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Questions and Answers from the “Keeping Your PSS Contract Current” Webinar

Questions and Answers from the “Keeping Your PSS Contract Current” Webinar

May 21, 2019

GSA’s Professional Services and Human Capital (PSHC) hosted an industry webinar on May 21, 2019, for Professional Services Schedule (PSS) contractors on keeping their contracts current. Below are questions and answers addressed during the webinar. Duplicative questions have been removed, and some questions have been edited for grammar or clarity. Download a PDF file of the Q&A.
 

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1. Our GSA PSS schedule is up for renewal in May 2021. Previous GSA notification had requested that our renewal package be submitted two years in advance. At this point should we submit our renewal package within the next two months, or should we wait for the new consolidated Request for Proposal (RFP) in October?

GSA Answer:  The option process for contractors starts 210 days prior to the contract end date.  So you will not need to take any action regarding your option until October 2020.  If you are at the end of your 20 year contract period, then you would not have another option and instead you would need to submit a new offer for a follow-on contract, and you can do that at any time.  Please contact your assigned PCS/PCO if you have questions about your contract end date and whether there are any further options available on the contract.  

 

2. Are we able to add Special Item Number (SIN) codes under Refresh 35 and before the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) consolidation?

GSA Answer: Yes, you can request to add new SINs on your contract by submitting an “Add SIN” modification (note that only SINs currently included in the PSS solicitation can be added before 9/30/19. You will have to wait until after the MAS consolidation occurs to add new SINs that aren’t currently part of the PSS program).  This will happen in Phase 2 as outlined here:

3. If you are trying to get onto a new Schedule, will you need to wait for the consolidation to happen first?

GSA Answer: The final date to submit an offer on any of the 24 current Schedules is 9/30/19.  You can submit an offer under any Schedule before that date. As of 10/1/19 all offers must be under the new consolidated Schedule. It is worth noting that during phase 2 of the consolidation ,as long as you have an existing Schedule contract on 10/1/19, you would be able to just modify your existing contract to add new SINs rather than submitting an entire new offer. You would only need to submit a new offer if you 1) do not have any open Schedule contracts or 2) your open Schedule contract is coming to the end of its 20 year performance period and you need to submit a follow-on offer.

 

4. Does PSS Mass Modification refresh #35 require contract Service Contract Act (SCA) matrix update?

GSA Answer: An SCA matrix update is only required if the wage determination in your contract is out of date (i.e., starts with the number 2005) – in which case you need to select a new wage determination to replace it and you will need to submit a “Wage Determination” modification type to identify. If your wage determination is current and the only change is the revision number, you do not need to update your SCA matrix.  The SCA matrix only contains the wage determination number and not the revision number. By accepting the latest mass mod A765, you are accepting the latest revision number to the wage determination.

 

5. Can labor categories be added within existing SINS prior to the consolidation?

GSA Answer:  Yes.  Submit an “Add Labor Category” modification.

 

6.  Did you say that expired contracts will be migrated to the new reporting system in September, so we will need to report Sales and pay Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) in the 72(a) portal?

GSA Answer: Yes, that is correct. Expired contracts still reside only in the 72A system. They will be moved to Sales Reporting Portal (SRP) later this year.  Until they are moved to SRP, you will continue to report sales and remit IFF in 72A.

 

7.  On PSS refresh #34 there is only one project needed? What does no substitution of key personnel experience for project experience mean?

GSA Answer: Yes, only one project is needed as of PSS Refresh #34.  The “no substitution of key personnel experience” means the project experience submitted must be from the contractor and not a project performed by key personnel from other companies.

 

8. We received an email notifying us to submit a new offer to GSA since our MAS contract is due to expire in mid 2021.  Did I understand you correctly in that we should wait until the October 2019 single MAS solicitation is issued?  What if we want to add labor categories, should we still wait?  

GSA Answer: You can either submit under PSS before 9/30/19, or wait until after the new MAS solicitation is published in October and submit under that Schedule. You can request an “Add Labor Category” modification to add labor categories to your contract at any time.

