Far & Beyond: What the FAS Pricing Guidance Says and Doesn’t Say About Order Level Competition – September 2023

Oct 17, 2023

This week, in the spirit of “Fair and Reasonable Transparency,” the Coalition for Government Procurement submitted to the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) feedback on its “FAS Policy and Procedure (PAP) 2021-05, Evaluation of FSS Program Pricing.”

The PAP is a significant policy document, providing guidance to FAS contracting officers regarding the negotiation of Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts.  It essentially modifies the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and General Services Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) regarding the negotiation of fair and reasonable pricing under the Federal Supply Service (FSS) program.  In so doing, however, the PAP is inconsistent with the FAR and operates to create a “low-price regardless of terms and conditions” contract-level pricing policy for the FSS program.

For example, it directs contracting officers to leverage the collective buying power of the federal government, notwithstanding the fact that FSS contracts are not governmentwide requirements contracts, whereby the federal government collectively promises to buy all its requirements through the FSS program.  Rather, FSS contracts are non-mandatory, multiple award IDIQ contracts with a guaranteed minimum of $2,500 over the 20-year contract term and the opportunity to compete for agency requirements at the order level. As such, how can contracting officers leverage what contractually doesn’t exist?

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