GSA's Tom Sharpe wants to update the Schedules program to better accommodate today's purchasing processes. (Mike Morones/Staff)
The General Services Administration will ask the contractors on its Multiple Award Schedules to standardize part numbers and Special Item Numbers to help reduce price variability between products and services.
Tom Sharpe, the Federal Acquisition Service commissioner at GSA, said in a blog post June 12 the agency will also work with service contractors to standardize labor categories for services as part of an effort to overhaul the nearly 60-year-old program
“How the government buys, and what we buy, however, is very different than it was in 1955. While the MAS program has expanded and adjusted over the years; modernizing MAS to enhance this incredibly successful, $38-billion a year program will ensure that it continues to offer the efficiency and value it was created to provide,” Sharpe wrote.
GSA will also begin providing agencies transactional data, including prices paid by other agencies across the government for similar products and services, according to Sharpe.
The agency will also seek a change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation that will allow contractors to seek reimbursement for Other Direct Costs — costs incurred alongside the cost of providing the product or service – as part of the program.
The MAS modernization effort is part of GSA’s imitative to overhaul its contracting processes and offer agencies a flexible, digital framework to conduct research, purchase products and acquire new services in a data-rich environment.
“For the federal government to realize real cost savings and efficiencies while increasing transparency and accountability, we must come together, and act as one of the largest buyers on the planet, leveraging our scale and our buying power,” Sharpe wrote.