 

9. Where can I find the most current PSS Modification Instructions?

GSA Answer: You can access them through the PSS website, here is a link.

 

10. What is the backlog for PSS offers at this time?

GSA Answer: If you are submitting a new offer, the current average offer processing time is around 150 days. If you are submitting a modification to an existing contract, the average processing time is 4-6 weeks.

 

11. What is the backlog for adding a SIN?

GSA Answer: See answer 12 above, a modification to add a SIN is taking an average of 4-6 weeks.

 

12. Is there any chance that the SIP software will be updated to something that works smoothly? GSA Answer:  At this time there are no major changes to SIP that have been announced.

 

13. Our listing on eLibrary has our corporate name. We market under our Doing Business As (DBA), which is also visible on SAM.gov. What do we need to do so our DBA name is searchable on Elibrary?

GSA Answer:  Please contact your GSA PCS/PCO.

 

14.  GSA has contractors review GSA Price Lists submissions now. They often advise reject price lists with the instructions to replace “Contact Contract Administrator” with “Contact Contractor.” These reviewers refer any contract terms and conditions questions to the “Contract Administrator” – apparently their term for the “GSA Procurement Contracting Officer (PCO).” Has the GSA PCO been renamed as “Contract Administrator” at GSA?

GSA Answer:  It appears the reviewers do not want your price list to refer to Contract Administrator out of concern that the ordering agency will try to contact GSA instead of your firm.  The terms “Contract Administrator” is not used at GSA. We will ask the reviewers to refer to the term “PCO” to avoid further confusion.  

 

15. The Proposal Checklist (on page 4) notes that there are unique instructions for SIN 382-4 Comprehensive Linguistic Analytical Support Services which can be found in the solicitation at Clause SCP-FSS-008, paragraph (d) (8). However, there is no specific call out for SIN 382-4 at that clause. Is this an error?

GSA Answer: You are correct that there are no unique instructions for SIN 382-4 in provision SCP-FSS-008; therefore, the proposal checklist is incorrect. As the proposal checklist asks you to confirm you have complied with special instructions, you can go ahead and check that box that you have complied. Thank you for bringing this item to our attention!

 

16. Assuming there are NO changes to the awarded PSS-AIMS Other Direct Costs (ODC), is submission of ODC descriptions required now as part of the "Section I" requirement due Refresh #34? What if the company was awarded ODCs prior to the descriptions requirement added in Refresh #34?

GSA Answer: Yes, please be sure to include descriptions for any awarded items (services or products) that do not currently have descriptions awarded. In years past, GSA did not always require descriptions to be included, but they are required now, and if you are submitting a modification it is a good time to bring those items up to date as well (even if it is not the primary purpose of the modification).

 

17. Does submitting the modification prevent us from getting awards on the initial contract?

GSA Answer: When you submit quotes under your PSS contract, your quote has to align with what is awarded in your contract at the time you submit your quote. For example, if you were originally awarded SIN 874-1 and you submit a modification to remove that SIN, once the modification is awarded you are no longer able to submit any quotes for that SIN.

 

18. GSA eMod removes access to the awarded modification (e.g. Continuous Pages) after awarded. I have been advised by COs this is system issue. Will this be updated?

GSA Answer: The issue has been reported to the systems team for a fix. In the meantime, if you ever need a copy of a modification or any attachments to the modification, contact your PCS/PCO and they can email you the documents.

 

19.  How do we access our administrative account to see who is listed as authorized negotiators and contract administrator?

GSA Answer: The best way to do this is to check your modification history in GSA eMod to see what modifications have been awarded to show the authorized negotiators and contract administrator. You have to be a currently authorized negotiator with a valid digital certificate to access eMod. Another way is to contact your PCS/PCO and ask them to tell you who is on contract. They can look up your contract and tell you who is listed and email you the list of authorized negotiators, contract administrator, etc.

 

20. Our experience with many of the Contracting Officers is they will not include the attachments we submitted to the SF30 modification.  Because of that once the modification is awarded, how do we see the list of the attachments that were submitted?

