Federal Marketplace (FMP) Strategy Winter 2020 Release

GSA’s Federal Marketplace Strategy Winter 2020 Release delivers a mix of policy, process, and technology project updates and improvements to modernize and simplify your buying and selling experience. Check it out and share your feedback by joining our FMP Community of Practice.

Journey Maps

Supplier Journey Map

As a supplier, you go through a series of interactions in different phases to sell solutions in the federal marketplace.

GSA is listening and making improvements to your experience with us and in the federal marketplace! With each release, you learn about what GSA is doing to improve the experience in different phases of the acquisition journey.

Customer Journey Map

As a customer, you go through a series of interactions in different phases of your buying experience for the acquisition of goods and services.

GSA is listening and making improvements to your experience with us and in the federal marketplace! With each release, you learn about what GSA is doing to improve the experience in different phases of the acquisition journey.

Project Improvements

Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Consolidation Mass Modification (Mass Mod) 30-Day Advance Notice & Industry Webinars

A plain language, 30-day advance notice announcing the Mass Modification (MAS Mod) to move current contractors to the new MAS contract vehicle was posted on GSA Interact on November 25, 2019.

Improvements for Suppliers

Yesterday

  • You were waiting for details about the next phase of MAS Consolidation, including what to expect, how to prepare, and what to do when you received the Mass Mod.

Today

  • You received detailed information about the Mass Mod and were prepared to take prompt action once you received the Mass Mod.
  • You had the opportunity to tune into two industry webinars (Dec 19 & Jan 9) dedicated to the Mass Mod, where you were able to ask questions and have GSA subject matter experts respond directly to you.


MAS Consolidation Solicitation Refresh #1 30-Day Advance Notice & Industry Webinar

A plain language, 30-day advance notice announcing the first refresh for MAS solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 was posted on GSA Interact on December 20, 2019.

Improvements for Suppliers

Yesterday

  • You continued to provide feedback and ask questions about the consolidated MAS solicitation released on October 1, 2019.

Today

  • We heard your feedback and incorporated several changes into the MAS solicitation. You are now aware of the significant changes to the MAS solicitation, including:
    • Implementation of 2nd Interim Rule 2018-017 Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment
    • Expiration and removal of FAR 51 Deviation Authority
    • Required updates to current contract clauses/provision
    • Re-mapping some legacy special item numbers to new special item numbers
  • You were able to join a GSA webinar on January 8, 2020, and learned more about the impending changes and how the refresh would impact you.
  • You know that no action is required unless you are an offeror that needs to accept Refresh #1 before submission of your offer or before award of your contract.

New MAS Consolidation Mass Modification to Current Contractors

A Mass Mod has been issued to all current Schedule contract holders to align the terms and conditions and available offerings of their contracts with those of the new consolidated MAS contract vehicle.

Improvements for Suppliers

Yesterday

  • You were waiting for the Mass Mod that you’d been hearing GSA discuss.

Today

  • You can begin responding to the Mass Mod for your Schedule contract. Modifying your contract will ensure alignment with the consistent, consolidated MAS terms and conditions, and new category structure that aligns with government-wide category management.
  • SINs align more closely with the North American Industry Specific Classifications System (NAICS) codes, and you can select SINs that were previously available on other Schedules.
  • You can modify your current MAS contract to add your breadth of offerings to one contract after accepting the Mass Mod.
  • You get to keep your contract number and the period of performance won’t change on your current MAS contract(s).

Improvements for Workforce

Yesterday

  • You were waiting for the Mass Mod that would transition contractors on the legacy Schedules to the new MAS contract vehicle, where there are consistent terms and conditions and consolidated offerings.

Today

  • You see more consistency in MAS contracts as contractors are now able to accept the Mass Mod to streamline their contract(s) to a consistent set of terms and conditions and consolidated offerings.

MAS Consolidation Phase 2 Resources

Additional support materials that provide clarity and help industry fully understand how they will be affected during Phase 2.

Improvements for Suppliers

Yesterday

  • You asked us questions about how Phase 2 would affect you and your current contract(s).

Today


Improved MAS Modification Guidance Request for Information (RFI)

Consistent guidance for modification requests has been shared with industry for comment.

