Originally broadcast and published on Government Matters on August 18, 2020.
The General Services Administration is working to streamline the government contracting process. The ultimate goal is to have a single solicitation for multiple award contracts. Jacob Bertram, consultant at Lohfeld Consulting Group, believes the innovative solution lies in merging the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program and Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs).
Bertram explains that the recipe for success could be the marriage of the “best of both worlds,” by combining the best features of the successful MAS program and GWACs. The top benefits from GWACs would include flexible contract types such as fixed price and cost reimbursement. MAS program benefits range from an easy on-ramping process to commercial solutions. The combination of the successful aspects of both MAS and different GWAC programs could lead to a new program focused on quality assurance, simplicity and flexibility.
“The beauty of the transition to one single Multiple Award Schedule is the flexibility that’s there,” said Bertram.
He went on to explain that one master services agreement could lead to faster onboarding for companies by way of continuously open award schedules.
“Imagine a contract vehicle that is continuously open, allows both fixed price and cost reimbursement contracting, provides flexible pricing, and allows companies to propose commercially viable solutions to the government in the same manner as a private company. This one contract vehicle would replace the MAS program and GWACs by eliminating administrative costs for both government and industry while providing a simple and easy-to-use vehicle for agency customers,” said Bertram in his OPed in Washington Technology.
Next steps would require a team effort. Bertram writes that the implementation of consolidation would start with major stakeholders such as GSA, industry leaders and customer agencies.
“The beauty of this idea is that it can all be done under existing regulation and under the existing law,” said Bertram. “A lot of the Multiple Award Schedule is rooted in regulation that has to be changed, so that is one of the drawdowns of that.”
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