GSA Answer: There may be instances where the attachments you submit with your modification request are not included in the final modification package. For example, a document may be revised during negotiations or determined by the PCS/PCO to not be needed in the modification. You should already have a copy of all attachments to each modification you submit as part of the process for preparing the modification. We recommend that you save all attachment documents to a specific modification folder in your computer system so you have a record of what you submitted for each modification.

 

When a modification comes through eMod for you to review and approve/sign, all the modification attachments that are part of the modification need to be included at that time. If the modification references an attachment that is not included, contact the PCS/PCO handling the mod right away to tell them – do not sign the modification! The PCS/PCO can check to confirm that all required attachments are included and if necessary can reset the modification to add anything that is missing. Also, if you don’t see an attachment that you originally submitted and you think it ought to be included, discuss with the PCS/PCO. We do recommend you download the entire modification package and review everything in the package before you accept/sign the modification.  Once you sign the modification, the GSA PCO will award it. Never sign a modification if you do not understand it or have concerns about it! The PCS/PCO is there to help you and answer your questions or concerns.

 

21. Our point of contact information in eLibrary is incorrect; does that require an eMod to correct?

GSA Answer:  Yes, please submit an eMod to correct that information.

 

22.  Please further explain a 're-representation modification' request.

GSA Answer: A size re-representation is required as per FAR 19.301-2 (small business re-representation) or 19.301-3 (other than small business re-representation). A modification is not required if there has been no change from what is currently awarded (re-representation by email or letter is acceptable). A modification is required if there has been a change to either the socio-economic or size status as per what is currently awarded.  You can request a “Re-representation of Business Type” or “Re-Representation of Business Size” modification through the GSA eMod system.  Note – you can re-represent your socio-economic status (business type) at any time, but you can only re-represent your size status in accordance with the triggering events stipulated in FAR 19.301-2(b).    

 

23. Do companies with contracts on multiple schedules need distinct subcontracting plans (e.g., one for PSS, one for IT-70)?

GSA Answer: It depends on the subcontracting plan you selected for each contract. There are two main plan types – commercial plan and individual plan. A commercial plan covers all contracts, while an individual plan covers each specific contract. If you have a commercial plan, you can use the same plan for all contracts. If you have individual plans, they are tailored to each contract and cannot apply to more than one contract.

 

24. How far ahead can an option be exercised?

GSA Answer: The furthest in advance an option can be exercised is 120 days before contract expiration, but this is atypical. Typically the option is exercised between 30-60 days prior to contract expiration.

 

25. Although we have been bidding, we have received no awards yet.  Do we need to reach out to an Industrial Operations Analyst (IOA)?

GSA Answer: No need to reach out to the IOA unless you have a specific concern about sales reporting. There are many resources GSA provides contractors for marketing/market research, such as guides and training on marketing at the Vendor Support Center (VSC), and Interact.gsa.gov (Schedules Contractor Success - Marketing Matters). Be sure to keep up with your contract administration while you’re working to win your first award under your contract.

 

26. Re: PSS Refresh #35. Can you please clarify what the “X,” “Yes,” and “N/A” notations mean in Clause 52.212-5 paragraph (e), specifically “K” and “Q”? Are these terms and conditions that *do* need to be flowed down to subcontracts? When is the flow-down required – when there is or is not an “X” or “Yes”?

GSA Answer:  The “X” and the “Yes” mean the same thing – which is that they do flow down. N/A means not applicable. We apologize for the confusion.

 

27. How can we tell if we have accepted the most current MAS modification?

GSA Answer:  Please visit the VSC, click on the Mass Mod system link, enter your contract number, and you should be able to see all open mass modifications for your contract.

 

28. Our 'preponderance of work' has changed to that of a SB NAICs; can we request a mod to change our status in eLibrary prior to the end of our base period?

GSA Answer: You cannot change the NAICS that was assigned to your contract at the time it was awarded. Per FAR 19.301-2(c) you must re-represent your size status in accordance with the size standard in effect at the time of its re-representation that corresponds to the NAICS code that was initially assigned to the contract.

