CONTRACT MANAGEMENT IN THE AGE OF SCHEDULE CONSOLIDATION
While GSA has said that contractors may not experience any immediate impact of their decision to consolidate the MAS program into “one schedule”, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing for you to prepare for now. Indeed, any reading of the agency’s stated desire to consolidate around one set of terms and conditions should give contractors pause. First, any non-standard contract term you have now could come under scrutiny. Were you successful in limiting the scope of your Price Reductions Clause? Well, you may have to fight that fight again. Do your competitors offer prompt pay discounts and you don’t? Prepare for that to become an issue. Do your terms differ from contract to contract, or even within the same vehicle, depending on the business unit that performs the actual work? The time is now to ensure that you have solid, easy to follow reasons for why those differing terms should stay in place. Contractors have been asking for consistency longer than we’ve been in the federal acquisition business. Remember, though, that consistency can mean “consistently bad”. There’s a lot to be said for the willingness of certain CO’s to negotiate tailored contract terms that aren’t precisely consistent with the solicitation. Whether they will be able to do so moving forward is a question, as is whether you will eventually be dealing with multiple CO’s or specialists as GSA finds a way to better manage its acquisition workforce. The bottom line: Make sure consolidation doesn’t mean doing away with specialized terms you rely on. Be prepared.