Contract Consolidation will broaden the Gulf between Winners and Losers: Multiple Award Contracts (MACs)

DECEMBER 07, 2015

The GSA’s Professional Services Schedule is renewing its efforts to control procurements of competing multiple award contracts across the Federal Government through contract consolidation. The desire to achieve “protest-proof” acquisitions and lower costs, has led to contract bundling which combines requirements from multiple smaller contracts into single MACs, and limits the number awards and opportunities. In the early 2000’s, many government agencies sought to control their own procurements, driven by the belief that their procurement needs were unique, despite other agencies seeking similar goods and services. Contract consolidation (i.e. GSA’s Professional Services Schedule) emerged as an avenue to combine requirements from multiple smaller contracts into single MACs. This transition immediately proved to be a hurdle for some agencies. Although the struggle with the growing complexity and costs related to controlling their own procurements was evident, the GSA’s Professional Services Schedule continued to be published and MACs awarded. While consolidation effectively integrates the procurement process for the government, it creates many challenges for the industry. Contract vehicle competitions have process development, structure, and certification requirements that apply an additional tax on those who wish to bid. Scorecard-based appraisal representations which include certifications, systems, and process requirements raise the price to play, resulting in expensive compliance. Not meeting these requirements raises the probability of being removed, leaving small and medium-sized companies who may lack the resources or desire to compete, at a higher risk. The pendulum has swung too far and focus needs to be brought more towards the negatives of contract consolidation on the industry players versus the positives for the government.

Facts about Contract Consolidation

  • GWACs still allow for direct acquisition where agencies maintain full control, continuing the redundancy of next generation vehicles competing with one another.
  • Unique needs do not require agency specific contracts
  • Program management, reporting, marketing, and rapid proposal response abilities are important requirements when managing a GWAC
  • Restructure of bid and proposal expenditures are now a necessity to solidify a spot on a contract vehicle.
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