What You Need to Know About the Multiple Award Schedule Solicitation Refresh #6
More updates are coming for GSA contractors—on May 17, 2021, GSA will release the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 - Refresh # 6. Once the refresh is officially out, it will be accompanied by a Mass Modification (Mass Mod) for all GSA Schedule contractors. Action is required on this Mass Mod, so it’s important you understand what these upcoming changes mean to you as a contractor.
Although the final solicitation will not be issued until mid-May, GSA posted a draft of all the changes associated with the upcoming solicitation. The draft is subject to change, but this is what we know so far about the MAS Solicitation Refresh #6.
Significant Updates in the MAS Solicitation Refresh #6
There are 3 major updates to the Solicitation Refresh you should be familiar with.
Implementation of the Verified Products Portal (VPP)
The Verified Products Portal (VPP) is a manufacturer and reseller facing portal that will house crucial supplier information. It’s designed to reduce the burden on manufacturers and resellers by streamlining data management and eliminating the Letter of Supply requirements. The VPP will run on data provided by participating GSA manufacturers and resellers.
The following changes will be made to the Solicitation to incorporate the VPP:
- MAS solicitation language will be revised to inform offerors submitting MAS proposals that a Letter of Supply is not required if products come from a manufacturer that provides supplier authorization data in the VPP. Note: If the manufacturer is not participating in the VPP, a Letter of Supply is required.
- FAS clause I-FSS-644 will be updated to clearly outline the requirement for contractors to submit evidence of an uninterrupted source of supply. The language in the clause title will also change from “Dealers and Suppliers” to “Vendors and Manufacturers.”
- The Letter of Supply template language will be updated to make it clearer for new offerors, and to make general updates for the GSA MAS Consolidation.
DocuSign and GSA FAS ID
Contractors must now use GSA’s FAS ID multi-factor authentication to log-in to several GSA sites including eOffer, eMod, eBuy, FAS Sales Reporting Portal, and GSA Advantage!. This means you will no longer need digital certificates to access these systems. Contractors are also required to use DocuSign to electronically sign documents in GSA systems.
The Solicitation Refresh will:
- Update clause SCP-FSS-001 to remove the requirement to obtain a digital certificate.
- Remove all references to digital certificates from MAS systems, guidance, and correspondence.
Temporary Waiver of Certain Requirements to Support the Government’s Response to COVID-19
GSA recently issued a letter that temporarily waives three MAS Solicitation requirements for specific vendors. If a company is proposing products and services on a GSA Schedule that directly support the government's response to COVID-19, they do not need:
- Two years of corporate experience
- Relevant project experience for each Special Item Number (SIN) proposed
- Annual financial statements for the previous two years
It’s important to note that this is just for companies with COVID-19 related solutions, and this is only a temporary waiver. For more information on solicitation requirements, check out the MAS roadmap.
Other Changes to the MAS Solicitation
In addition to the 3 major changes noted above, GSA is implementing several other updates to the MAS Solicitation.
Authorize Only Approved Drones
A note will be added to all Large Category attachments to revise the scope of the Solicitation so only authorized drones can be offered. GSA will not award any drones/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) unless they are approved by the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) through its Blue sUAS Program.
Incorporate Additional Updates to SCP-FSS-001
In addition to the temporary waiver of contractor requirements, GSA plans to:
- Implement a clarification on offering identical products.
- Update instructions for certain Past Performance requirements including removing “Open Ratings” as a methodology for showing past performance.
- Clarify instructions for offerors that verify in eOffer that they do not have 3 or more CPARS reports that meet the outlined solicitation criteria.
Clarification on Ability One Authorized Distributors
The MAS Solicitation Refresh #6 will be updated to include clarifying language on which AbilityOne items can be offered through GSA Schedules. It also further clarifies that no contractor can offer Essentially the Same (ETS) items as those sold through the AbilityOne Program.
Updated Service Contract Labor Standards (SCLS)
This is GSA’s annual update to revise the Wage Determination index for the Service Contract Labor Standards (SCLS). There is no change in policy or clauses at this time. If you have any SCLS applicable labor categories, check the wage determination codes to make sure yours are up to date.
Clause and Provision Updates
Administrative clause and provision updates will also be made per Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2021-02 through 2021-05 and GSAR Change 114 through 123. You can view the full list of clauses in GSA’s document outlining the significant changes to the Solicitation.
How Do Contractors Accept the Mass Modification?
Once you read through all the changes to the MAS Solicitation and understand how they affect you as a contractor, you will need to go into the Mass Mod system and officially accept it. You will have 90 days to accept the Mass Mod once the final draft of the Solicitation is released. Don’t worry, you’ll be notified of the release in an email from GSA.
As with the MAS Solicitation Refresh #5, only authorized negotiators with a valid GSA FAS ID will be able to sign the Mass Mod. If you want to add someone to your authorized negotiator list, you will need to submit a modification in eMod.
Stay Updated on Future GSA Changes
We know it can be difficult to balance the frequent updates and requirements to your GSA Schedule contract with the daily demands of your business. At Winvale, it’s our job to monitor any changes with GSA so you don’t miss out on any important announcements.
To stay updated with the government contracting world, subscribe to our blog and our monthly newsletter. If you have any questions about your GSA Schedule or if you need help keeping up with your contract, one of our consultants would be happy to assist you.
About Stephanie Hagan
Stephanie Hagan is the Content Writer and Digital Editor for Winvale where she helps the marketing department continue to develop and distribute GSA and government contracting content. Stephanie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism and Rhetoric/Communications from the University of Richmond.