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Upcoming MAS Solicitation Changes to Implement the Verified Products Portal (VPP)

The Verified Products Portal (VPP) represents an integral piece of FAS’s Catalog Management effort under the Federal Marketplace (FMP) initiative.  The VPP will facilitate the delivery of a superior buying and selling experience for customer agencies, industry partners, and the FAS acquisition workforce by making catalog management simpler, more modern, and efficient. 

The intention of this post is to share additional information about the VPP and the associated upcoming changes to the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS).  Please send any feedback to VPP@gsa.gov.  For inquiries from members of the media, please email press@gsa.gov.

The VPP will be a manufacturer and wholesaler-facing portal containing authoritative product content, including standardized:

  • manufacturer names;
  • part numbers; and 
  • specifications, including images, product videos, and pdf documents for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products. 

In addition to the authoritative product content, the VPP will capture and display supplier authorization information. This will enable automated supplier authorization enforcement and reduce the burden on authorized resellers to provide individual letters of supply.  By receiving supplier authorization information directly from the manufacturers and wholesalers, we will reduce the buyer’s risk of purchasing counterfeit or non-compliant parts.  The data will also be used to standardize contractor catalogs, ensuring products across GSA marketplaces are accurately represented.  

VPP benefits, when fully implemented, include the following:

  • Ensures Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) products are accurately represented in GSA ecommerce platforms.
  • Eliminates variability among identical products through standardized catalog data coming directly from the manufacturer or a trusted source.
  • Improves the customer’s buying experience by providing rich syndicated product content such as videos and product manuals.
  • Allows manufacturers and wholesalers to authorize and deauthorize products and resellers in near-real time to protect against supply chain risks and ensure product and reseller authenticity. 
  • Reduces the burden on resellers to provide letters of supply and product specifications (potentially automating the letter of supply in the future).
  • Facilitates Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) activities to enhance the security of GSA’s supply chain, to include verifying that products are compliant with Section 889 and Trade Agreement Act requirements.

Implementation of the VPP will also enable the FAS acquisition workforce to quickly and easily identify unauthorized products both pre- and post-award. Unauthorized products can then either be removed from consideration in new offers and modifications or deleted from existing contracts.

Upcoming Changes to the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS)

Multiple Award Schedule implementation of the VPP is tentatively planned for April 2021.  At that time, GSA plans to refresh the MAS solicitation to reflect the updates below:

1. REVISED:  SCP-FSS-001 INSTRUCTIONS APPLICABLE TO ALL OFFERORS (XXX 2021) [(l) Section I - Administrative/Contract Data]

xi. Applicable to product offers.  If the offeror is not the manufacturer of the products being proposed, then the offeror may only propose those products that it is authorized to distribute, either by the manufacturer itself, or as otherwise authorized, such as, but not limited to, pursuant to wholesaler agreements or other policies establishing the offeror’s authority to distribute proposed items.  GSA’s Verified Products Portal (VPP) captures supplier authorization information directly from participating manufacturers and their authorized partners and distributors, thereby enabling automated verification and enforcement of supplier authorization, and reducing the burden on authorized suppliers to provide individual Letters of Supply.  Offerors will establish supplier authorization by the following means: 

(A) Upload to eOffer a statement regarding your relationship to the manufacturer of the products you are proposing.  This statement should indicate one of the following:

  • You are the manufacturer.
  • You are an authorized reseller, i.e., you have a direct relationship with the manufacturer and are officially identified as a reseller for that manufacturer.
  • You obtain the manufacturer’s items through an authorized partner or distributor (e.g., a wholesaler).
  • You obtain the manufacturer’s items through an unknown/unidentified source.

(B) If you are the manufacturer of the products you are proposing, no further information is required to demonstrate supplier authorization.

(C) If you are not the manufacturer of the products you are proposing, check the VPP Supplier Dashboard to see if your applicable manufacturer and/or authorized partner/distributor participates in the VPP.  

(1) If they are VPP participants, upload a copy of your dashboard results to eOffer.  GSA will utilize the VPP to verify that you are authorized to supply the product(s) you are proposing.  

(2) If they are not VPP participants, you must upload to eOffer: 

(i) A copy of your dashboard results, and 

(ii) A Letter of Supply that verifies you are authorized to distribute the products you are proposing and demonstrates an uninterrupted source of supply.  Failure to provide an acceptable Letter of Supply may result in rejection of the offer.  A Letter of Supply template is provided as a solicitation attachment.

2. REVISED:  I-FSS-644 DEALERS AND SUPPLIERS (OCT 1988) (DEVIATION I - XXX 2021) [This change will initially be requested as a class deviation, with plans to pursue incorporation of this clause into the GSAR via the federal rulemaking process at a later date.]

(a) The Contractor shall only supply products it is authorized to distribute.  If the manufacturer has a supplier authorization program, the Contractor must maintain continued authorization either directly with the manufacturer or through an authorized partner/distributor.  If the manufacturer has an open distribution policy (i.e., it does not require authorization for its distributors), the Contractor must maintain continued access to an uninterrupted source of supply.  

(b) GSA may rely on internal supplier authorization data to verify the Contractor’s continued authorization to distribute awarded products.

(c) When requested by the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall provide information regarding its current relationship to the manufacturer of awarded products.  

(d) When requested by the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall submit an updated Letter of Supply that verifies continued authorization to distribute awarded products and access to an uninterrupted source of supply.   

(e) Failure to maintain continued authorization to distribute awarded products and access to an uninterrupted source of supply may result in cancellation of the contract, in whole or in part, in accordance with GSAR clause 552.238-79 Cancellation.

3. REVISED:  Letter of Supply Template

The Letter of Supply template (solicitation attachment) is in the process of being updated.  FAS plans to post a separate Interact notice regarding these changes in early 2021.  

         

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If you have any questions regarding planned solicitation changes, please contact us at VPP@gsa.gov.  As always, we thank you for your continued partnership. 

This Interact notice is part of FAS’s ongoing communications effort regarding the VPP.  For more information, please see the posts below:

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