Source: Winvale – GSA Schedule Blog
Source: Winvale – GSA Schedule Blog
Source: Winvale – GSA Schedule Blog
GSA Schedule Contracts are a great acquisition vehicle for many reasons and its ability to speed acquisition is touted by many as its greatest feature. The Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program streamlines procurement for government agencies and private industries because the GSA has already determined pricing on supplies and services to be fair and reasonable. Agencies simply need to follow procurement procedures outlined under FAR 8.4 which simplify a best value award.
Agencies interested in identifying the best procedures outlined in FAR 8.4 should first consider reading the applicability and ordering procedures for Federal Supply Schedules. These two sections are crucial to the procurement process because they determine whether the agency fulfills the correct requirements for further business with their industry of choice.
Late last month, the DOD issued a new deviation to FAR 8.4 which requires DOD contracting officers to make a deeper DOD pricing analysis now through their own fair and reasonable price determination on any FSS order using the analysis techniques outlined under FAR 15.404-1. The change shouldn’t be a surprise given the current budgetary environment and cost cutting measures currently in place throughout the government.
DOD contractors utilizing the FSS program should make note of the change and consider how they are differentiating themselves when responding to DOD opportunities. If this new rule has affected you, please feel free to share it with the group.
To learn more about the change, please visit: https://interact.gsa.gov/blog/determination-fair-and-reasonable-prices-when-using-federal-supply-schedule-contracts
A new amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) will greatly impact the way service providers track both theirs and subcontractor hours. The ruling comes from the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) act that mandates agencies annually submit an inventory of activities performed by service contractors to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The new rule requires that prime contracts submit their hours worked.
This new amendment requires contractors with fixed-priced definite-delivery contracts to track and report hours worked on their service contracts. Prime contractors will not only be responsible for their own internal hours, but for reporting the hours worked by their first-tier subcontractors as well. First –tier subcontracts are those awarded directly by the prime contractor for the purpose of acquiring supplies or services (including construction) for performance of a prime contract. This does not include the supplier agreements with vendors, such as long-term arrangements for materials or supplies that benefit multiple contracts and/or the costs of which are normally applied to a Contractor’s general and administrative expenses or indirect costs.
The new rule will be implemented in the following phases with regards to fixed-priced definite-delivery contract values:
- $2.5 million in Fiscal Year 2014.
- $1 million in Fiscal Year 2015.
- $500,000 from Fiscal Year 2016 onwards.
While cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour contracts already track and report hours, the determining dollar threshold has been lowered to the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT), which is currently $150,000
In regards to IDIQs, FSS contracts, GWACs, and multi-agency contracts, the reporting requirements will be determined based on the expected dollar amount and type of orders issued under the contracts. For any existing indefinite-delivery will be modified bilaterally within six months of January 30, 2014 so long as the contract performance period extend past October 1, 2013; and there is $2.5 million or more obligated.
This rule change applies to both solicitations and contracts issued on or after January 30, 2014. The DoD is exempt from this requirement as the DFAR already stipulates this reporting requirement. Reports will be due annually by October 31, for services performed during the preceding Government fiscal year (October 1-September 30).
The new amendment can be found under FAR clauses 52-204-14 and 52-204-15.
At first, it seems like an easy question. Who can purchase off the GSA schedule? But in practice, the answer is not always as simple. Previously, Andrew wrote a great blog describing which eligible entities can purchase off the GSA schedule.
Now that we’re clear on which eligible entities can purchase off the GSA schedule, there is just one more wrinkle to throw in. Occasionally, other contractors can be authorized by a government agency to purchase off the GSA schedule when deemed appropriate for agency requirements. This is called a FAR 51 Deviation, and it usually occurs for large-scale projects when a contractor needs to purchase other products and/or services in order to complete a “total solution” for an agency.
There are a few stipulations of the FAR 51 deviation. The supplies or services being purchased must be ancillary to the primary purpose of the contract with the federal agency, and the authorization is only available to the Federal government, not to state/local governments through cooperative purchasing. Additionally, the purchases made using the FAR 51 deviation authority can only be based on a “time and materials” or labor-hour method, not on a firm fixed price methodology. Items must also be invoiced at the price they were purchased from the contractor – i.e. the buying contractor cannot add any markup onto these items when billing the agency for them.
As a GSA contractor, if you receive an order from another contractor under a FAR 51 Deviation, there are a few things you need to do. First, be sure you have received a copy of the written authorization that is signed by the Federal agency contracting officer. You will want to keep this document for your files regarding this order, in case it comes up during your Contractor Assistance Visit. Next, you can offer the buying contractor GSA pricing (or better). If the buying contractor has their own GSA schedule, you will want to include their contract number on the purchase order or invoice. You will also want to include the following language on the invoice: “in care of ‘[name of government agency]’ under written authorization from ______ dated ______.”
Do not forget that this sale will count as a GSA sale. Be sure that you report it as such during 72A quarterly sales reporting. This means that the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) applies to the sale, as it would to any GSA sale.
If you have any additional questions about FAR 51 Deviations, please feel free to contact Winvale!
The Obama administration is making an effort to standardize several acquisition rules that have to do with small-business size protests. They are doing this by amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) revision of the small business size and small business status protest and appeal procedures. This proposal, released on March 7, 2013, seeks to achieve the following:
- Increase the amount of time the SBA has to determine the size of a company to 15 business days (rather than the 10 business days previously allowed).
- Make it clear that contracting officers can determine whether to suspend work until the Office of Hearing and Appeals at the SBA renders a decision.
- Make it clear that contracting officers have the authority to give the SBA more time to determine business size.
- Provide guidance for Contracting Officers on what to do if the SBA misses the deadline
The ultimate aim in amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), as proposed by the Obama administration through the DoD, the GSA and NASA, is to ensure that contracts set-aside for small businesses are awarded to eligible small business concerns. If you would like to submit a comment in response to this FAR Case 2012-014 you can do so at http://www.regulations.gov, on or before May 6, 2013.