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Using GSA Schedules Introduction

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1 Using GSA Schedules Introduction
General Services Administration Federal Supply Service Office of Acquisition Using GSA Schedules – Customers Approx – 15 minutes for 3 slides Introduce yourself and welcome the class. You may have to give some information on logistics (e.g., cafeteria, restroom, etc.). It will depend on where the class is conducted. Also, tell the class about yourself – your experience, etc. If the class includes folks who don’t know each other, an icebreaker is good. Or, simply ask participants to introduce themselves, a little bit about themselves, maybe an unknown accomplishment (that’s fun – people have done some interesting things), and what they hope to get out of the class. Start on next slide. PLEASE NOTE: Make sure you have a copy of the Student Text available to you so you can walk through some of the material referred to in their books. It’s not the same in the Instructor’s guide.

2 Desired Learning Outcome
Learners will be prepared to: Purchase commercial products and services efficiently and effectively using the GSA Schedules Program; and Recognize the different roles and responsibilities of GSA personnel and the buying agency in the acquisition process. This course is part of the FSS effort to improve the GSA Schedules Program. This course is offered to train the Schedule user. GSA generally does not monitor agency purchaser use of the Schedules Program guidelines. Quality Control is the responsibility of the Agency. This course is targeted to Contracting Officers in the GS-1102 Series and others. The course includes guidance that will benefit anyone involved in the acquisition process. I will use the slides and flip-charts in teaching the class. There will be review questions throughout. This will be largely me giving you lots of information, but I would like you to participate by asking questions and giving examples. Go to next slide

3 Course Agenda The course covers two days and includes:
Nine lessons from the Student Guide; 16 learning objectives; 30-minute examination; and Course evaluation. We will be in class from 8:00 AM through 4:00 PM both days. We will have a 15 minute break in the morning and afternoon and a 1 hour lunch break. I will start and end on time. Please no cell phones. Let’s take a look at the Student Guide, Table of Contents. We will cover the material presented in the student guide. The basic text is supplemented with Appendices, including a Glossary, List of References and Resources and 9 other appendices. There is a test, a 16-question closed-book test, including true/false and multiple choice. 11 or more will pass you. Included in the text is an end of course evaluation that I will ask you to complete. Questions? If not, move ahead.

4 GSA Schedules Program An Overview
General Services Administration Federal Supply Service Office of Acquisition Using GSA Schedules -- Customers Let’s get into the course material. Your Page # is 7. Instructor (2 hours or less for this part)

5 The GSA Schedules Program
Key topics covered in this lesson: Key facts about the GSA Schedules Program. GSA Schedule link between sellers and Government buyers. We will explore some basic facts about the GSA Schedules Program and the acquisition process that links GSA, sellers and Schedule users. The areas that we will focus on in this module include: Program Objectives Responsibility for Schedules Program Management Schedule Characteristics Special Item Numbers Single/Multiple Award Schedule GSA Schedule Contracts Advantages of Using Schedules We will address each of these in some detail.

6 GSA Schedules Program Objective
To provide Federal agencies and other customers with a simplified process for obtaining commonly used commercial products and services at prices associated with volume buying. Address the objective – don’t get too detailed. Also say, It’s a tool available to you to help you get the best value.

7 Managing the Schedules Program
Managed by the Federal Supply Service (FSS). FSS is one of three service organizations in GSA. Others are the Public Buildings Service and the Federal Technology Service. FSS mission - assure that the Federal Government’s requirements for personal property and administrative services are efficiently met, at the least cost to the taxpayer. Emphasize that FSS is responsible for managing the schedules program and this course on Using Schedules is part of that management effort. However, GSA does not “police” agency usage. FSS manages Schedule contracts with over 9,000 commercial businesses - provides Schedule users: Access to more than 4 million commercial products and services. A vast array of commercial brand name products from computer hardware, office supplies and copier paper to systems furniture and laboratory equipment. An extensive range of professional services, including management, financial, engineering, environmental services, accounting, graphic design, and landscaping. More than 1 million of these can be ordered using the GSA Advantage! on-line ordering system.

8 GSA Schedule Characteristics
A GSA Schedule is a listing of businesses with contracts to provide products or services within a general product or service description. Schedules customers seeking medical products and services can find what they need through GSA’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Agency acceptance of FSS support is demonstrated by the phenomenal growth in agency use of that support. Between 1998 and 2001, Federal agency use grew from $13.9B to $22.9B. That is an increase of almost 65 percent. GSA Schedules are also known as Federal Supply Schedules and Multiple Award Schedules. Same features and benefits are available through VA Schedules. However, we won’t be going into those schedules in this course. Appendix D, GSA Schedules Descriptions identifies current FSSs and provides a brief description of each one.

9 Special Item Numbers The Office, Imaging, and Document
Solution Schedule includes SINs, such as: SIN , Photographic Services and Solutions; SIN , Cameras and Accessories; SIN , Mail Processing Systems and Software; and SIN , Personal and Document Identification Systems. A SIN is a number assigned to a type of product or service that falls within the general description of a particular schedule. Schedule 36 has over 50 SINs, some listed above. When researching a specific item, locate the SIN and check to see which contractors were awarded.

10 Single or Multiple Award Schedules
In the past single award schedules were awarded by line item at a stated price for delivery to a specific geographical area. Today, Schedules feature contracts with multiple sellers for identical, similar, or vastly different solutions that meet a particular SIN description. Single award schedules have been phased out. All GSA Schedules are Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). However, some VA schedules may still be single award.

