Think four documents or fewer for Multiple Award Schedules offers.
It is taking too long for the General Services Administration to process new offers from companies looking to get on a Multiple Award Schedules, according to officials, but a new policy seeks to streamline and standardize that work.
The MAS program will be releasing a draft of the new policy in “two-and-a-half to three months,” said Tiffany Hixson, GSA assistant commissioner for the Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories, during ACT-IAC’s Feb. 22 Federal Insights Exchange.
“Implementing offer streamlining is a really big deal for us,” Hixson said. “We were probably pushing a year in some instances in terms of getting offers processed. Granted, some of that was just related to the sheer volume of offers. … That said, there were some real challenges that we were having in terms of processing offers.”
Currently, there is little structure in place for offerors. So long as the documentation provided addresses the requirements for getting on the schedule, companies can submit in any form they like, Hixson explained to Nextgov after the event.
After talking with her team, looking at data and getting feedback, they discovered it isn’t technology holding up the process, it’s the process itself.
“It really wasn’t necessarily out underlying systems, our infrastructure. It was the policies and requirements that we had built into that offer process,” she said.
So, Hixson and team started working with Stephanie Shutt, director of the Multiple Award Schedule Program Management Office, and her team to find a solution. They began by trying to “skinny down” and standardize the paperwork required, Hixson said.
Hixson suggested they might be able to get the total paper count down to four documents. But the key is to build a process that works “in a structured way that can really eliminate a lot of the duplication and work and pieces of paper that our contracting officers are looking at,” she said.
The new policy would give companies standard templates to fill out, making it easier for them, as well as the contracting officers who have to process that offer.
“We’re really trying to get it down to: Here are the core documents you need to submit, and have them be consistent,” Hixson told Nextgov.
The draft policy will be posted on GSA’s Interact site when ready to get comments from agency and industry stakeholders.