in GSA’s consolidation process includes a Mass Mod that will be sent to all GSA contract holders in January 2020. Vendors have from January 2020 to July 2020 to review the Mass Mod, ask questions, and accept. If a vendor only has one GSA contract, once the Mass Mod is accepted, essentially nothing else changes with your contract (this means no new contract number or contracting officer).

If a GSA vendor has more than one GSA contract, they will need to work with their Contracting Officer to establish a consolidation plan. Although we are not entirely sure what this will look like due to it being a case by case solution, we have some insight. The contract consolidation efforts won’t start happening until at the earliest late 2020 in phase 3. There are many factors that will be evaluated in order to pick which contract will remain your contract number and which one will be absorbed. Those deciding factors include main preponderance of work, open BPAs, and contract length. Again, this solutioning will be worked through with the vendor and their assigned contracting officer.

Please note: If your size standard changes based on your main NAICS, first, you need to update that information in SAM. Second, immediately reach out to your Contracting Officer, let them know of your business change, and work with them to make sure you have the necessary documents.

Sales Reporting and Contract Modifications (eMods)

Sales reporting will still need to be completed in the Federal Acquisition Service Sales Reporting Portal (FAS SRP) on a quarterly basis (monthly if you are enrolled in the TDR program). Altogether, process and requirements will not change as a result of the Consolidation.

Action Items

Whew! You got through the information. Now, what’s left to do?

  1. Accept the Mass Mod by July 2020
  2. Submit an update of the GSA Advantage price catalog and text file in Schedule Input Program (SIP) or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

It’s also recommended that you add new categories of products or services (SINs) to your GSA contract!

The GSA application can be unpredictable, and with the upcoming changes, it can be even more confusing. That’s why we’re here to help. JetCo Solutions’ services include obtaining new GSA schedules, GSA contract maintenance, sales reporting, and training your company’s internal team members on GSA. Interested in our services or have additional questions? Contact us.

Authors: Kate Dingeldey, Senior GSA Specialist and Megan Gomery, GSA Specialist

References

“GSA Available Offerings and Requirements”. U.S. General Services Administration, www.gsa.gov

“Important Advance Notice: GSA On Track to Debut Consolidated Schedule Solicitation Oct. 1, 2019

GSA Interact- Multiple Award Schedules group, 28 August 2019, https://interact.gsa.gov

Shutt, Stephanie. “Monthly MAS Consolidation Training” GSA Webinar, 22 August 2019,

https://meet.gsa.gov/ejhi5ttn6kzi/event/event_info.html.

“52.219-28 Post-Award Small Business Program Representation”. Acquisition.GOV powered by GSA,

https://www.acquisition.gov/content/52219-28-post-award-small-business-program-rerepresentation