11 GSA Schedules Contracts
Schedule contracts with commercial businesses are indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts that: Permit Schedule users to order products and/or services as long as the order conform to the Schedule contract terms and conditions; Include a minimum order threshold; and Include a maximum order threshold. Schedule contracts are IDIQ. Contract doesn’t set specific quantities or delivery dates. It sets terms and conditions. The contractor is not obligated to accept an order with a value less than the minimum established in the Schedule contract. Contractor has 5 days to reject the order. Many contractors willingly accept such orders. The maximum order (MO) threshold is not a limit. It is simply the point at which the Government must ask for a better price and you must consider additional sources. If the Schedule user believes it is advantageous to the Government, an order can be placed exceeding the threshold. The contractor can either accept or reject the order. We will discuss this further in the course.

12 Advantages of Using GSA Schedules
Savings; Flexibility; Availability; Volume Pricing; Governmentwide commercial purchase card acceptance; Schedule contractors can lower prices; No predetermined order limitations; All Schedule orders are competitive; Socioeconomic Program requirements do not apply to individual orders; Socioeconomic Program credit; and The GSA Contracting Officer obtains any necessary wage determinations. SAVINGS - costs related to long lead times; and less labor effort to place the order. Savings in volume pricing as well. FLEXIBILITY – Flexibility to select a product or service considering all relevant factors affecting best value, the latest technology and to establish a long-term partnership with a Schedule contractor or team of contractors using a Schedule blanket purchase agreement (BPA). AVAILABILITY - of some of the best firms in industry, from small innovative companies to Fortune 500 firms. *Contractors can form Schedule contractor team agreements (CTAs) to meet large or unusually complex requirements. Address the rest of them. Instructor Book Page 33 & 34 Orders count toward Socioeconomic Program goals Also, we will talk about establishing a long-term partnership through use of issuing BPAs on a best value basis with a contractor or CTA.

13 Authority to Use GSA Schedules
An organization can place orders using a GSA Schedule if it is authorized to use GSA Schedules and the Schedule user: Is a Contracting Officer; Has a Governmentwide commercial purchase card (subject to established limits on card use); or Is otherwise authorized by the agency or organization to order using GSA Schedules. Your text on page 12 – 13 has a list of organizations that have been authorized to use schedules. As many of you know, Government contractors may be authorized to use Schedules under FAR 51.1 when authorized in writing by a Federal agency. Appendix B, References and Resources includes information.

14 Priority Order for Product Sources
Obtain products from the following sources in order of priority: Agency inventories; Excess from other agencies; Federal Prison Industries, Inc.; Products available from the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled; Wholesale supply sources such as stock programs of the GSA, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and military inventory control points; GSA Schedules; and Commercial sources other than Schedules (i.e., open market contracts) including educational and nonprofit institutions. FAR prioritizes the order in which to consider various sources of products and services. Using those priority lists as a guide, acquiring activities should obtain products or services from the identified sources in the priority indicated. Commercial sources are last. Go through all of these and discuss briefly.

15 Priority Order for Service Sources
Services available from the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled; GSA Schedules; and Federal Prison Industries, Inc. or commercial sources other than Schedules (i.e., open market contracts). Services are different. FPI had a higher priority until 2002, when it was changed to have the same priority as Commercial Items.

16 Optional or Mandatory Use of GSA Schedules
FAR outlines procedures for both optional and mandatory GSA Schedule. One big difference. If a Schedule is mandatory, the Schedule user must not consider non-Schedule sources except in the situations identified in FAR 8.404(c)(3). There are currently no mandatory Schedules.   Jump to the last bullet first and then ask class if any schedules have been determined mandatory for them. I doubt that anyone has.

17 Review Question The GSA Schedules Program (also known as a Federal Supply Schedule Program) is a tool that can be used to efficiently and effectively obtain the best value for Government customers. True False True; The objective is to provide Federal agencies and other customers with a simplified process for obtaining commonly used commercial products and services at prices associated with volume buying.

18 Review Question Which of the following is an advantage of using GSA Schedules Program? Flexibility to establish a long-term partnership with a Schedule contractor or team of contractors using a Schedule blanket purchase agreement (BPA.) Schedule contractors do not accept the Governmentwide commercial purchase card for orders. Schedule contractors can lower and raise prices anytime the market or acquisition situations warrants without GSA Contracting Officer approval. There are special small business set-aside requirements that apply only when making a Schedule order. Choice 1 is correct. Flexibility to establish long-term partnerships using BPAs is a benefit of using Schedules. Now you are able to identify key facts related to the GSA Schedules Program In the next learning objective, you will be able to describe how Schedules forge a link between the sellers of commercial products and services and Govt. buyers. If you require additional GSA Schedules Program Information, contact helpdesk at (703) or You can find additional customer service points of contact in Basic Schedule Ordering Guidelines

19 Why use Schedules? Since 1949, there have been numerous high-level reviews of Government acquisition. The recurring recommendations have been simplification, streamlining, and acquisition of commercial technologies. Recent research found that award of the average Government contract still required 268 days. High-level acquisition system reviews have consistently criticized Govt. acquisition and recommended simplification, streamlining, and acquisition of commercial technologies. Ask if anyone remembers the initiatives of the Clinton Administration – “National Performance Review” FASA – FARA- ITMRA Even after major reforms, third bullet.

