In addition to making specific recommendations for Services contracts, the Multiple Award Schedule (“MAS”) Advisory Panel’s Final Report (.pdf) recommended a number of actions to be taken by GSA related to the acquisition of Solutions (a specific combination of services and products defined by each customer’s needs).
The Panel recommended:
- Do not apply the Price Reduction Clause to the acquisition of solutions, and instead require competition at the task and delivery order level;
- Update MAS program guidance to make clear that prices for solutions must be determined to be fair and reasonable at the order level;
- Require orders for solutions to be firm-fixed-price and performance based;
- Evaluate the applicability of the MAS program policies and guidance to the acquisition of solutions.
Throughout the Report, the Panel recognized the difficulty of applying the existing GSA Schedule rules and guidance to the acquisition of Solutions, due to the uniqueness – both to the government and the vendor – of each Solutions acquisition. With the fourth recommendation above, the Panel does not advocate the outright removal of Solutions acquisitions from the Schedule program, but does make clear that the existing regulatory and contractual framework does not fit well with the acquisition of Solutions. Can the GSA Schedule program be modified for Solutions acquisitions to achieve fair and reasonable pricing, competition, and transparency that the Panel desires, and if so, how?