The General Services Administration’s efforts to provide federal buyers with better data is seeing results over the last six months and continues to expand, according to the head of the agency’s Federal Acquisition Service.
FAS Commissioner Tom Sharpe wrote in a June 22 blog post that efforts to transform the agency’s venerable Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) program are taking hold, with some GSA regional managers saying some of the “wiggle room” in schedule pricing is being winnowed out.
In the six months since his last report, GSA’s work on MAS has enhanced cycle times, made more “actionable” data available to inform government buyers and moved to address pricing variabilities across the schedules programs in its effort to create a more horizontal pricing model for goods and services.
But that growth has not been without challenges, Sharpe noted, especially price variability across MAS, along with the absence of consistent use of universal product codes and manufacturer part numbers. He said the agency is collecting existing UPCs to make it easier for government buyers to find and compare products and prices on GSA schedules. “Giving our contracting professionals better tools and access to more data is crucial to both the success of the MAS program and its ability to deliver to our customers and industry partners an adaptable and competitive best-in-class contract solution,” he wrote.