20 Simplifying and Streamlining Acquisition Using GSA Schedules
The GSA Schedules Program has roots that go back over 90 years. Today it provides Government buyers a simplified and streamlined method for acquiring commercial products and services. The Schedule contract is the key element in forging a link between sellers in the commercial marketplace and Government buyers. GSA Schedules program defines the partnership between the Govt. and a commercial business to meet uncertain Govt. requirements for a particular type of product or service. That partnership meets the requirements of Govt. law and regulation and at the same time provides the flexibility to meet Govt.s evolving requirements with commercial products and services that offer best value solutions.

21 Process of Meeting Requirements Using GSA Schedules
GSA solicits Schedule contract offers; Sellers respond with offers; GSA reviews the offers and prepares for any necessary negotiations; GSA and the seller negotiate; GSA awards a Schedule contract; GSA administers the Schedule contract; Contractor performs under the contract terms; and Schedule users acquire products or services using the contract. Address the bullets. CO responsible for soliciting offers. The CO publicizes the requirement in FedBizOps and prepares the solicitation. A link to FedBizOps is included in Appendix B. Sellers respond with their offers. CO negotiates if necessary. A contractor may ask to remove the requirement to accept purchase cards for all micro-purchases, for instance. CO determines price reasonableness and responsibility. The CO must estimate the annual sales under a contract to justify award. CO is then responsible for administration of the contract. Address some of the administration duties but tell them we will discuss in more detail later. Address last two bullets as well.

22 Advise and Support Schedule Users
In this role, the Contracting Officer must take actions such as: Assuring that Schedule information is published; Advising Schedule users on Schedule contract requirements; and Supporting the Schedule user in the resolution of complex order issues under the terms of the Schedule contract. Now that GSA has done all of the contracting work, you can issue orders. They will help you when you ask. How do you know what’s available on FSS? You rely on the GSA CO to give you the information in GSA Advantage! Or in the E-Schedules Library, which we will discuss later. Theses are some of the ways the CO advises and supports users.

23 Schedule Users Acquire Products or Services Using the Contract
Schedule users need to follow contract, FAR, and good business practice requirements while issuing and administering any Schedule order. In general, the process will involve the following steps:  Planning for a Schedule order; Identifying and evaluating alternatives available under GSA Schedules; Issuing and documenting a Schedule order; and Administering the Schedule order. You benefit from all the work GSA has done. You need not issue a complex solicitation or negotiate complex terms and conditions. You need only issue the order against the schedule. The GSA CO is available to answer Schedule-related questions and to assist in resolving order disputes.

24 Review Question The GSA Contracting Officer is responsible for soliciting offers from commercial sources capable of meeting Schedule requirements. True False TRUE

25 Review Question The Schedule user benefits from all the work already done by GSA and the contractor. True False By completing this learning objective, you are able to describe how GSA Schedules forge a link between the sellers of commercial products and services and Govt. Buyers. Summarize key points: Key facts related to the GSA Schedules Program GSA Schedule links between buyers and sellers. You should now be able to identify the purpose, goals, and key operations of the GSA Schedules Program. The next lesson will explore market research.

26 Planning for a Schedule Order: Market Research
General Services Administration Federal Supply Service Office of Acquisition Using GSA Schedules – Customers In this lesson we will look at market research activities that must be completed when using a GSA Schedule contract. 75 minutes Ask the class to define market research??? Place the answers on a flip chart.

27 Planning for a Schedule Order: Market Research
Key topics covered in this lesson: Market research information needs; and Sources of market research. When is market research required? Before putting together requirements package – by Program office When cost of requirement exceeds $100K – procurement office.

28 Schedule User Market Research Responsibilities
Identify market research information needed to make selection decision. Identify sources market information. Identify and resolve weaknesses product item requirements. Identify and resolve weaknesses in service requirements. Determine appropriate acquisition strategy. For years, Government buyers have been criticized for not conducting valid research when making acquisitions and establishing requirements that restricted the Government’s ability to acquire and use commercial items. In some instances, the Government was unable to acquire items using the most advanced commercial technology because those items would not meet the outdated agency requirements. In many cases, minor changes in a requirement could have opened a host of commercial sources to the Government. Conduct market research to determine whether GSA Schedules items, other commercial items, or nondevelopmental items (NDI) are available that could meet the agency's requirements; Acquire Schedule items, other commercial items, orNDI, when such items are available to meet the needs of the agency; and Require prime contractors and subcontractors at all tiers to incorporate, to the maximum extent practicable, commercial items or NDI as components of items supplied to the agency. This is a good time to review Appendix A – definitions for Acquisition, Delivery Order, Task Order, Acquisition Planning, Acquisition Plan

29 Effective Market Research
Collect and analyze information about capabilities within the market to satisfy agency’s needs. Tailor market research to the requirement. Consider other information. The Schedule user needs to tailor market research to: To do this you must know The requirement; what you are buying & Market conditions; and the marketplace. Other factors. Consider information, such as on Page 22 in Student Guide. Cover the first 5 in detail as set forth in their book on these. Schedule availability; Schedule contractors’ capabilities; Contract teaming arrangements; BPAs; and Other factors that may affect best value. With the growing number of items available on Schedules, the Schedules are a key part of market research. When you buy a car, what do you do? You research and try to find the best price.

30 Best Value Factors Product characteristics Past performance Warranty
Ownership costs Maintenance availability Useful life Environmental and energy efficiency Technical qualifications Training and customer support Trade-in considerations Transportation cost Administrative costs Delivery/performance terms Go over each of the factors and discuss it’s importance – a little info on each and then onto the following: The Schedule user should attempt to get the necessary information to determine best value based on these factors from the contractor’s schedule – e.g., without asking for additional information from prospective suppliers. If you need more information, don’t ask for more than needed. Most firms will gladly support Government market research as long as the result will benefit the firm – you are considering their product to fill your requirement. I know, as a contractor, we are happy to give you information.

