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Does GSA Schedule 70 Still Exist? The Truth Revealed

Does GSA Schedule 70 still exist?
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Since 1949, the General Services Administration (GSA) has been on a mission to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology to the government and the American people. Continuously seeking new and effective ways to bring more value to their federal customers, GSA has always welcomed input from all stakeholders.

However, a recent audit by GSA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed some concerning findings about GSA’s IT Schedule 70. The audit found that some contracts on GSA’s IT Schedule 70 offered identical products at widely varying prices, and some items were being offered at prices higher than commercial sales. These findings sparked a renewed focus on improving the GSA Schedule contracts, federal IT procurement, and government IT services.

With these challenges in mind, GSA has been working diligently to transform the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program, which includes IT Schedule 70, to reduce prices and streamline processes. This article will delve into the history, evolution, and the current status of GSA Schedule 70, as well as the initiatives GSA has undertaken to ensure it continues to deliver IT product acquisition and government IT services at the best value for federal agencies.

Introduction to GSA Schedule 70

The GSA Schedule 70, also known as the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Information Technology (IT) Category, is a widely utilized procurement vehicle that provides federal agencies with direct access to over 4,700 pre-vetted, innovative companies offering high-quality IT products, services, and solutions. As the largest and most comprehensive acquisition program in the federal government, GSA Schedule 70 continues to be an essential resource for federal IT procurement, government IT services, and IT product acquisition.

Overview of GSA Schedule 70

The GSA Schedule 70 offers a diverse portfolio of more than 7.5 million commercial IT products, services, and solutions, with competitive and flexible pricing structures, customized terms and conditions, and a significant presence of small business IT industry partners. This continuously available contract, with a five-year period beginning on the Date of Award, provides federal agencies with a streamlined and efficient way to access the latest technologies and services to support their missions.

Importance of GSA Schedule 70 for Federal IT Procurement

The GSA Schedule 70 plays a crucial role in federal IT procurement, enabling government agencies to easily acquire a wide range of IT products, services, and solutions through a pre-vetted and trusted contracting vehicle. The program’s Special Item Numbers (SINs) and subcategories within the IT Category allow agencies to find tailored solutions that address their specific IT needs. Additionally, GSA offers Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) and Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) to provide further access to customized IT solutions from a diverse pool of industry partners.

History and Evolution of GSA Schedule 70

Since its establishment by President Harry Truman in 1949, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has been at the forefront of delivering value in real estate, acquisition, and technology to the government and the American people. Throughout its history, GSA has consistently welcomed input from stakeholders as it seeks new and effective ways to bring more value to its federal customers.

Establishment of GSA Schedule 70

The origins of GSA Schedule 70 can be traced back to 1949 when the agency was first formed. The initial administrator, Jess Larson, oversaw the consolidation of scattered administrations into a single, cohesive unit that would eventually become the backbone of federal IT procurement.

Changes and Updates Over the Years

Over the decades, GSA Schedule 70 has evolved to meet the changing needs of federal agencies. In recent years, a 2018 audit by the GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that some contracts on the schedule offered identical products at widely varying prices, with some items being offered at prices higher than commercial sales. In response, GSA has worked diligently for the past three years to transform the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program, reduce prices, and streamline processes to ensure it continues to deliver the best value to its customers.

Does GSA Schedule 70 still exist?

Yes, GSA Schedule 70 still exists and continues to be the largest, most widely used acquisition vehicle in the federal government. In FY15, the program started growing again after a downturn in business volume in prior years.

GSA Schedule 70 provides federal agencies with direct access to more than 4,700 pre-vetted innovative companies, who offer a vast array of high-quality IT products, services, and solutions. With over 5,000 industry vendors accessible through the contract, it offers agencies the opportunity to tap into millions of items and services to meet their diverse IT needs.

The GSA Advantage! system and GSA eLibrary further enhance the capabilities of GSA Schedule 70, enabling federal buyers to easily navigate the extensive catalog of offerings and make informed purchasing decisions. This streamlined acquisition process, combined with GSA’s ongoing initiatives to ensure competitive pricing and best value, make GSA Schedule 70 an indispensable tool for government IT procurement.

Key Statistics Value
MAS IT Offerings 7.5 million commercial IT products, services, and solutions
MAS IT Contract Period 5 years, exclusive of options
MAS IT Small Business Partners More than 50%
GSA Sales under IT Schedule 70 (2018) $15 Billion
Contractors on GSA Schedule 70 4,856
Average Sales per Contractor (GSA Schedule 70) $3.1 million per year

Transformation of the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program

In response to concerns about price variability on Schedules, GSA spearheaded the Competitive Pricing Initiative (CPI), which looks at the current prices of identical products offered by suppliers through MAS and identifies opportunities for more competitive prices. Since it began in FY 2015, CPI has led to price reductions on roughly 1.4 million items across all of GSA’s 15 products Schedules.

Standardization of Part Numbers and Universal Price Codes (UPCs)

GSA’s customers told them it was difficult and time consuming to compare prices between different contractors. To fix this, they asked vendors to standardize part numbers and collected existing Universal Price Codes (UPCs) so government buyers can more easily find and compare products and prices on Schedules.

Horizontal Pricing Analysis Application

To help small businesses that don’t have the resources to conduct extensive analyses, GSA added a Horizontal Pricing Analysis application to their e-toolbox. This market-research resource provides MAS contracting officers with additional data to pass on to MAS suppliers so they can be as competitive as possible.

