The General Services Administration announced that it will consolidate all 24 Multiple Award Schedules into a single schedule. The authors of this article discuss the consolidation, which will impact all contractors with this type of schedule contract and will dramatically alter the process by which contractors apply for and government stakeholders purchase from the schedules.
The General Services Administration ("GSA") currently operates 24 Multiple Award Schedules ("MAS"), under which it awards largely pre-negotiated contracts on largely commercial-item terms for a dizzying array of products and services. The current schedules are organized by industry or type of service, with individual schedules covering areas both broad (Schedule 70, IT procurement), narrow (Schedule 78, sports equipment, signs and trophies), and potentially duplicative (Schedule 71, furniture/Schedule 72, furnishings and floor coverings).
The GSA recently announced that it will abolish this fractured landscape.1 Rather than maintain its current 24 MAS rubrics as separate entities, GSA announced it will consolidate all 24 into a single schedule. Stephanie Shutt, the Director of GSA's MAS Program Management Office, described this change as part of a "mass reform project" to "ensure MAS is easy, efficient, and modern."2 This announcement impacts all contractors with this type of schedule contract and will dramatically alter the process by which contractors apply for and government stakeholders purchase from GSA schedules.
GSA utilizes MAS to establish long-term, government-wide contracts with private companies offering a variety of commercial items for sale to government parties. More than 10 million products currently appear on GSA schedules.3 Federal, state, and local agencies may place orders for listed products directly with schedule contractors or through GSA's online shopping system (GSA Advantage!), using the simplified acquisition procedures of Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") subpart 8.4. The GSA MAS program represents a large and active marketplace, and a critical point of entry for small businesses and non-traditional commercial contractors to sell to the federal government. The GSA reports that approximately $31 billion is spent through its MAS contracts each year.4
The focus of each of the 24 MAS contracts on a particular subject matter means that vendors selling different products or services under multiple schedules must comply with...