31 Review Question Which of the following is a category of information to look for during Schedule market research? Schedule availability. Blanket purchase agreements. Schedule contractors’ capabilities. All the above. #4. All of the above.

32 Review Question When collecting information on ownership costs, the Schedule user should consider which of the following? Average time between failures. Historical routine maintenance costs. Historical repair costs. All the above. # 4 – All of the above.

33 GSA Advantage! What is it??? What can you do on GSA Advantage!?
When using GSA Advantage!, what can you find? GSA Advantage! is an on-line catalog, information, and ordering system operating over the Internet’s World Wide Web. The URL is in Appendix B. It gives authorized customers the ability to: Search, Identify, Compare, and Order Schedule items that offer the best value to the Government. Using GSA Advantage!, the user can search through more than 4 million products and services that are available under Schedule contracts. Services are harder to find, but this is a great tool.

34 GSA Advantage!, Continued
This is your welcome page to GSA Advantage! On your first venture, register before entering. Upper left of screen – you will be sent to a registration page. Once you login, you will go to a “Welcome” page. Instuctor!!!! If you have a live Internet line – demo this online! It works much better. Then you can skip over these pages. Use your notes only as a guide for yourself. Go to and click on GSA Advantage!

35 Methods for Searching GSA Advantage!
Search/Browse Results: (Under “ 5 ways to Shop GSA Advantage now”) Items that meet search criteria; Items that meet search criteria in a different way than desired; and Contractors with contracts for similar products or services. Search Order History: (By date, under “Recent order history”) Order number; Requisition/purchase order number; Status of the order; National stock number or manufacturer’s part number; Package unit of issue; Quantity; Price; Delivery time; Order date; Vendor; Billing data; and Item name. You can also look for a particular delivery order under “Search Order History For”

36 Schedules e-Library Stress that e-library is a great place to conduct market research – even if for some reason you aren’t planning to use MAS. You don’t have to register to use this site. E-Library includes the following. Again, a demo is best for this! Basic Schedule Ordering Guidelines: How to order products and services; Link to GSA Advantage!; Information on the preference for JWOD items; Information on mandatory UNICOR items; Overview of authorized organizations authorized to use Schedules; and Other information. The Schedule Details page includes: Contractor information; and Capability to limit the identified contractors to specific categories of small business. You can also search on SINs.

37 General Information Sources
Consider the following: Catalogs; Product brochures and promotional material; Trade journals; Government or independent testing; Source identification publications; Government websites; Government and nongovernment personnel; Schedule contractors; and Other sources. While GSA Advantage! is a great source of information, sometimes you might need more information than what is available on-line. Depending upon what you are purchasing, you may look to some of these. Instructor should expand on each item according to their experiences. Also, Appendix F, General Information Sources, summarizes the list and identifies type of info commonly available from each source.

38 Review Question Which of the following is a source identification publication? Underwriters Laboratory Producer Price Indexes The Yellow Pages Consumer Price Index #3 – The Yellow Pages Thomas Register is also a source.

39 Review Question Which of the following sources is identified as a good starting point for market research? Government or independent testing State and local watchdog agencies Schedules e-Library Government economic data Choice 3 – Schedules e-Library By completing this lesson, you are able to identify market research activities that must be completed by anyone using a GSA Schedule Contract. The next lesson will explore identifying and resolving weaknesses in requirements prior to using a GSA Schedule contract. If there is time before lunch, do Exercise on Page 95 of Text. This taxes what they already know – the material is covered after the exercise. I used flip chart paper instead of cards. It was fun. Lunch about here. MEA

40 Product and Service Requirements
General Services Administration Federal Supply Service Office of Acquisition Using GSA Schedules – Customers Appx 2 hours. By completing this lesson, you will be able to identify and resolve weaknesses in requirements prior to using a Schedule.

41 Product and Service Requirements
Key topics covered in this lesson: Identifying and resolving weaknesses in product requirements Identifying and resolving weaknesses in service requirements You will be able to identify market research information related to the decisions that the purchaser will need to make during the acquisition process and the sources of that information. It will help you determine the appropriate acquisition strategy. Address the bullets above. Also, inform class that term “products” has the same meaning as “supply” defined in FAR Service includes all work to perform an identifiable task rather than to provide an end item of supply.

42 Characteristics of an Effective Requirement Document
Encourage acquisition of commercial items; Encourage acquisition of Schedule contract items; Limit use of brand name or equal purchase descriptions; and Limit the purchase of brand name items. FAR (a)(2)(iii) requires we use commercial products to the maximum practicable extent. Why is that? If the requirement is unique to the Government, the Government: Must pay any necessary design and development costs, May lose the benefits of commercial item innovations, and Will not benefit in the lower costs associated with high volume production of commercial items. The definition of a commercial item in FAR basically says: A nongovernmental item; An evolved nongovernmental item; A modified version of either of the above item types; Nongovernmental item support service; Any combination of nongovernmental items and support services; A nongovernmental service; or A nondevelopmental item.

43 Requirement Should be Modified When Appropriate
Modify the requirement to ensure that it can be met using a commercial item. Consult requiring activity to assure available commercial items will meet needs of the Government. Sometimes, even a minor modification may make it possible to meet the government’s needs through the Schedules. Perhaps an office is requesting an odd sized table and you locate many tables on GSA Advantage!, some of which aren’t exactly what the office has ordered. Check with your requirements office and see if they can use something close to the size requested. If you are dealing with space limitations, you may be stuck with a custom made item, but even that may be considered commercial -

44 Encourage Acquisition of Schedule Contract Items
A requirement can generally be met using Schedules if: The need is a commercial item; and The requirement is covered by a Schedule. Remember, we discussed earlier that you get the benefit of GSA having done the contracting work and you benefit from volume based pricing. It is so much easier than a new contract!!!!

