3 trends that will shape GSA contracting in 2019
The new year is here, and for public sector resellers, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about what’s ahead for GSA contracting. Several recent trends will make it easier and more efficient to do business with federal, state and local government—and may even unlock new business opportunities in 2019 and beyond.
Trend #1: GSA transformation of multiple award schedules
In November 2018, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced it will modernize federal acquisition by consolidating the agency’s 24 separate Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) into one single schedule for products and services by the end of 2020. Some of the agency’s most popular acquisition resources—including IT Schedule 70—are MAS contracts, which represent about $31 billion in annual spending.
Not only will a single schedule reduce duplication and overlap, it will simplify the process for federal customers who are increasingly seeking solutions from multiple schedules. For example, the single schedule would allow customers to package both products and services without having to sort through separate professional services or IT schedules. The harmonization process will also provide common contracting language and terms and will save vendors from the burden of managing contracts on multiple schedules.
The MAS transformation is part of GSA’s Federal Marketplace strategy to make the government buying and selling experience easy, efficient and modern. Learn more
Trend #2: Government agencies continue to “sunset” contracts and move toward GSA
Several large government contracts are moving away from their former management agencies and into GSAs.
One example is the Air Force, who for 10 years has been the owner of the Network Centric Solutions-2 (NetCents-2) contract, a five-year IDIQ contract for IT hardware and products valued at $7 billion. In November 2019, all the business will move to a multiple-award blanket purchase agreement (BPA) with the GSA, called 2GIT. The new IT Products BPA will be available to all federal government agencies and state, local and tribal entities through the agency’s cooperative purchasing program. This solution is expected to streamline the Air Force’s acquisition process while also reducing contract duplication and saving time, resources and taxpayer dollars, too. Learn more
The FBI is following suit. The agency has announced plans to sunset its IT commodity and services contract (known as ITSSS or IT Triple-S) and move its business to a BPA with the GSA. Learn more
“We’re seeing massive contract consolidation and realignment happening all across the federal government—not just with GSA but also with other major contracts,” said Frank Ratel, senior channel account executive. “It’s a huge trend right now, and the GSA is the benefactor of many of these decisions.”
Trend #3: Department of Defense (DoD) continues to evaluate the GSA-based e-commerce model
Another major topic of discussion is the idea of establishing an e-commerce model for DoD purchases. New legislation introduced in 2018 (Section 846 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act) requires the GSA to establish commercial e-commerce portals (similar to Amazon) to modernize the purchase of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products—and also raises the threshold of purchases from $3,000 to $10,000.
The GSA is currently conducting market research to determine viability of an e-commerce model, specifically assessing concerns related to data, cybersecurity, counterfeit products and other issues so it can prepare for an initial e-commerce pilot rollout by October 2019. The goal is to increase competition and improve transparency in the acquisition process, but evaluations and discussions are still underway.
To learn more about how to support GSA contracts in 2019, contact your Ingram Micro public sector expert today.