Improvements for Suppliers

Yesterday

  • You wanted to see what the new modification guidance would look like and provide feedback.
  • You had to sort through numerous modification guidance documents across the MAS program to find the answers you needed in order to complete a modification request properly.
  • The templates you were using were in need of some updates.

Today

  • GSA issued an RFI and you provided your feedback and GSA listened.
  • You will no longer have multiple different modification guidance documents. You will have one updated modification guidance document to help you prepare your modification requests.
  • You have improved and consistent templates.

Improvements for Workforce

Yesterday

  • Centers across the MAS program were using different modification guidance and templates.

Today

  • Industry will be equipped with consistent modification guidance to get you what you need to process a modification request.

New Standardardized Pricing Submission for Schedules

Potential MAS contract holders must submit a price proposal with their offer. Until recently, pricing templates varied greatly across the 24 legacy schedules. With the new consolidated Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS), offerors can now use a single standardized Price Proposal Template (PPT). This change to the template enhances data validation within the catalog process, which is aligned with the overall vision of catalog management.

The new template is accessible on the Roadmap for New Schedule Offerors under Available Offerings and Requirements.

Improvements for Suppliers

Yesterday

  • As a contractor with multiple contracts under the MAS program, you faced a high administrative burden to manage multiple versions of price proposals and inconsistency across schedules.

Today

Improvements for Workforce

Yesterday

  • Managers of the 24 legacy solicitations are responsible for administration and maintenance of individual Price Proposal Templates (PPT), creating variations across the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program.
  • Each acquisition center works from a different version of the PPT.

Today

  • The PPT is optimized to work with the Price Point Plus Portal (4P) Tool so you can easily validate pricing and compliance when evaluating offers.
  • The PPT is managed by the MAS Solicitation Management Office through coordination with Category subject matter experts, the MAS PMO, and the Catalog Management initiative.

Improvements for Buyers

Yesterday

  • Various templates led to some inconsistencies in pricing and country of origin data validation.

Today

  • You will see better consistency, quality and accuracy of product pricing and compliance data displayed on GSA Advantage.

With each contract award, contracting officers must validate whether or not a vendor is qualified to conduct business with the government. Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the “Truman Bot” (“Truman”) will automate many of the manual, repetitive administrative tasks that contracting officers are responsible for, and will significantly decrease the time it takes for GSA to evaluate vendor’s supporting information in new offers. Truman is being rolled out on a staggered basis across GSA regions, with full deployment expected to be complete in February 2020.

Improvements for Workforce

Yesterday

  • The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and other acquisition policies required you to confirm and verify numerous data elements contained within each new offer. You logged on to multiple different acquisition systems (ORS, SAM.gov, CPARS, etc.) to aggregate information into a single location, so that you could compare and analyze, as well as verify numerous data points (Exclusion status, DUNS number, etc.). You found this process time-consuming, prone to error and monotonous.

Today

  • Truman automates many of the administrative tasks required to properly evaluate a new offer, including data collection, reconciliation across systems, and collecting documentation for the contract file. The automation also supports compliance with acquisition policies.
  • You will be able to spend more time focusing on the higher value work associated with evaluating a new offer, such as market research and negotiations, as Truman rolls out.

Improvements for Suppliers

Yesterday

  • You found that it took too long to become a schedule holder, and may have been hesitant to apply to GSA due to slow application processing times.

Today

  • You will start to experience quicker processing times to get on schedule.

GSA has made steady progress in the Commercial Platforms implementation. The Commercial Platforms program team has been meeting one-on-one with agencies that are interested in gaining access to multiple commercial e-marketplace platforms through the Commercial Platforms proof of concept. The goal of these meetings is to better understand how the proof of concept can modernize and simplify the commercial buying experience.

Here’s what agencies are saying they need, and what GSA plans to deliver:

  • Better visibility and insights into online charge card spend (access to dashboards and analytics)
  • Easy to understand ordering guidance
  • Smart approval workflows that don’t slow down the process
  • Improved supply chain risk management capabilities
  • Competition within the marketplace (including competitive pricing and delivery times)
  • Eased administrative burden and increased federal tax savings
GSA is the only agency poised to implement a whole-of-government approach that will not only offer agencies critical insight into the significant spend that’s occurring, but also leverage the government’s buying power, realize the benefits of dynamic pricing, increase supply chain risk management capabilities, and better serve American taxpayers. There is a shared sense of enthusiasm and excitement to be part of the subset of participating agencies who will help GSA start this initiative on a small scale, test, refine, and ultimately grow the program based on lessons learned.