45 Limit Use of Brand Name or Equal Purchase Descriptions
Limit to cases where use is: Advantageous to the Government; and Authorized by the FAR and agency regulations. For requirements exceeding the micro-purchase threshold, do not use a brand name description unless: The particular brand name product or feature is essential to meeting the need; Similar products offered by other companies do not meet and cannot be modified to meet the need; and The Schedule user explains rationale in the order file. When acquiring a Lawn Tractor, the brand name or equal might be “Tractor, Lawn, Lawn Master 4200 or equal. Equivalent items must offer equivalent engine design and horsepower, cutting width, and wheel size.” Brand name or equal isn’t the preferred method, but sometimes it’s all you have.

46 Review Question Which of the following is true normally when a product requirement is unique to the Government? The Government is not required to pay necessary design and development costs and will benefit in lower costs. The Government is required to pay necessary design and development costs and will not benefit in lower costs associated with high volume production of commercial items. Selection #2.

47 Review Question Which of the following statements about a
brand name or equal purchase description is correct? It is the preferred method for describing Government product requirements. Is a method for describing Government requirements that should only be used when advantageous to the Government and authorized by agency regulations. It is never an acceptable method for describing Government requirements. It is never an acceptable method for describing Schedule requirements, but may be used for open market acquisitions. Selection #2. Is the correct answer. You should now be able to list key points to consider when identifying and resolving weaknesses in product requirements. Next we will discuss points to consider when identifying and resolving weaknesses in service requirements.

48 Services Requirements
Maintenance, overhaul, repair, servicing, rehabilitation, salvage, modernization, or modification of supplies, systems, or equipment; Routine recurring maintenance of real property; Housekeeping and base services; Advisory and assistance services; Operation of Government-owned equipment facilities and systems; Communications services; Architect-engineering; Transportation and related services; and Research and development. FAR states “purchasers are acquiring services whenever the contractor engages time & effort to perform and identifiable task rather than furnish an end item of supply. More and more of the requirements you have to process are service type. Some are listed on the slide. There are a huge array of services available on GSA Schedules.

49 Commercial Services FAR (a)(2)(iii) requires that to the maximum extent practicable, offerors of commercial items be provided an opportunity to compete for any Government contract acquisition. This was referred to earlier.

50 Commercial Requirements
Commercial services: Are services of a type offered and sold competitively in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace based on established catalog or market prices for specific tasks performed under standard commercial terms and conditions. Do not include services that are sold based on hourly rates without an established catalog or market price for a specific service performed. Let’s look at this. What does it mean??? Second bullet: Is this changing? SARA.

51 Statements of Work Not required when acquiring a service and relying on the contractor’s commercial description (e.g., catalog description) to define service requirements (e.g., the deliverables and basic requirements). When acquiring a service but contractor’s commercial description does not describe Government requirements. When preparing a SOW, purchasers are tailoring the commercial services performed by the contractor (e.g., program management services) to meet a particular Government need (e.g., management of a process improvement program).

52 Who prepares SOW?? Requirements or program office. CO must review.
Acquisition Team must assure SOW clearly describes the services required. Discuss the various bullets. Ask the class if this is how they do it. Sometimes the discussion is interesting.

53 General Guidelines SOW must: Be logical and readable.
Identify and emphasize critical elements. State requirements contractor must meet (e.g., the deliverables, due dates, and basic requirements) to receive payment. If there are conflicts or ambiguities in the SOW or any other part of the the contract/order – courts and BCA will generally rule against the drafter.

54 Types of Statements of Work
Three primary types: Performance-based Level-of-effort Detailed or design Appendix G has an example of a SOW for Scales Calibration.

55 Performance-Based Describes results or objectives rather than the how
Measurable performance standards (i.e., terms of quality, timeliness, quantity, etc.) and Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) Procedures for appropriate reduction of contract fee or price when services not performed or do not meet contract requirements Procedures for performance incentives where appropriate. The emphasis on performance outcomes: Gives the contractor more latitude to determine appropriate methods of performance and managing performance quality.  Encourages contractors to seek innovations that will permit them to efficiently and effectively achieve or exceed performance standards. Emphasizes the contractor’s responsibility to provide the service required. Reduces the need for Government performance surveillance. Encourages savings through lower contract prices that result from contractor process improvements and administrative savings that result from the reduced need for the Government to monitor contractor operations. There is a website for PBC in your Student Guide, Appendix B

56 Level-of-Effort Work must be within scope of work.
Increased effort is considered new work. Little incentive for contractors to seek innovations that will improve efficiency and effectiveness of contract operations. A LOE SOW should: Clearly identify the scope of work required, and Identify all tasks that must be performed and the actual or estimated hours (i.e., the level of effort) to be devoted to each task. General type of work to be completed, including breadth & limitations on contract effort.

57 Detailed or Design Only used when methods used to perform service must follow specific detailed requirements. Emphasis on the methods used to perform service increases the risk of performance borne by the Government.  Must describe how the service must be accomplished. May include precise measurements, tolerances, materials, quality control requirements, and other Government requirements that control the processes of the contractor. The Government assumes risk of performance in this type of SOW. If the contractor follows the Design SOW and there is not a successful outcome, the Government is responsible.

