The General Services Administration delivered on its long-awaited promise to reform the Multiple Award Schedule program Tuesday, announcing plans to condense 24 contract vehicles into a single offering for products and services.
Administrator Emily Murphy said in a statement that the reform plan is an integral piece of the GSA’s vision of a more efficient, agile and inclusive acquisition process.
“Reforming our schedules will improve customer service, make it easier for small businesses to access the schedules program, reduce duplication for all our vendors, and allows GSA’s workforce to focus on delivering solutions,” she said. “This is an important step in addressing feedback we’ve received from our government and business partners.”
Murphy has been teasing details about the schedules reform plan for months, saying in May that by retooling the program — which controls $31 billion in annual spending — GSA could help drive “vigorous competition at the task order level” by establishing common standards and requirements to drive acquisition savings and efficiencies.
“This isn’t about private sector versus public sector,” she said. “This is really about taking common requirements for administrative services and trying to see, first of all, are there efficiencies we can gain and can we improve the customer service that takes place with those?”
While GSA officials didn’t offer extensive detail about how the reform plan will play out, they did stress that it has been developed in collaboration with agency and industry stakeholders to facilitate how each can conduct business at a time when products and services are in high demand.
“A single schedule for products and services will make it easier for customers to find and purchase the solutions they need to meet their respective missions,” said Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Alan Thomas, in a statement. “It will also provide a single-entry point to MAS with consistent practices applied across the program and save vendors from the burden of managing contracts on multiple schedules.”
GSA officials said they would provide more information on the consolidation plan at its Dec. 12 industry day, where it’s expected to also discuss the second phase of its Federal Marketplace e-commerce strategy.