13Apr2015

GSA Improves Schedules Program

The General Services Administration is changing regulations that may make the Multiple Award Schedule program run more smoothly for contractors and agencies, according to The GSA Blog.

The Transactional Data Reporting Rule would require companies to electronically report the price it charged a federal agency for a product or service through one of GSA acquisition vehicles. In return, GSA would eliminate burdensome tracking and reporting requirements from the Price Reduction Clause. The clause is a price-reporting rule that keeps companies from overcharging the government compared to their commercial customers. GSA issued a proposed rule March 4.

GSA is proposing a class deviation rule that deals with 15 commercial supplier agreements, or user agreements, that run counter to federal law, such as automatic renewals for software or services.

The proposed change would mainly affect the IT Schedule 70 program particularly for software vendors who have experienced the frustration of negotiating the terms of their commercial EULA agreement with GSA legal.

Below is a list of the fifteen points of inconsistency. For a copy of the comprehensive ruling which summarizes how they will be addressed by the class deviation, contact ClearCoast.

  1. Definition of Contracting Parties
  2. Contract Formation
  3. Patent Indemnity
  4. Automatic Renewals of Term Limited-Agreements
  5. Future Fees or Penalties
  6. Taxes
  7. Payment Terms or Invoicing
  8. Automatic incorporation/deemed acceptance of third party terms
  9. State/foreign law governed contracts
  10. Equitable remedies, injunctions, binding arbitration
  11. Unilateral termination of Commercial Supplier Agreement by supplier
  12. Unilateral modification of Commercial Supplier Agreement by supplier
  13. Assignment of Commercial Supplier Agreement or Government contract by supplier
  14. Confidentiality of Commercial Supplier Agreement terms and conditions
  15. Audits (automatic liability for payment)

Lastly, GSA and other regulation acquisition agencies are planning for two new Federal Acquisition Regulation rules. One rule would allow agencies to add order-level materials to a current contract, instead of competing an entirely new contract. In addition, a currently open FAR case would expand the authority for agencies to establish fair and reasonable pricing requirements when placing orders against the MAS program. NASA and the Defense Department already require their contracting officers to set up those requirements.

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