58 SOW Format Background Scope Objectives Tasks Delivery
Government-furnished property (GFP); Security Place of performance Period of performance Background: Identify requirement; History; Statutory Authority or Regulations; Identify attachments. Acquaint contractor w/acquisition. Scope: State outcome of contract – breadth/limitations of effort; Don’t include specific work tasks or a description of deliverable products. Objectives: Overview of contract goals and objectives; how the results or end product will be used. Tasks: Specify requirements clearly; Reference only minimum applicable specifications and standards; Separate general information from direction. Delivery: What, when and where service must be delivered and required documentation to indicate Government receipt of delivery. GFP: GFM, GFE, GFI and when to be delivered. Security: Pass or identification requirements; Security clearance or escort requirements. Place of performance: where will services be performed. Period of performance: Actual dates; Days after contract award; other method.

59 SOW Language Many different people with different perspectives will read the SOW. The language must be clear and concise so that all will clearly understand what is required. Simple words, phrases and sentences. – Concise, precise & consistent. Use verbs in active voice. – “Shall” or “must” – Avoid “should”, “may” Use “will” for Govt. actions – Be consistent in use of terminology. Avoid redundancy – Avoid vague or inexact phrases – Define technical terms – Spell out acronyms first time – identify date of document – Don’t use “is common practice in industry”, “as directed”, “subject to approval.” – these are catchall and open-ended.

60 Review Question The Schedule user does not need a Government SOW when acquiring a service and relying on the contractor’s commercial description (e.g., catalog description) to define the service requirements (e.g., the deliverables and basic requirements). True False TRUE.

61 Review Question Which of the following types of statement of work (SOW) focuses on methods used to perform service requirements? Performance-based statement of work Detailed statement of work Level-of-effort statement of work All the above Selection 2. Detailed SOW You now should be able to list key points to consider when identifying and resolving weaknesses in product requirements. Commercial Services and SOWs Next we will discuss the need for a QASP and identifying weaknesses in a QASP. Ask if anyone can tell the class about a QASP? Has anyone prepared one?

62 Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan
The quality assurance surveillance plan (QASP), also known as a quality assurance plan (QAP), defines how the Government plans to determine whether the contractor is performing in accordance with SOW requirements. Normally not needed for relatively simple short-term service requirements where reasonable parties can agree on whether the service has been properly performed. As the number and complexity of SOW tasks increase, the need for a formal written QASP also increases. If uncertain as to whether a particular requirement merits a QASP, purchasers should work with the requiring activity and others involved with the acquisition to make the decision. General points and guidelines that should be considered in preparing QASP. When to prepare and the format? QASP should be prepared in conjunction with the SOW. QASP should focus on the quality, quantity, and timeliness requirements established in the SOW. Effective quality assurance surveillance may require performance reports or other information from the contractor. Sample in Appendix H. If a custodial services contractor must clean all or part of a large facility every day, how does the purchases know the work is being performed? Do we check it all???

63 QASP Format If the purchaser’s agency does not prescribe a format, consider the following format: Introduction; Purpose/objective; Roles and responsibilities of Government personnel; Surveillance tasks; Acceptable quality level; and Documentation and reporting. Introduction: Identify related SOW by name, date, and any relevant identifying numbers; May provide an overview of the contract scope; and Should state that it will be used in monitoring and evaluating contractor performance. Purpose/Objective: Explain why the QASP was prepared and identify key elements, such as: Roles and responsibilities of Government personnel; Surveillance tasks; Acceptable quality levels; and Documentation and reporting Generally, COR has primary responsibility for monitoring contractor performance using QASP. The COR is not authorized to change the scope of the contract or interferes with contractor performance. Surveillance tasks: For each major SOW task, this section should: Identify task; Describe anticipated performance outcome; Describe surveillance method; and Establish acceptable quality levels

64 Surveillance Methods Acceptable surveillance methods:
100 percent inspection; Random sampling; Periodic inspection; and Customer input. Explain each. Also, speak to constraints like validation of customer input. Periodic is also called “Planned” Inspection.

65 Acceptable Quality Levels
Establish a reasonable acceptable quality level (AQL) for each task. Some tasks will require 100 percent compliance with task requirements 100 percent of the time. Others (e.g., completing computer network service calls within four hours), it may be impossible or unreasonable to expect 100 percent. Bring a little into this, such as you wouldn’t do 100 percent compliance for janitorial services. What would be reasonable. On the other hand, if you receive an important report – you want 100% compliance. It is a one-time submittal! It would do no good to have a deduction for other than 100%. The contractor would have to do it over. Or if a guard post isn’t manned – there could be a monetary deduction because they can’t reperform!

66 Documentation and Reporting
The documentation and reporting section of QASP describes how the COR and other personnel involved must document and report their findings. This is usually defined in Agency guidelines.

67 Review Question The roles and responsibilities of government personnel section of a QASP generally states that which of the following has overall contract administration responsibility: The Contracting Officer The Contracting Officer’s Representative The Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative Any of the above Selection 1. The CO has overall contract administration responsibility. However, the CO may appoint COR for specific functions.

68 Review Question Which of the following surveillance methods is used for infrequent tasks with stringent performance requirements? Random sampling Periodic sampling 100 percent inspection Customer input Selection 3. For instance, the report I mentioned or when safety or health is a concern. We will now move into Acquisition Strategy.

69 Planning for a Schedule Order: Acquisition Strategy
General Services Administration Federal Supply Service Office of Acquisition Using GSA Schedules – Customers You should be able to do approximately 45 minutes on the first day. All of the lesson is included in this folder, so you will have to remember where you left off.

