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New FAR Rule: Section 863

An interim FAR rule has been published in the Federal Register to include Section 863 of the Fiscal Year 2009 Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This rule enhances competition requirements for orders placed against multiple-award contracts, including:

  • Federal Supply Schedules (FSS);
  • FSS Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs);
  • Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) such as ALLIANT, and Networx; and
  • Other Multiple Award Indefinite-delivery-Indefinite-Quantity (MAIDIQ) contracts

A major component of this policy change requires fair notice be given to all contract holders offering the required supplies and/or services prior to placing an order or establishing a FSS BPA estimated over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($150,000). eBuy meets the standard of providing “fair notice to all contractors”, for FAS affected contract vehicles such Schedules, GWACs, and certain MAIDIQ contracts because all vendors offering the required supplies and/or services are able to view the Request for Quote (RFQ). For FSS contracts, if you do not use eBuy or another means of providing fair notice, you must distribute the RFQ by some other means and receive at least three quotes. The use of eBuy, GSA’s request for quote solution, is the easiest way to meet these new competition requirements.

To learn more about the rule and how it affects the ordering procedures for FAS's contract vehicles, go to gsa.gov’s Schedules News and Resources. View training videos on Section 863 and eBuy. The training on Section 863 provides a detailed before and after look into the ordering procedures, showing ordering activities specifically which FAR rules have changed and how to best comply with the new rules. The eBuy training shows customer agencies how to use GSA’s RFQ tool to help maximize the competition and meet these new requirements. In addition, an audio podcast is available explaining how eBuy is an efficient way to satisfy the new rule. Check out this convenient one-page quick reference designed by GSA for the acquisition workforce.

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VA FSS Service
<p>Has the maximum order threshold (MOT) been completely replaced by the SAT?&nbsp; Does the SAT rule apply even if the MOT is less than the SAT?</p>
MAS Blogger
<p dir="ltr"><font face="Helv" size="2"><font face="Helv" size="2">The Maximum Order Threshold (MOT) has only been replaced by the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) in the ordering procedures prescribed by FAR 8.405. In other words, if ordering off an FSS Schedule or FSS BPA, the MOT is no longer the threshold that determines whether or not you must seek a price reductions, obtain at least three quotes, etc. That threshold is now the SAT. This is applicable for all orders, even if the MOT is less than the SAT.</font></font></p><p dir="ltr"><font face="Helv" size="2"><font face="Helv" size="2">The MOT still has a purpose in FSS contract terms and conditions as it relates to the Price Reductions clause (52.238-75) and the Maximum Order Limitation clause (I-FSS-124). </font></font></p>
bcamp
<p>why is it a mystery for a vendor to get on schedule&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; we send a step by step letter and then nothing&nbsp; and why is there a vendor support&nbsp;center and why is it so difficult for vendors to contact their contracting officer? &nbsp;</p>
Melinda Wagoner
<p>Bradley,</p><p>Getting a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS)&nbsp;is no mystery.&nbsp; The URL below is an excellent resource which provides a list of all the schedules with a direct link to&nbsp;the FedBizOpps solicitation&nbsp;and a&nbsp;point of contact&nbsp;if a vendor has questions.&nbsp; Vendors interested in getting a MAS contract must select the schedule that is applicable to the products or services sold by their company.&nbsp; Then they need to carefully read the &quot;Read Me&quot; file provided in the solicitation and then print the documents and&nbsp;prepare a proposal for the products or services the company wants to have on a MAS contract.&nbsp; The second URL below provides a great overview of the MAS Program.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.gsa.gov/schedulesolicitations">www.gsa.gov/schedulesolicitations</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/202573">http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/202573</a></p><p>The Vendor Support Center (VSC) is resourse for industry partners who have a GSA MAS contract.&nbsp; However, there is a tab for training on the VSC website that will assist a company that is interested in obtaining a GSA MAS contract.&nbsp;</p><p>The economic crisis led to&nbsp;a huge increase in&nbsp;vendors who want to get a&nbsp;MAS contract and do business with the federal government.&nbsp; Therefore, our Acquisition Center Contracting Officer&#39;s are overwhelmed with proposals from companies who want to obtain a GSA MAS contract.&nbsp; In addition, the CO&#39;s&nbsp;are responsible for processing modifications for exisiting MAS contract holders so they are extremely busy.&nbsp; I would hope that our CO&#39;s would return telephone calls since the success of GSA really depends on the success of our industry partners.&nbsp;</p><p>I hope this helps.</p><p>Have a great day!</p>
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