This column was originally published on Roger Waldron’s blog at The Coalition for Government Procurement, and was republished here with permission from the author.
Yesterday, via posting for advance review on the Federal Register Public Inspection site, GSA announced that it had issued a proposed General Services Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) rule to incorporate Order Level Materials (OLMs), also known as ODCs, into the Multiple Award Schedule Program.
This proposed rule would create a new GSAR clause to govern the acquisition of OLMs/ODCs at the task and delivery order level. It will appear formally in today’s Federal Register, and here are some of its key features.
The proposed rule defines OLMs/ODCs to include supplies and/or services acquired in direct support of an individual task or delivery order placed against an MAS contract or BPA.
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Fundamentally, the rule provides that OLMs/ODCs are included and priced at the order level and are not separately identified and priced at the MAS contract level. Using a new, separate Special Item Number, OLMs/ODCs are identified and priced at the time of order, thereby enhancing MAS flexibility in meeting customer agency requirements.
According to the Federal Register, one objective of the rule is to create parity between FSS contracts and other commercial indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts, with respect to the ability to acquire order-level materials.
Under the proposed rule, the total value of OLMs/ODCs is limited to 33 percent of the overall order value, and ordering agency contracting officers are required to make a fair and reasonable price determination for all order-level materials.
In turn, for the purpose of supporting the fair and reasonable price determination, MAS contractors are required to submit at least three quotes obtained for each OLM/ODCs above the micro-purchase threshold or provide a rational why they cannot obtain three quotes.
The proposed rule would incorporate OLMs/ODCs into the following schedules:
Incorporating OLMs/ODCs functionality into the MAS program will enhance the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the MAS program. Customer agencies and MAS contractors will have greater flexibility to seek, compete, award, and perform commercial-based solutions to meet agency mission requirements.
The result will drive competition and access to innovation from the commercial market place through the MAS program, reducing unnecessary contract duplication. Significantly, small businesses especially will benefit through increased opportunities as MAS prime contractors, as well as subcontractors, providing OLMs/ODCs. For all these reasons, through our ODC White Paper and FAR & Beyond Blogs, the Coalition has supported adding “ODCs” (now OLMs) to the MAS program. It will be a win for government, a win for industry partners, and ultimately a win for the American people.
The proposed rule marks a significant, positive step forward towards a more flexible, efficient, effective, and innovative MAS program. The Coalition will be examining the rule in greater detail and submitting comments to GSA. We look forward to working with GSA and all other stakeholders to incorporate this vital capability into the MAS program.