70 Acquisition Strategy Key topics covered in this lesson:
Factors necessary to decide if GSA Schedules can be used given Government requirements and available Schedules Factors to consider in determining an appropriate acquisition strategy using Schedules Market research should give you information on what is available on the market and how the information can be acquired. You will have already identified weaknesses in the Procurement description. After that, you can determine you acquisition strategy.

71 Using GSA Schedules FAR requires purchasers to acquire items using GSA Schedules in preference to acquiring them using other contracts with commercial sources. There are two conditions that may need further research: Schedule prices higher than other commercial prices; or All required products or services are not available under Schedule contracts. Generally, prices under schedule are lower than commercial prices. If a non-schedule supplier offers a lower price you should consider the following in making your final decision: Best value factors, price reduction potential and your own agency procedures. You would look at things like warranties, and other factors that affect best value, concentrating on the most important factors identified during market research. Again, consider that an open market buy takes longer than buying under Schedule – time=cost!!!

72 Price Reduction FAR 8.404(b)(5) encourages Schedule users to seek a price reduction when market research indicates that the product or service is available elsewhere at a lower price. Schedule contractor is not required to pass on to all Schedule users a price reduction extended only to an individual agency for a specific order. In the old days, if a schedule contractor offered one customer a better price – everyone had to have the same price. Many agencies and buyers ask for a better price for each buy. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

73 Agency Procedures The purchaser will almost always find that Schedule contractor(s) offers best value. If not, purchaser should follow relevant agency procedures. If not, document the file with analysis of why schedule contractors don’t offer the best value and use open market.

74 Large Complex Requirements
Market research indicates that Schedule contractors may not be able to meet large complex requirements:   Remember that contractors can team to meet Government requirements; and Consider using Schedule and open market purchases together. Appendix L highlights some key differences between Schedule and Open Market.

75 Contractor Teaming Arrangement
Two or more Schedule contractors form a CTA to meet requirements of a single order or a group of similar requirements. Using CTAs is a way to achieve flexibility and is a powerful acquisition strategy. A CTA allows multiple Schedule contractors to deliver an end-to-end solution from multiple industries. Schedule users may solicit for a team solution. Schedule users should always consider any contractor-proposed team solutions. CTAs enhance Schedule users’ ability to acquire multifaceted requirements using Schedule contracts. Key Schedule CTA features include the following: CTA participation is limited to Schedule contractors teaming together to provide a solution that meets Government requirements; Any product or service provided by any team member must be covered by a GSA Schedule contract; and Nothing in the CTA can limit rights already held by the Government. If the CTA is structured as a partnership, one contractor can be designated by the team as Contractor Team Leader. The CTA should indicate which team member is responsible for each order task, identify prices, etc. Contractors don’t need Govt. approval to form CTS and cannot form in violation of Antitrust laws.

76 Government’s Rights Under a CTA
Each Schedule CTA participant must comply with the requirements of its applicable Schedule contract(s) (e.g., all team members must report quarterly sales) The Government has privity of contract with all team members; and The team must abide by the terms of each Schedule contract relevant to its performance under the order. Review “Privity of Contract” in Appendix A or ask someone what it means. If a team member is going to provide computer monitors under the CTA, the order price for the monitors can’t exceed the team member’s schedule price.

77 Issuing Orders Under a CTA
Orders under the CTA should: Identify each product or service provided under the order; Include the appropriate Schedule number for each product or service provided under the order; and Agreed-upon pricing for the order. Refer to “FAQ”s regarding Contractor Teaming Arrangements on the GSA Website.

78 Combining Schedule and Open Market Buys
If a purchaser finds that some part of the Government requirement is not available under any GSA Schedule, the purchaser should consider meeting the requirement in two parts -- one order using Schedule contracts and a second order/contract using FAR procedures for open market acquisitions. Purchasers should meet a requirement in two Parts (separate orders) if: It can be done; The benefit of doing so will exceed any costs associated; and It will not significantly increase the risk of meeting the Government’s requirements. Purchasers should not meet the requirement in two parts if: The costs involved will exceed the probable savings and other benefits; or The risk of meeting the Government’s requirements will significantly increase.

79 FAR Procedures for Open Market Acquisitions
If the purchaser cannot order the entire requirement under a GSA Schedule and cannot reasonably meet the requirement with two separate orders, document the file and acquire the requirement using FAR procedures for open market acquisitions. If you cannot separate the requirement into two separate orders, then follow the above.

80 FAR Procedures for Open Market Acquisitions
Micro-purchases Requirements exceeding the micro-purchase threshold but not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold Commercial item requirements that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold but do not exceed $5 million Other requirements Very briefly go over these and the requirements for each.

81 Including Non-Schedule Items on a Schedule Order
All applicable requirements pertaining to the purchase of the items not on Schedule must be followed Non-schedule items must be clearly labeled as such on the order All clauses applicable to non-schedule items must be included in the order This means if your non-schedule portion exceeds the micro-purchase threshold – you have to get competition or have a sole source in the file. Labeling!!!!!

82 Review Question Two or more Schedule contractors can form a contractor teaming arrangement (CTA) to meet the requirements of a single order or a group of similar requirements. True False TRUE.

83 Review Question Purchasers can always restrict competition for the open market portion of the requirement to Schedule contractors. True False FALSE!!

84 Acquisition Strategy Elements
Performance incentives; Best value; Single order or blanket purchase agreement; and Use of oral presentations. When a delivery or task order appears to be a viable way to meet your needs, these are some elements that should be considered. Let’s look at them.

