The General Services Administration rang in the new fiscal year by releasing the final solicitation for the consolidated Multiple Award Schedule contract.

The new contract, released Oct. 1, takes the 24 different multiple award schedules previously operated by GSA and condenses them into one schedule with 12 categories: office management, facilities, furniture and furnishings, human capital, industrial products and services, information technology, miscellaneous, professional services, scientific management and solutions, security and protection, transportation and logistics services, and travel.

“Today, I’m pleased to announce GSA has completed — on time — the initial phase of MAS Consolidation with a new single solicitation,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy in a news release.

“This is an important first step toward our goal of simplifying the experience for customers, suppliers, and GSA’s acquisition workforce.”

The new contract is designed to enable contractors to operate only a single contract under the schedule with one set of requirements, rather than having to keep up with the needs of multiple contracts if they provide multiple products or services under MAS.

Federal agencies then only have to go to one place to purchase goods and services for a single project, rather than having to piece together their needs from multiple schedules.

“MAS Consolidation will mean many changes to the way we do business — some small, some large, but all with the goal of providing consistency in the program for all stakeholders and making it easier for customers to find total solutions under one contract vehicle,” said Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Alan Thomas in a news release.

“We’ve worked hard to make sure our new terms and conditions will meet the needs of our customers, and also streamline and eliminate duplicate contracts. MAS Consolidation is a triple win — good for federal agencies, industry partners and our acquisition workforce.”

Only new contracts will be placed on the consolidated schedule, as GSA will still have to coordinate to move current contract-holders to the single schedule and figure out how to address businesses that have multiple contracts under different schedules so that they eventually end up with a single contract that covers all of the services they offer.

The mass modification for current contractors is scheduled to take effect sometime in 2020, and the agency plans to offer training on the new schedule at its April 2020 Federal Acquisition Service Training Conference.

Progress on MAS consolidation represents a cornerstone for GSA’s overall strategy to reform federal acquisition by simplifying processes and collecting better data about how agencies are buying and from whom.

According to GSA’s fall 2019 update on the Federal Marketplace Strategy, the agency is currently preparing a solicitation for the proof of concept of its e-commerce platform, which will enable agencies to buy goods under the micro purchase threshold from a single platform, like consumers can currently do with Amazon or eBay. The launch of that trail is planned for early 2020.

Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.

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