GSA Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)

Confused about the VA Federal Supply Schedule? Let Tom Fuchs, Managing Director at BDO, and I help you navigate the FSS contracting rules that apply to the sale of medical devices. During our interactive webinar we’ll share our accounting and legal perspectives with you. Specific to the medical/surgical supply and equipment industry, we will review:

GSA-Schedule-logoThe General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced that beginning June 15, 2015, it will be using a new contractor assessment report to evaluate contractors with Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts. The new report, which is available here, will be issued to contractors after GSA industrial operations analysts (IOAs) conduct their contract assessments. The report will be limited to performance against contract terms and conditions and will be provided only to GSA and the individual contractor. The idea is to provide timely and tailored feedback to contractors and the acquisition community on issues pertinent to MAS contract compliance. GSA leadership spent two years developing the new report, which is intended to replace the Contractor Assistance Visit Report and the Administrative Report Card. GSA stated that assessments will be more frequent with contracts likely to have compliance issues, based on yearly sales. GSA hopes the Contractor Assessment Report will allow contractors and Contracting Officers to address problems before they become major issues.

Continue Reading GSA’s New MAS Contractor Assessment Report – Is It Better?

According to GSA, the lack of transparency in prices paid on government contracts has led to significant price variations of up to 300% or more of purchases made by federal agencies and unnecessary duplication of contract vehicles.  In an attempt to address this concern, the General Services Administration (GSA) has issued a proposed rule (RIN-3090-AJ51) to increase visibility on prices paid by government buyers through the implementation of a transactional data reporting clause added to GSAR 552.216.

The proposed rule would require vendors to report prices paid for products and services during the performance of the contract including under orders and blanket purchase agreements.  The report would include 11 transactional data elements such as unit measures, quantity of item sold, prices paid per unit, and total price.  Contractors would submit these reports electronically through a “user-friendly, online reporting system.”  The rule would apply to orders placed against Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts and other GWAC and IDIQ contracts administered by GSA.  The reporting requirement, however, would not apply to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs FSS contracts for pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, etc.  The rule, once finalized, would go into effect immediately for GWACs and IDIQ contracts but conducted in phases for FSS contracts.

Continue Reading GSA’s New Vision for FSS Contractors: No More Basis of Award Customer Monitoring in Exchange for Transactional Data

DHS Technologies LLC and subsidiary DHS Systems LLC recently agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle claims it defrauded the federal government by failing to disclose that it offered greater discounts to a commercial company as part of the renewal of its General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule contract in 2007.

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Bryan King, Amy Sanders and Shannon Wiley teamed up to author an alert titled, “RAC Dispute Could Have Far-Reaching Effects on Government Contracting” that was published by Bass, Berry & Sims on December 4, 2014. The article investigates the recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in CGI Federal Inc., v. United States,

Government contractors who have recently registered or re-registered in the System for Award (SAM) database have come across a new disclosure requirement regarding their corporate structure. New questions inquiring about an “immediate owner” and a “higher-level owner” have sparked confusion as to what these requirements are and where they are coming from.

The requirements were prompted by a new FAR Subpart 4.18 – Commercial and Government Entity Code (CAGE) requiring all SAM registrants, if owned by another entity, to identify that entity by name, CAGE code and type of ownership. CAGE codes are a five-character identifier used extensively within the Federal Government and provide for standardization of identifying a legal entity across the Federal Government.

Continue Reading New CAGE Code Requirements for Contractor’s Ownership Chain

If a cloud services provider (CSP) wishes to provide their services to a federal agency they must obtain authorization and approval from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). As more and more CSPs have entered the FedRAMP assessment process, there has been a push to help agencies and CSPs achieve FedRAMP authorization faster. Moreover, the Office of Management and Budget mandated starting June 5, 2014, that all CSPs must be FedRAMP approved or at least in the process of getting an authority to operate prior to contracting with federal agencies. In order to assist with these efforts, GSA recently unveiled a new category to its program for cloud systems proven “FedRAMP Ready.”

Continue Reading GSA Announces New FedRAMP Category to Speed Up Approval Process

The government contracting industry is extremely competitive, which is not a surprise given the $500+ billion dollars in federal procurement spending up for grabs each year. This competition certainly gives government contractors ample incentive to seek out any useful information that may provide even a small advantage in their procurement activities. Bid protest decisions can be one such source of useful information, often providing valuable insight into the procurement process.

One bid protest decision may focus on a contractor’s mistakes which led to its proposal being rejected from competition, serving as a how-to-guide of sorts showing contractors what not to do. Another bid protest decision may instead highlight errors made by the agency, giving contractors a blueprint of what agency actions/inactions to look out for in their own procurements that may lead to sustainable protests. Whatever the issue, knowledgeable contractors can utilize this information to avoid missteps and properly protect their interests in the potentially lucrative government contracting space.

Another useful aspect of bid protest decisions is that some decisions, while pointing out avoidable defects in proposals, can also shine a light on obscure rules and regulations which may open up contracting avenues not otherwise considered. GAO released a bid protest decision last week which may provide an example of this notion.

Continue Reading Learning from Bid Protests: Non-GSA Contract Holders Can Submit Offers Through a Contract Holder—If They Follow the Rules