85 Performance Incentives
Schedule users: Can use performance incentives to give the contractor reason to provide superior quality performance. Design incentives tied to contractor’s achievement of an objective performance measurement. If your AQL is 98%, you could provide a price incentive if the contractor exceeds the AQL. Sometimes the performance incentive is a “deduction”. Sometimes it’s “Award Term"

86 Best Value Obtain best value using one or a combination of the following: Lowest-priced technically acceptable; or Trade off price and other factors. LPTA: When Schedule contractors offer substantially identical products or services, Schedule users can normally determine best value by identifying the lowest priced technically acceptable item. Because of the large selection of Schedule items and well-qualified contractors, Schedule users commonly use this method to determine which items and contractors offer the best value. Trade-off: In the commercial marketplace, suppliers often compete based on factors other than price. Suppliers have found that customers are willing to pay more if given more of what is desired. Contractor past performance on previous orders (should be considered for all orders); Available warranties; Supplier technical qualifications; Training and customer support offered by the supplier; Trade-in considerations; Item transportation cost; Administrative cost associated with the acquisition; and Delivery/performance terms. Item ownership costs; Item maintenance availability; Useful product life; Item environmental and energy efficiency;

87 Evaluation Formal evaluation plan not required
If using Best Value Methodology, must determine importance of each factor relative to other non-price factors and the possible trade-offs involved. Stress first bullet!!! Keep the process simple!

88 Single Order or Blanket Purchase Agreement???
FAR and Schedule guidance for BPA use Potential BPA benefits Use of single or multiple BPAs Method for selecting the BPA contractor(s) Schedule contractors can enter into BPAs with ordering activities provided that: BPAs may be established to obtain maximum discounts. We’re going to look at each of these and ask the class for answers.

89 FAR and Schedule Guidance for BPA Use
Schedule contractors can enter into BPAs with ordering activities provided that: Period of time covered by such agreements must not exceed the period of the contract including option year period(s) Orders placed under such agreements must be issued in accordance with all applicable regulations and contract terms and conditions BPA Benefits: Lower item prices attained by taking advantage of quantity discounts and increased leverage when seeking further price reductions. Reduced acquisition lead time attained by eliminating repetitive steps in the ordering process. Reduced acquisition workload and documentation requirements. Reduced accounts payable workload attained by replacing individual order invoices with monthly billings. Streamlined consolidation of agency requirements.

90 Use of Single BPA or Multiple BPAs
When establishing BPAs, Schedule users must evaluate reasonably available information and decide whether to establish a single BPA or multiple BPAs. Single BPA when:: You can define the specific products or services to be ordered under the BPA - You can establish a firm-fixed-price or ceiling price for individual tasks or services to be ordered - A single contractor can meet estimated requirements - The Government will obtain best value by ordering all items in that class of products or services from a single contractor. Multiple BPAs when: : Cannot define the specific products or services to be ordered; Cannot establish a firm-fixed-price or ceiling price for products or services; Believe that multiple contractors are needed to meet estimated requirements; or Believe that the Government will obtain the best value by maintaining an ongoing competition between multiple contractors to provide that class of products or services.

91 Use of Oral Presentations
GSA encourages use of oral presentations in place of or in addition to written information when appropriate. Oral presentations should follow clearly established guidelines regarding what information must be covered by the presentation, time limits, and other constraints. Oral presentations must involve real-time communication. It may be a face-to-face meeting, teleconference, videoconference, or? There has to be some exchange between the government and the seller. Ask how many have used oral presentations and their results.

92 Oral Presentation Advantages
Promote efficient face-to-face communication Increase buyer and seller satisfaction from the exchange of information Minimize the need for massive technical proposals Reduce proposal lead-times, resulting in shorter acquisition lead-time Reduce proposal costs significantly Reduce the number of protests from firms not receiving a delivery/task order When deciding what information to obtain through oral presentations, consider: The Government's ability to adequately evaluate the information presented orally The need to incorporate any information into the resultant contract The effect on the efficiency of the acquisition The effect (including cost) on small businesses.

93 Presentation Guidelines
The types of information to be presented orally and the basis for Government evaluation Any necessary presenter qualifications Requirements for, and any limitations and/or prohibitions on, the use of written material or other media to supplement the oral presentations Location, date, and time for the oral presentation Time restrictions for each presentation Scope and content of any exchanges between participants This is the information that you must provide to each presenter. Go through each. You will need to maintain a record of each presentation. Consider: You must document what the Government relied upon in making the best value decision. Determine the method and level of detail of the record (e.g., videotaping, audio tape recording, written record, Government notes, copies of offeror briefing slides, or presentation notes) based on the acquisition situation. Place a copy of the record in the delivery/task order file. If requested, the Schedule user may provide a copy to the Schedule contractor that made the presentation. And, it’s important to note that when the parties intend to include information in an oral presentation in the resultant delivery/task order – The information must be put in writing; It is a good practice to require the contractor to provide such information in writing, and You should not incorporate any oral information into a delivery/task order by reference

94 Review Question If the current requirement is part of a continuing need available on GSA Schedules, the Schedule user may want to consider meeting the requirement using one or more blanket purchase agreements. True False TRUE.

95 Review Question GSA encourages the Schedule user to require an oral presentation in place of or in addition to written information. Oral presentations CANNOT be done by: Meeting face-to-face Teleconference Videotaped presentation Videoconference    Selection 3 – It wouldn’t be considered communication. It’s a one-way.

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