Contract holders will also see new security measures being implemented in the near future for eOffer and eMod.
In one month, contract holders on the General Services Administration’s Multiple Award Schedule will be able to sign offers and contract modifications digitally using DocuSign. The move will come ahead of more changes that will bring additional security to two contract management portals.
On November 30, GSA will be turning on the ability to electronically sign documents in eOffer and eMod, which will become the standard method going forward. But the transition means contract holders need to prepare.
“This change to DocuSign aligns with GSA’s overall IT modernization efforts to support security and provide a solution that is legally recognized internationally,” GSA officials wrote in a post on Interact.
The post notes there will be some downtime during the transition, meaning vendors will “not be able to submit new offers and requests for modifications in eOffer and eMod” from November 25 through 29. That said, vendors will still be able to start the process for new offers and modifications—just not submit them—and will be able to work on tasks already in process.
GSA urged vendors to “plan ahead as we cannot have any partially signed documents during the transition,” the post states. “All documents pending signature must be signed by the contracting officer and contractor/offeror no later than November 23, 2020.”
GSA also announced some future security upgrades for eOffer and eMod: Both will be joining a host of other programs that use the FAS ID single sign-on for multiple platforms and adds an extra layer of security by using multifactor authentication. Officials expect to make this change toward the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2021—or before the end of March.
The secure sign-on is used by a plethora of GSA programs, including the FAS Sales Reporting Portal, GSA Advantage Purchase Order Portal, GSA Vendor Portal, eBuy Seller, and the Mass Mod Portal.
The Interact post advises contract holders to ensure their digital certificates are up to date until the transition to DocuSign and FAS ID are complete. There are reasons to maintain those certificates after the transition, as well.
“While digital certificates won’t be needed for these applications after the transition, contractors may still need to maintain their digital certificates for other government and non-government customers,” the post states. “Contractors with expiring(ed) digital certificates—and will not need to modify their contract or sign a new offer—may decide it in their best interest to forgo the expense of purchasing/renewing their digital certificates until DocuSign and GSA FAS ID are fully implemented.”