The General Services Administration is looking to overhaul its largest buying program – the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) – and wants feedback from government customers and industry on what improvements need to be made to make the vehicle more effective for all stakeholders.

GSA plans to reach out in January for input on the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and General Services Acquisition Regulation, which will include a specific request for improvements to MAS.

"MAS delivers to our federal customers a much faster acquisition process, excellent access to small businesses and easy compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation," Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe wrote in a Dec. 15 blog post. "But we can do better. We can do better by reducing burdensome regulations and processes for industry and reducing price variability at the contract level to benefit all stakeholders."

One primary shift already in progress is a move toward "horizontal pricing," in which GSA compares proposals to commercial market prices and current contracts, rather than just the former.

The new model will also allow vendors to compare prices for like products and services already on the schedule before submitting proposals or adjusting pricing.

GSA also plans to automate and streamline modifications and End User License Agreement reviews and expand access to eBuy opportunities to all vendors on the schedule.

"Through collaboration and honest discussions we can work together to make important changes to MAS that not only respond to customer needs and industry concerns but also address the changing dynamics across the federal market for commercial products and services," Sharpe said.

Read more, including a Q&A with Sharpe, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini and the Coalition for Government Procurement on the GSA Interact website.

Aaron Boyd is an awarding-winning journalist currently serving as editor of Federal Times — a Washington, D.C. institution covering federal workforce and contracting for more than 50 years — and Fifth Domain — a news and information hub focused on cybersecurity and cyberwar from a civilian, military and international perspective.

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