A General Services Administration’s top acquisition official has promised an improved Schedule 70 following an audit that found price discrepancies for identical products and some offered at higher prices than they were commercially available.
Mary Davie, the assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services, responded to the inspector general audit in a blog post today, acknowledging the legitimacy of the report while explaining the years-long progress made to improve the Multiple Awards Schedules program.
“We agree with [the IG’s] concerns, which is why we have been working for the past three years to fundamentally transform the MAS program, reduce prices and streamline processes,” Davie said. “Over the past few years, we’ve been adding new tools and innovations to IT Schedule 70 so that we can give our customers what they want: better pricing, better values and a better shopping experience.”
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Much of GSA’s improvements to Schedule 70 – the largest, most widely used acquisition vehicle in government – are a result of customer feedback, Davie said.
GSA addressed complaints on price variability through the Competitive Pricing Initiative, which looks at how suppliers price identical products, she said. In addition, GSA forced vendors to standardize part numbers and collected universal price codes to help buyers compare prices between different contractors for similar good and services. The agency also tackled issues raised by small businesses and contractors.
These tools and process changes have helped GSA make “significant improvements” to the Schedules program, in addressing pricing issues and the time it takes to award contracts. Despite that, Davie said it’s clear Schedule 70 needs continuing improvement.