GSA Price Point (XSB) Tool

GSA implemented the GSA Price Point (XSB) tool, an automated tool that lets their contracting officers compare products and evaluate prices of all existing and future GSA Advantage! product listings and contract price modifications.

Formatted Product Tool (FPT)

GSA developed the Formatted Product Tool (FPT) to help their MAS contractors and contracting officers negotiate competitive prices for products on Schedule. FPT automates price comparisons for identical items, removes burdensome processes for both vendors and federal buyers, and improves their customers’ GSA Advantage! experience.

Introduction of New Special Item Numbers (SINs)

As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the IT Schedule 70 program, the General Services Administration (GSA) has introduced several new Special Item Numbers (SINs) to provide federal agencies with greater access to specialized IT products and services.

Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) SINs

In October 2016, GSA announced the completion of the first phase of oral technical evaluations, allowing them to expedite the modification and award processes to onboard 15 vendors onto the new “Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS)” SINs under IT Schedule 70. This specialized SIN offers agencies a pre-vetted pool of providers for advanced cybersecurity solutions to protect critical government systems and data.

Cloud Special Item Number (SIN) 132-40

On April 29, GSA added the Cloud Computing SIN 132-40 to IT Schedule 70, enabling federal, state, and local agencies to more easily identify and acquire commercial cloud solutions. This new SIN helps agencies meet their mission requirements, achieve operational efficiencies and cost savings, and comply with federal cloud computing mandates.

SIN Description Number of Vendors
Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) Specialized SIN for advanced cybersecurity solutions 15 vendors in the first phase, with a total of 34 vendors evaluated and added
Cloud Computing SIN 132-40 Enables agencies to easily acquire commercial cloud services 7 companies currently offering solutions under this new SIN

GSA’s Efforts to Improve IT Schedule 70

At the heart of GSA’s mission is a commitment to delivering exceptional value to the federal government and the American people. To this end, the agency has taken proactive steps to enhance the competitiveness and efficacy of the IT Schedule 70 program.

Collaboration with Industry and Government Agencies

Government and industry collaboration has been a cornerstone of the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) acquisition effort from the very beginning. This collaborative approach ensures that federal agency needs are thoroughly understood and addressed, while also enabling industry partners to provide valuable input early in the contract development process.

Initiatives for Competitive Pricing and Value

Recognizing the importance of competitive pricing and maximizing taxpayer value, GSA has implemented several key initiatives. The Competitive Pricing Initiative (CPI), for example, has led to price reductions on approximately 1.4 million items across all 15 of GSA’s product Schedules. Additionally, the agency has developed specialized tools like the Horizontal Pricing Analysis application and the GSA Price Point (XSB) tool to assist small businesses and enable more informed purchasing decisions.

Furthermore, the Formatted Product Tool (FPT) was introduced to streamline the price comparison process for identical items on the IT Schedule 70 contract, benefiting both vendors and federal buyers.

Benefits of Using GSA Schedule 70

GSA Schedule 70, the largest and most widely used acquisition vehicle in the federal government, offers numerous advantages for agencies seeking high-quality IT products, services, and solutions. One of the primary benefits is the direct access it provides to over 4,700 pre-vetted innovative companies that deliver top-tier offerings.

Access to Pre-Vetted Vendors

By leveraging GSA Schedule 70, federal agencies can tap into a diverse pool of pre-screened and highly capable vendors, ensuring they consistently receive the best value and quality in their IT procurement. This streamlined access to a vast network of industry partners eliminates the need for lengthy evaluation and approval processes, allowing agencies to focus on their core missions.

Streamlined Acquisition Process

GSA Schedule 70 provides a simplified and efficient acquisition process, enabling federal agencies to quickly and easily acquire the IT products, services, and solutions they require. The program’s Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract structure, coupled with standardized terms and conditions, streamlines the procurement cycle and reduces the administrative burden on both agencies and vendors.

Cost Savings and Best Value

Through initiatives like the Competitive Pricing Initiative (CPI), GSA has driven price reductions on approximately 1.4 million items across its 15 Schedules, directly passing these savings on to its agency customers. By leveraging the scale and buying power of the federal government, GSA Schedule 70 ensures agencies receive the best value for their IT investments, maximizing taxpayer dollars.

Future of GSA Schedule 70 and IT Procurement

While IT Schedule 70 may not be perfect, the General Services Administration (GSA) has demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement and modernization. Recognizing the challenges faced, GSA has taken concrete steps to enhance the program’s competitiveness and provide government buyers with the tools they need to make informed purchasing decisions.

Continuous Improvement and Modernization

One of the key initiatives undertaken by GSA is the Competitive Pricing Initiative (CPI), which has led to price reductions on roughly 1.4 million items across all of their 15 Schedules since its inception in fiscal year 2015. Additionally, GSA has implemented innovative tools such as the Horizontal Pricing Analysis application, GSA Price Point (XSB), and the Formatted Product Tool (FPT) to aid in price comparisons and negotiation for government buyers and Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) contractors.

Looking ahead, the MAS Transformation initiative aims to consolidate the existing 24 Schedules into a single Schedule for products, services, and solutions. This effort, which will occur in three phases through fiscal year 2020, is designed to make it easier for government agencies to find and acquire the products and services they need. As part of this consolidation, GSA is also reviewing and reorganizing Special Item Numbers (SINs) to improve clarity and streamline the procurement process.

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