GSA Planning for Schedule Modernization
To start off the New Year, the General Services Administration (GSA) is moving forward with planning for a massive schedule modernization endeavor. The modernization is focusing on four key tenets: Data Driven Pricing, Flexible Contracting, Enhanced Service Delivery and Increased Knowledge Management Capabilities.
One aspect of GSA’s proposal that has gotten a lot of attention falls under the Flexible Contracting tenet. GSA is seriously considering consolidating the current 31 GSA Schedules into fewer schedule programs, but with a broader focus. The current draft consolidated schedules proposed are:
- Facility & Security
- Office and Furniture
- Engineering, Environmental, Logistical, & Scientific
- Business Management
- Information Technology
Over the fall, GSA conducted several focus groups with industry (contractors) and customer (other Government agencies) participants to gather thoughts on the modernization proposals. The industry partners included in the focus group seemed to be in favor of this consolidating, saying that it would make using the schedule easier for customers. But they also stressed that implementation would be crucial, and some were concerned about any implications this might have on ongoing projects/task orders. The customers (from federal agencies) in the focus group agreed that fewer schedules would make for easier acquisition, and hopefully make it easier to find qualified small businesses. But some expressed concern that the broader schedules would make it even more difficult to find what they were looking for, and they emphasized that SINs would be important to allow buyers to drill-down to find the solutions and contractors they need.
In theory, this should allow for more contracting opportunities and allow for customers to find qualified contractors without having to spend as much time determining which schedule to pursue, as there is some crossover now. As always, implementation will be key. We don’t see this happening in 2013, as it will be such a significant undertaking that requires extensive planning and preparation. Perhaps this will be on the table for 2014. We will keep an eye out for more GSA news on this front.