4 Changes what you news to know

Stay informed with the key changes in GSA's Refresh 4, effective August 13, 2020, impacting contractors and GSA MAS contracts. Get tailored support from Blackfyre.

Title : 4 Changes what you news to know

The U.S General Services Administration (GSA) is set to implement Refresh 4 of the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Solicitation on August 13, 2020. This eagerly anticipated update will bring significant changes to the GSA MAS Contract. Rest assured, all contractors will receive a mass modification to integrate these pivotal changes. Let’s break everything down for simpler understanding.

The key changes encompass:

1. Prohibited Telecommunications:

Part B of Section 889: By expanding the certification requirement out of the government contracts, contractors are now bound to certify they do not utilize prohibited telecom equipment in any segment of their business operations.

Background: With a direct relation to a preceding mass modification (Part A), this part principally concentrated on the banned provision of telecom equipment explicitly in government contracts.

Resources: GSA has been exceptionally adept in providing an overview and FAQ for Section 889 Part B, particularly with reference to contractors for review and compliance.

2. Past Performance Requirements:

Change in Process: In an endeavor to fast-track the proposal review process, Contractors are now tasked with obtaining and submitting Past Performance Questionnaires (PPQ) from references, instead of banking on GSA to interact with those references.

Impact: This critical change could potentially shrink review times and save contractors the blushes of proposal rejections which are commonly a result of non-responsive references.

3. Deletion of Two SINs:

Removal of IT Equipment SINs: It’s important to note that used/refurbished IT equipment (SIN 33411REF) and rental of IT equipment (SIN 132-4/532420R) will not feature any more through the GSA MAS Contract.

Reasoning: GSA identified the supply chain vulnerabilities as a prime rationale behind this verdict.

4. AbilityOne Products:

Clarification: Products that are “Essentially the Same” as the ones offered through the AbilityOne Program cannot be offered under the GSA MAS Contract, irrespective of the fact that the distributors are registered under AbilityOne.

Removal of Clause 52.222-17:

Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers: The clause that previously mandated service contractors to offer the right of first refusal of employment to employees of the predecessor contractor has been deleted. This holds significant implications for employment practices under new contracts.

Action Steps for Contractors:

The necessary actions that the contractors need to undertake are as follows:

  1. Accepting the Mass Mod: It is strongly advised for contractors to promptly accept the Refresh 4 mass modification, as it is due to become effective on August 13, 2020. Acceptance is cardinal for progressing to receive orders under the GSA MAS Contract.
  2. Reviewing Section 889: For compliance, the contractors must conduct a comprehensive review and understand the requirements of Section 889 Part B.
  3. Preparing PPQs: Contractors ought to proactively engage with their references so as to gather completed PPQs for proposal submissions.
  4. Adjusting to SIN Deletions: Contractors currently engaged in offering products under the deleted SINs must adjust their offerings and strategies accordingly.

New Authentication Process for Mass Mods:

Two-Step MFA: By introducing a new Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) process, the need for a digital certificate or PIN for signing mass mods has been eliminated. Nevertheless, digital certificates continue to be a requirement for modifications through the eMod system.

User Guide: Every contractor should familiarize themselves with the MFA process, using the guidance available on GSA Interact.

Blackfyre's Support:

As a market leader in GSA schedule consulting, Blackfyre is at your service to assist contractors in understanding and integrating these changes. Our comprehensive services include:

  • Guidance on Compliance: We are dedicated to assisting you with understanding and implementing the new Section 889 requirements.
  • Proposal Support: We offer unparalleled support in obtaining and compiling PPQs for proposal submissions.
  • Contract Modification Assistance: Our expert team is at hand to help contractors adjust to the deletion of SINs and other contractual changes.

For further assistance or to stay informed on GSA updates, contractors can subscribe to our alerts and newsletters, or reach out to Blackfyre for tailored support. Led by a former GSA Schedule Reviewer, we offer the most discerning GSA Schedule Consulting services.

Pedro has extensive background as a Contracting Officer and Contract Specialist, has worked across seven federal agencies, managing contracts totaling over $1 billion in the professional and tech sectors. His notable tenure includes serving with the DoD/DARPA during the inception of their robotics program. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in initiating the Cyber Special Item Number (SIN) within the GSA's IT Schedule 70 as a Team Lead. After graduating from Harvard, he started Blackfyre to help you win your next contract.

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