On November 27, 2018, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) announced that it will simplify its multiple award schedule (“MAS”) offerings by consolidating the 24 schedules now in use to a single schedule. GSA’s goals in doing so are to improve customer service, make it easier for small businesses to access the schedules program, and reduce duplication for vendors.
The transition into a single schedule will take place over the next two fiscal years and will consist of two phases. The first phase will take place in fiscal 2019, and it will focus on developing the consolidated schedule and shutting down the old schedules for new contractors. Contractors currently on the individual schedules will continue to operate as usual while new contracts will be placed on the consolidated schedule. The second phase will take place in fiscal 2020, and it will focus on moving existing contractors onto the new schedule. GSA will consult with contractors that hold multiple contracts on the current schedules about the best way to consolidate those contracts made redundant by the single MAS.
Contractors will keep their same contract number and contract. For contractors that have multiple contracts, GSA will entertain options to determine what works best for contractors. For now, contractors are encouraged to continue business as usual in their interactions with the MAS.
A goal of the consolidated MAS is to free up time for the government’s acquisition workforce which must currently administer each of the different schedules. However, there are questions of how GSA will administer such an enormous vehicle as it will probably be the biggest contract schedule in the world. Federal agencies, for example, will have to create new processes for purchasing services and supplies, formerly found on multiple schedules, from a huge single schedule.
GSA has gone through a large schedule consolidation process before. In October 2015, the agency rolled out a new combined Professional Services Schedule which consolidated eight individual GSA schedules, and which also took about two years to complete. GSA has indicated that the plans for consolidating its MAS offerings now are based on lessons learned from the Professional Services Schedule transition.
Cherry Bekaert will continue to monitor any changes or announcements from GSA on this effort and will post an update at a later date.