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Changes with GSA: 5 things you need to know in 2021

Learn how a new GSA schedules list and new GSA leadership impact you

May 04, 2021

Changes with GSA: 5 things you need to know in 2021
Whether you’re new to federal government business or have been selling into the public sector for years, recent changes at the General Services Administration (GSA) level have a direct impact on you and your business opportunities.
 
5 things you need to know to stay up to date
 
1. Recent consolidation of GSA schedules list offers improved efficiency and time savings.
The GSA schedule consolidation is the most significant change to occur in the history of the GSA Schedules program. On October 1, 2019, GSA released a single multiple award schedule (MAS) contract that incorporates all products and services covered under the 24 individual legacy GSA Schedules. The GSA MAS Consolidation was part of a massive initiative to simplify the buying process for government agencies, the selling process for contractors, and the overall contract acquisition and management for both parties.
 
Key takeaway: With the recent consolidation into a single GSA schedule contract with uniform terms and conditions, resellers can create multifaceted solutions from a single contract—no more piecing together from multiple contracts. This saves time, boosts efficiency and makes it easier to increase the breadth of manufacturers you can represent.
 
2. National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 Section 876 will create more competition at the task order level.
When Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019, it included Section 876, which gives GSA the flexibility to award certain contracts without a negotiated price. Pricing would be set through competition at the task order level. In situations where pricing is fluid in the commercial market, this enables contractors to create more advanced solutions with new capabilities that may not have GSA-approved historical pricing.
 
Key takeaway: Congress passed this large defense bill in 2019, but the GSA is still working on its implementation strategy. During 2021, pay attention to updates on how the GSA will be moving forward on Section 876.
 
3. Changes in GSA leadership could bring new emphasis on different priorities.
The transition to a new presidential administration also means a change in GSA leadership. Former GSA Administrator Emily Murphy is no longer in her role. At this writing, the acting administrator is Katy Kale, and President Joseph Biden recently announced he plans to nominate former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan as the new GSA administrator.
 
Key takeaway: Once the transition is complete, you may see a shift in GSA emphasis to the four new priorities of the Biden-Harris administration. Those key priorities are: addressing the COVID-19 pandemic; building a bridge to economic recovery; advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; and tackling the climate crisis. You may also see a further emphasis supporting state and local governments, given Carnahan’s background. Read more about how the priorities could impact the solutions you deliver to government agencies.
 
4. GSA is streamlining ways to buy consumption-based products through the cloud.
Whenever possible, government agencies continue to move to cloud-based models to access the computing they need, versus owning and maintaining IT equipment. Cloud solutions have been on the GSA schedules list for years, but they require special approvals and must still adhere to complex government rules and regulations. GSA is seeking ways to make cloud adoption easier.
 
Key takeaway: GSA is working hard and moving in the right direction. Some industry experts are optimistic that you’ll see some enhancements to the GSA schedules this year.
 
5. GSA is cracking down on unauthorized letters of supply.
After many years of lax enforcement, the GSA is finally tightening its scrutiny on unauthorized letters of supply. Many resellers have managed to get products on their GSA schedule without authorization from manufacturers, which has been a bone of contention for manufacturers for years, and GSA is finally taking steps to put systems in place to change that.
 
Key takeaway: It’s important for all resellers (especially those who are new to the GSA marketplace) to understand the rules and to ensure they have required paperwork that proves they have direct authorization from manufacturers.
 
For more insight into changes at the GSA level, and how they impact your business, contact the Ingram Micro public sector team or your contact at Promark Technology today.
 
This blog has been sponsored by Dell Technologies Federal. dell-sm-1.jpg

 

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