Streamlined GSA Schedule Acquisition vs. Option Extension
GSA Schedule | 6 Min Read
If you are close to the end of your GSA Schedule contract’s option period or the end of your 20-year contract period, you may have heard the terms “streamlined acquisition” or “option extension.” But which action do you need to take?
We at Winvale find that contractors often conflate the two terms because they both approach the end of an option period, but they are very different processes. In short, streamlined GSA Schedule acquisitions occur when your Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract is approaching the end of its 20-year term, and you need to establish a new contract that reflects what is currently on your contract. An option extension occurs when you are approaching the end of a 5-year option period on your GSA Schedule, excluding the end of your contract.
Now that you have a general idea of which option is which, let’s dive into the specific procedures that occur for each contract action.
What is a GSA Schedule Option Extension?
The GSA Schedule extension process is initiated by your Contracting Officer by way of a formal letter (via email) inquiring about your intent to extend your contract. You can expect this letter about 6 months before your contract expiration date. This letter is typically sent automatically. There are two potential routes once you receive this letter: you can opt to continue the contract and proceed through the option extension, or you can decide to not continue forward and let your contract expire at the end of the option period.
If you do intend to extend your GSA Schedule contract into the next option period, the process is meant to confirm the terms and conditions of your contract, your Commercial Sales Practices information (if applicable), and confirm your business size. You should not make any substantial changes to your contract once the option extension process has been started and most Contracting Officers will not allow modifications at this time.
What Are the Requirements for An Option Extension?
The option extension is meant to confirm your compliance and affirm the current terms and conditions of your contract. If your firm intends to extend your contract, the Contracting Officer will ask you to affirm certain aspects of your GSA Schedule. Below is a list of action items you should be sure are completed when preparing for your contract extension:
- SAM.gov Registration - Make sure your SAM registration is up to date, contains the proper NAICS codes, and will not expire before or during your contract extension
- Mass Modifications – Check the Mass Mod portal and confirm that you have accepted all mass mods associated with your GSA Schedule number.
- GSA Advantage! Price List - Verify that the price list you have posted on GSA Advantage! reflects the most recent modification to your contract.
- Business size designation - If you are classified as a small business, affirm that you are still eligible under the applicable small business size standards for your primary NAICS code.
These are the action items you will need to confirm when drafting your option extension letter. Once this letter has been submitted to the eMod system, your Contracting Officer may request additional documentation like pricing support for your products/services, a CSP Chart, among other documents that can confirm your compliance with your terms and conditions.
This section of the review will likely occur within the 3 months of your option period but varies greatly on the Contracting Officer. The overall point of the option extension is to confirm your terms and conditions and push the contract to its next option period.
What is a GSA Schedule Streamlined Proposal?
A streamlined offer, or streamlined proposal, is meant to make the process of getting a new 20-year GSA Schedule contract easier for existing contractors. Coming to the end of your 20-year option period creates some challenges for contractors—primarily regarding Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs).
Some orders can’t extend beyond the expiration date of your underlying GSA Schedule unless there are option periods remaining under the contract that, if exercised, would cover the BPA's/order period of performance. For example, an ordering activity can’t establish a one-year BPA with a contractor if only 6 months remain on the MAS contract (with no remaining option periods).
GSA's solution for this situation is to allow for the award of overlapping/continuous contracts. These are essentially duplicate GSA Schedule contracts for the same items. It’s important to note that streamlined proposals are only available to “successful MAS contractors that meet the following requirements as laid out by SCP-FSS-001 Instructions Applicable to All Offerors (AUG 2020) (e) 1-3 in the MAS Solicitation”:
- The contractor has an active Federal Supply Services (FSS) program contract and is submitting a new offer for the same Special Item Numbers (SINs).
- Sales under the existing contract have averaged a minimum of $25,000 per year for the previous five years of reported sales.
- There is a demonstrated pattern of satisfactory past performance under the existing contract.
Contractors who go through the streamlined proposal process may hold continuous contracts for a time, which would allow the MAS contractor to complete work under BPAs and orders awarded via the existing contract, while utilizing the new contract for new business opportunities. Contractors should note that there may be additional administrative and reporting burdens caused by managing the overlapping contracts for a period of time.
What Are the Requirements for a Streamlined Proposal?
A streamlined proposal is substantially more work than an option extension. A streamlined proposal, as the name would suggest, is more streamlined than an MAS proposal for a new contractor, but provides a lot of the same documentation as a new MAS offer.
Typically, but not always, your current Contracting Officer helps to review the streamlined offer and as they are familiar with your current offerings. The process should theoretically be easier than creating a new proposal with a Contracting Officer/Specialist who is unfamiliar with your offerings.
The streamlined proposal process looks very similar to the documentation required in an MAS proposal, but with a few documents eliminated:
- Pathways to Success and Readiness Assessment – These Vendor Education Center Trainings are meant to train new vendors on MAS compliance, so they are not required for Streamlined Offers
- Financial Statements – Successful MAS contractors have already proven financial viability, therefore the financial review is not required
- Corporate Experience narrative
- Past Performance Information – No CPARS or past performance references/questionnaires are required
- Relevant Project Experience
The rest of the documentation listed in the “SCP-FSS-001 Instructions Applicable to All Offerors (AUG 2020)” is still applicable to streamlined offers. Contractors looking to go through this process should give themselves plenty of time before the 20-year period ends to submit their proposal as review times can be fairly similar to a normal, non-streamlined, MAS proposal.
Which Action Do You Need to Take for Your GSA Schedule?
The process for an option extension is typically much shorter than a streamlined offer. A streamlined offer, while more streamlined than that of a full MAS proposal for a new contractor, is definitely more substantive and requires more work from the contractor.
If you think that you are heading toward either option, making sure that you are compliant with your terms and conditions is a crucial first step. Check out our blogs “Top 9 Compliance Risks that Can Affect Your GSA Schedule” and “How to Maintain Your GSA Schedule Contract: An Essential Checklist” to ensure your contract is good to go before proceeding forward. If you are unsure as to which action applies to your contract, contact your Contracting officer or reach out to a Winvale consultant today.