New AbilityOne Requirement for GSA Schedule 51V Contractors
It appears that GSA is rolling out a new AbilityOne requirement for GSA Schedule 51V contractors on select SINs. The Facilities Maintenance & Hardware Acquisition Center “chatter” website outlines the new requirement (http://gsa.gov/portal/content/122007). The language reads:
“ABILITYONE – Contractors with products awarded under Special Item Numbers (SINs) 105-001, 105-002, 341-800, 600-001, 612-209, 613-001, 834-100, 834-500, 834-600, 834-700, and 834-900 are now required to be an authorized AbilityOne distributor by the Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled. As such, documentation must immediately be provided to your PCO confirming your company has been approved as an authorized distributor for AbilityOne. You must also define the process the company will be utilizing to meet the AbilityOne Exclusivity Requirement for blocking orders of commercial products that are identified as being identical to or “Essentially the Same” (ETS) as AbilityOne offered products.
If you have any questions, please contact your Contracting Officer immediately.”
This is an important change for 51V contractors. Previously, these organizations were only required to exclude products determined to be essentially the same (ETS) as those found on the AbilityOne program and identify a system in place to ensure compliance. Now they will need to be recognized as an authorized AbilityOne distributor. Information on this can be found here: http://www.abilityone.gov/distributors/potential.html
AbilityOne Program is a Federal initiative to help people who are blind or have other significant disabilities find employment by working within a national network of over 600 Nonprofit Agencies that sell products and services to the U.S. government.