 

29. Is the Contract Assessment requirement for $25,000 annual sales per calendar year or is it calculated based on your individual Schedule contract year?

GSA Answer:  The calculation is based on your PSS contract year.

 

30. Our base year ends April 2020; can we request our Option Year be awarded prior to consolidation in October.

GSA Answer: GSA is exercising options between 30-60 days prior to contract expiration.

 

31. When the Schedules consolidate, how do you account for the differing periods of performance?

GSA Answer: The MAS Program Management Office  (PMO) will be providing more guidance to contractors on the consolidation process as the date of consolidation draws closer.  Please refer to the published MAS FAQs available here.

 

34.  Is there a different process to update your POC in E-library than doing a modification through the e-mod system?

GSA Answer:  Please use the GSA eMod system to update the POC information for your contract. Use an administrative modification to change the POC’s name/contact information.

 

35. My contracting officer does not know how to get the DBA name, so who else can help?

GSA Answer:  Please email pssofferquestions@gsa.gov  with your question, your contract number, and your contact information, and we will research this issue and respond to you.

 

36. Does submitting refresh 35 prevent an ongoing procurement from going through?

GSA Answer:  No.

 

37. I am receiving an error that my Schedule Input Program (SIP) file does not match my contract information.  Is there a way to look up the contract information so I can match the two up?

GSA Answer:  Your last modification on file should show the most current contract terms and conditions. If you can’t see a disparity between that and your SIP file, please contact your assigned PCS/PCO by looking up your contract in GSA eLibrary and they can assist you.

 

38. To add a SIN do we need to submit new financials?

GSA Answer:  No, that is not required.  Please review the PSS Modification Instructions to see what information you need to submit for an add SIN modification.

 

39. We have already completed an eMod to change the POC information, however this hasn't flowed down to e-library. How do we fix that.

GSA Answer:  Please contact your GSA PCS/PCO.  They may need to confirm that the Online Contract Management System (OCMS) system (an internal system GSA uses for contract administration) has been updated to match what is in your contract file.  A discrepancy between the two systems is the likely reason why the change is not showing up in eLibrary.   

 

40. Am I understanding correctly that a company may ONLY represent size status if it goes FROM small to 'other that small' but NOT ALLOWED to re-represent as small if originally awarded as 'other than small'?  We are stuck with 'other than small' for the 20-year contract life?

GSA Answer:  Per FAR 19.301-3 (b), the contractor who is an other than small business is allowed to re-represent its size status as a small business at time of option or other triggering event for re-representation (per FAR 19.301-2(b)).    

 

41. Are you saying that after the consolidation a subcontracting plan will have to be renegotiated and will only need one?

GSA Answer: The MAS PMO will provide additional guidance on consolidating contracts as the date for consolidation approaches.  This will be handled on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the COs and contractors.

 

42. Can you talk a little bit about obtaining a Dual Contract? (are the requirements streamlined, or the same as requesting a brand new contract. etc.)

GSA Answer: If you have met these requirements you can qualify for a streamlined proposal, per solicitation provision SCP-FSS-001-S:

  • You have an existing PSS contract and are submitting an offer for the same SINs;
  • Sales under the existing contract have averaged a minimum of $25,000 per year for the previous 5 years of reported sales; and
  • There is a demonstrated pattern of satisfactory past performance under the contract (e.g., timely sales reporting and IFF payments, no open action items from Contractor Assessment Reports, timely acceptance of mass modifications, current SAM registration, and current GSA Advantage! file posted).

If you have not met those requirements, then you would have to follow the requirements of SCP-FSS-001-N. It would be well worth your time and effort to wait until you can meet the qualification requirements for SCP-FSS-001-S, if possible, before submitting a new offer for a dual contract.

 

43. If contractors with multiple contracts will be asked to select one contract - how will the separate periods of performance still remain?

GSA Answer: The MAS PMO will be providing additional information and instructions for contractors as the time for consolidation approaches. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the COs and contractors.

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