The new year will see several policy changes that are sure to affect government contractors. Four of the biggest government contracting policy changes on the horizon for 2020 include, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, changes to the DOD's acquisition framework, the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act and major GSA initiatives.
Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP was called for comment on the new GSA schedule consolidation. "While Phase 1 of the consolidation went smoothly, there are still two phases left in the plan that may be more difficult for the GSA to implement," said Partner, C. Kelly Kroll.
In Phase 2, which will take several months, the GSA has to issue a mass modification to thousands of existing contracts to reflect the consolidation. That effort has already been pushed back a few weeks from the agency’s initial early January start date, suggesting that “maybe things are not going as smoothly as thought,” Kroll said.
Likely to exacerbate the issue is the widely used nature of the Schedules, which means that contracting officers from outside the GSA, used to doing things a certain way for a long time, may struggle to adapt at first.
“I think there’s going to be confusion and growing pains, if you will,” she said.
Then, in Phase 3, the GSA will work with companies that currently hold contracts across multiple schedules to consolidate their contracts into one, working out which provisions to keep and which to jettison.
"That is likely to be the most difficult phase of all, as multiple Schedule contract holders hold a wide variety of different combinations of contracts, and there are also issues such as which contract takes precedence for price-escalation clauses if items were priced differently under different Schedules," Kroll noted.
“Everybody’s problem is different; there’s no one-size-fits-all [solution] for these contractors,” she said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of issues to work through there.”
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