MAS contracts come together

But schedule vendors still are awaiting the final revisions to the government's policy
for negotiating and managing MAS contracts.


Starting Oct. 1, the General Services Administration will begin consolidating its MAS
information technology contracts into a uniform acquisition program.


Under the old MAS format, officials in GSA's Federal Supply Service negotiated separate
contracts for items in different technologies and services groups. For example, the MAS
Group 70 A contracts covered large systems products, and Group 70 B/C governed
microcomputer wares.


Now FSS' ADP Acquisition Center will award master reseller contracts to vendors for
their entire lines of products and services. FSS will merge its MAS groups.


"We do not want customers having to figure out which contracts have expired or
which terms have lapsed," William N. Gormley, assistant FSS commissioner for
acquisition, said. "This puts on a single face to industry when before we had
multiple negotiations."


The single standard contracts will streamline negotiations for vendors and simplify
buying for agencies, he said.


"From the customer's standpoint, our objective is to reduce and remove the
confusion about which schedule has a
particular product or service," Gormley said. "The confusion has been the
merging of traditional technologies that had once been sold separately."


Gormley said the consolidation will be two-part. First, FSS will not issue a new
solicitation for the Group 70, Parts I A, D and E contracts that expire on Sept. 30.
Instead, vendors will be invited to respond to a continuous open season solicitation while
the name of the Group 70 B/C contract program is changed to the IT Schedule to accommodate
the other contracts.


"In October, the changes begin and the traditional schedules will go away. There
will be special instructions for vendors on how to migrate their contracts through
modifications," Gormley said.


As for the pending MAS policy revisions, Gormley said that any new administrative
procedures take effect as soon as a final rule is approved.


Office of Management and Budget officials are reviewing GSA's proposal for updating its
MAS contract negotiation goals as well as vendor discount pricing and sales reporting
requirements.


GSA officials proposed the rule changes more than a year ago. But there is no target
date for issuing the revisions. Originally, Gormley had said FSS would delay collapsing
the contracts into a single schedule until after the policy was final.


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