Visit our Commercial Platforms Initiatives group on GSA Interact to learn more and keep up with our progress!

Federal Government buyers are prohibited from buying certain products, software, and equipment that could be used by foreign governments to compromise U.S. federal information systems and national security.

GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) continues to play a leading role in mitigating these risks to the nation’s supply chain. In FY 2019, FAS implemented the Prohibited Products “RoboMod,” a process that leverages data analytics to analyze the millions of products awarded under the Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) program.

The Prohibited Products RoboMod is one of many controls in place to ensure that the products and services available on FAS acquisition vehicles are compliant, safe and easy to use.

Improvements for Buyers

Yesterday

  • Identifying and removing prohibited products from Schedules relied on manual processes, placing more burden on you to double-check compliance.

Today

  • You can shop on GSA Advantage with increased confidence, knowing that FAS has added more sophisticated and more powerful controls to screen millions of products, software and equipment for potential security risks.
  • Products that are flagged as potential security risks are sent to the contractor and FAS contracting officer for further analysis. If a security risk exists, the product is removed from the contract using automated acquisition processes. FAS is executing the Prohibited Products RoboMod several times each year, currently targeting:
    • Kaspersky Lab hardware, software and services
    • Telecommunications equipment produced by:
      • Huawei Technologies Company
      • ZTE Corporation
    • Video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by:
      • Hytera Communications Corporation
      • Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company
      • Dahua Technology Company

Improvements for Workforce

Yesterday

  • You manually reviewed millions of products for security risks ‒ a burdensome and time-consuming task ‒ and if a prohibited product, was identified, you initiated a contract modification to remove the prohibited product.

Today

  • You have a more efficient and effective process to find products with potential security risks and automate the contract modification process.

Throughout FY 2019, GSA conducted its IN-depth Feedback through Open Reporting Methods (INFORM) pilot program to improve the quality and usefulness of our post-award communications with our industry partners and add even more transparency and openness to the competitive process. INFORM standardized GSA’s post-award communications and provided all offerors with a customized Notification Letter and Evaluation Statement on the merits of their proposal, an oral feedback meeting, and an additional opportunity to ask follow-up questions of the evaluation team.

Improvements for Suppliers

Yesterday

  • As an offeror, you may not have understood why you lost an award or how you could do better on future submissions.

Today

  • Once an award was made under the INFORM pilot, the Contracting Officer sent a Notification Letter and Evaluation Statement (NLES) giving unsolicited and unredacted information on the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal. This letter gave you the opportunity to:
    • Request an Oral Feedback Meeting
    • Submit written questions only (no Oral Feedback Meeting); or
    • Do nothing.
  • The information shared through INFORM sought to improve the overall quality of proposal submissions, increase competition, and highlight the fairness and impartiality of GSA’s award decisions.

FBO.gov retired in November 2019, and its key functionalities transitioned into beta.SAM.gov. When you visit FBO.gov, you will see the link to beta.SAM.gov and information about the transition. In addition to significant content in the learning center on beta.SAM.gov, there is a series of valuable how-to blog posts about the transition on the IAE space of GSA’s Interact.

The transition from FBO.gov to beta.SAM.gov provides users with a number of significant improvements, including:

  • The ability to search for opportunities by number, keyword, agency, or location for more precise results, including easy-to-use search filters.
  • A Learning Center with videos, FAQs, a glossary, and quick start guides.
  • Additional capabilities such as saving searches and downloading search results, after creating a beta.SAM.gov user account.
  • An option to access previous versions of opportunity notices.
  • The ability to ‘follow’ notices with one click. You’ll receive notifications whenever opportunities are updated, and have a tool to manage the frequency of the notifications.

Learn more [PDF - 154 KB] about the changes as well as additional functionalities coming soon, and how we’re incorporating your feedback. To stay informed about what’s happening on beta.SAM.gov, visit IAE Interact.

Last Reviewed: 2020-07-13