FAST Lane Program: Making it Easier to Get on GSA Schedules

Get on GSA Schedules

IT Schedule 70 of the General Services Administration (GSA) is one of the largest Schedules in the agency with the growing demand for IT tools and services. The businesses under GSA Schedule procure $14 billion worth of goods and services annually. More than 4,500 GSA contracts are awarded to companies to match the needs of the federal government. On top of that, it also takes less time for these GSA contracts to get awarded.

GSA collaborated with the Federal Acquisition Services (FAS) and Integrated Technology Services (ITS) to develop the FASt Lane Pilot Program. It was introduced in March 2016 to simplify the acquisition process of IT goods and services. This award process streamlines the approval rate of several proposals and contract modifications. Nonetheless, the program established various policies making it easier to connect businesses with the public sector.

Initiatives of the FASt Lane Program to Streamline Contract Modifications for Existing GSA Contractors

The FASt Lane program provides public sectors with access to all the resources needed to get updated with the latest technologies and innovative solutions. The program makes sure that contract resolutions and modifications can get approved within the next 48 hours. The duration of the process for new offers should also take as little as 45 days.

So far, the FASt Lane program’s policies are solely applicable for buyers and sellers under the GSA Schedule 70. Here are the qualifying initiatives included within the program:

  • 2nd Generation IT BPA (2GIT)
  • Health IT SIN
  • Cloud Services SIN
  • Cybersecurity Solutions
  • Agile Delivery Services BPA
  • NGA CIBORG
  • Army Contracting Command (AMCOM) Express
  • Agile Delivery Services Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)
  • DHS Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) BPA
  • Governmentwide Strategic Solutions for Laptops and Desktops
  • National IT Commodity Program
  • Navy SPAWAR Enterprise Agreement Project
  • Other customer initiatives that may arise

The policies under the FASt Lane program closely resemble the MAS Express program. Although the MAS Express Program is short-lived, many GSA Schedule contractors benefited from it. It was introduced in 2007 and only applicable to incoming offers for pre-determined SINs across different GSA Schedules.

While the GSA FASt Lane program is new, it is delivering promising results. Recent studies found that during the program’s trial version, the average processing times of the 44 companies that participated cut down to 29 days. Usually, the time it takes for contract offers to be processed can take around 110 days or more. Also, 35% of the potential GSA contractors who participated are awarded the GSA Schedule within three weeks.

FASt Lane Eligibility Guidelines

If you are considering joining the FASt Lane Program, it is integral that you qualify under the following criteria:

  1. The business must have an existing GSA Schedule or a MAS offeror. They can qualify for the program if:
  • Their GSA Schedule and SIN get assigned under the Information Technology Category (ITC). Otherwise, the business would not be eligible for this program.
  • They get assigned with a specific ITC Contracting Officer.
  • Their eOffer and eMod submissions must include ITC Special Item Numbers (SINs).
  • Their SIN is Ancillary from the Miscellaneous Category.
  1. The business must be eligible for a qualifying initiative listed above.
  2. They should be able to fulfill the FASt Lane Eligibility Checklist together with the eOffer or eMod document.

Moreover, businesses must prepare the following documents required for the proposal review. It includes the following:

Financial Statements

Financial Statements refer to the information about the finances of your business over the years. Contracting officers will usually look for both the company’s Income Statements and Balance Sheets for the last two fiscal years. Along with these, they should also submit a GSA Form 527 to confirm the business’s financial eligibility. It is also important to note that these documents have to be authenticated and audited by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Providing audited financial statements can streamline the proposal review under the FASt Lane program.

Comparison Chart Spreadsheet

The comparison chart spreadsheet should express the contrast between at least three competitors who have Schedule 70 contracts in pricing. The business should be able to demonstrate how their price list matches with the competing companies. Whether it is directly similar or close, it is as long as they are contrasting it with GSA contractors of similar size, years of experience, and educational background. During the proposal evaluation, contracting officers consider this when deliberating the fairness of your pricing.

Commercial Practices Chart

The Commercial Practices Chart demonstrates the idea of the business when it comes to fair and reasonable pricing. This chart allows the enterprises to explain how they derived with particular price points. It also showcases the standard discount and pricing policies and any non-standard business practice for each Special Item Number (SIN) offered.

eMod Guidelines

Existing contractors under the GSA Schedule can still participate in the GSA FASt Lane program. It is as long as their business falls under the qualifying initiative and meets the eligibility guidelines. However, you need to get any technical review taken care of before submitting an eMod application.

How to Request for Technical Review

Businesses that offer cloud-related IT professional services need to proceed to email [email protected] and your assigned contracting officer. The subject line of the message should say, “CLOUD Technical Evaluation.”

Here are the following attachments that can help streamline the technical review:

  • Technical responses, if applicable for cloud computing services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
  • Price proposal template

GSA Schedule holders under the subcategory, Automated Contact Center (ACCS) must send their email to [email protected] along with their Contracting Officer. The subject line of the message should say, “ACCS Technical Evaluation.”

Here are the following attachments that can help streamline the technical review:

  • Relevant Project Experience
  • Price proposal template

Under the subcategory, GSA Schedule holders, Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) must send their email to [email protected] and their Contracting Officer. The subject line of the message should say, “HACS Technical Evaluation.”

Here are the following attachments that can help streamline the technical review:

  • Cover Letter that includes
    • Key personnel names
    • Titles
    • Association with offeror
    • Point of Contact: Companies can consist of a maximum of five (5) people
    • Relevant Project Experience
    • Corporate Experience
    • Labor Category Matrix

Following the technical review, you must forward the FASt Lane program application to the eMod. Businesses should be able to fulfill the FASt Lane Eligibility Checklist upon approval. Contracting officers may reach out for any inquiries and concerns. Failure to respond for more than 2 hours can remove the eMod from FASt Lane eligibility.

Conclusion

The primary goal of the FASt Lane program is to connect the public sector with GSA contractors seamlessly. While striving to make the approval process quick for potential GSA contractors, it helps GSA fulfill the increasing demand for IT supplies and services. The fast processing time also makes it much easier to modify contracts and resolve negotiation issues for a more streamlined acquisition.

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