Emily Murphy, administrator at the General Services Administration (GSA), detailed the agency’s plan to consolidate 24 multiple-award schedules into one, and how the change will benefit both agencies and industry.

“It means that our customers don’t have to get a PhD in GSA in order to find the solution they want on our contract vehicles,” said Murphy during an interview with Government Matters TV on Sunday. “Right now, with 24 different contract vehicles, we’re forcing agencies to figure out which category does their procurement fit into … what they want is a solution.”

“When we talk to our customers, the number one thing we hear is that it is hard to find things on schedules, and that is not a good way to sell things. If we’re trying to facilitate an agency buying a solution and they have to hunt and peck, then we’re failing,” she said.

While the change is highly anticipated and will have a positive impact, GSA is making sure to get the change right.

“The last time we tried to do this, we had paper contracts. I don’t want to say our technology is 100 percent of the way there, because it’s never going to be 100 percent of the way there. That’s another area we’re focused on, is evolving the technology that underlies the schedules, but I think we’ve got the right solution in place this time,” said Murphy. She pointed to robotics process automation as an area that GSA is looking toward.

While the shift is expected to be a two-year process, Murphy noted that in the next nine months, GSA will put together the contract vehicle, in time for Fiscal Year 2019.

“We don’t want anyone to lose their contract number, or their BPAs [blanket purchase agreements], or any of their other ordering opportunities, so we’re going about this in a very staged fashion, and in doing it this way, we’re creating a framework so we can incorporate a lot of the new procurement authorities that GSA is getting as well,” she said.

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