Follow Up Letter regarding EPA Modifications

The attached follow up letter was sent to Jeff Koses and 11 other GSA procurement and policy executives offering suggestions on how to improve the bottleneck for getting price increases approved. If you have questions or would like more information on how you can help contact Paul Miller at [email protected]

 

 

October 7, 2022

 

Mr. Jeffrey A. Koses, Senior Procurement Executive

Office of Acquisition Policy (MV)

US General Services Administration 

1800 F Street NW Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Mr. Koses and Team,

Thank you for your time last week and the opportunity to share our thoughts for improving the turnaround time for EPA modifications.  It’s clear that GSA recognizes the problem and is interested in improvements to the process.

We applaud the supplement to Acquisition Letter MV-22-02, and the Policy Alert Guide issued on September 12, 2022. During our conversation, you asked if I had read the memorandum and if there was anything in the guidance that addressed our issues. I re-read the memorandum after our call.  There are two paragraphs under (iii) Contract Administration and EPA’s that discuss EPA clauses. One discusses the contracting officer’s option to change the applicable index through a bilateral modification, the other states that when the request is based on a previously agreed upon market indicator, the justification should be straight forward. In my opinion neither of these gives a CO definitive guidance that would improve the turnaround time for processing a mod. Recognizing the challenges GSA is currently facing, the membership of IOPFDA would ask GSA to consider prioritizing what will make a difference, and what can be accomplished.

In our presentation I shared seven changes, requested by our members. The language in these requirements seems redundant and would streamline the process if removed from the modification requirements. I recited the list to the group, but it was apparent that most in attendance were not familiar with the details required for an EPA mod and weren’t able to offer much feedback. 

I would like to request that your team, and possibly some contracting officers, revisit this list and give us feedback on whether these changes can have a positive effect on the process.  Prioritizing these seven suggestions is within our reach and our grasp. The stakeholder community will be grateful for the implementation of these enhancements.  I have attached a numbered list of these recommendations and ask that your team rank each as:

  • Should be implemented
  • Possibility
  • Not going to happen

With this feedback, I think we have better insight into the viability of these recommended changes.

If we can implement even 2 or 3 of these changes, it would have a significant impact on streamlining the process. In addition, small businesses will know that GSA recognizes them as a valued partner and is working to keep them in the MAS program. If we do nothing, the MAS program will spend another year or more mired in bureaucracy and continue to bleed products and vendors.

Thank you again for listening to our concerns. Let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

 

Mike Tucker, Executive Director, IOPFDA

10275 W. Higgins Road, Suite 280, Rosemont, IL 60018
Tel.: 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800
Fax: 847-982-1012  Email:
[email protected]

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. In previous years, contractors could submit an EPA request on an excel formatted Commercial Price List.  Currently, GSA is requiring a copy of the contractor’s commercial price list with pictures or images less than 1 MB. Not required in the commercial market.
  2. A Price Proposal Template with two work sheets for current and proposed new pricing. Previously, the Price Proposal Template was a simple one worksheet spreadsheet containing all the relevant information. Over the last 2 years, they have expanded the Price Proposal Template to include redundant and irrelevant information in the current Refresh 14 Price Proposal Template. 
  3. A copy of the contractors GSA terms & conditions. This is redundant and readily available to the CO in their e-library file.
  4. Modification Request Letter signed by the President or CEO. The requirement states it can be signed by an authorized negotiator. This slows down the process especially since they continually change the statements, they want to see in the request letter. Furthermore, the offer/e-mod system includes a mandatory field for this information. Therefore, a signed modification request letter is redundant and unnecessary.
  5. Copy of the Commercial Sales practices. Unless there are changes to the Commercial Sales Practices for the contractor, there is no logical reasonable need to send these with an EPA modification. Once again this is addressed within the e-offer/e-mod system and is yet an additional redundancy.
  6. A market survey showing a contractor’s top two competitors using the top ten sellers for comparison. This is an unreasonable request.  Dealers do not have access to competitor’s pricing.
  7. Depending on the CO, undefined documentation is often required. To make the process consistent (aka Fair) to all contractors, the requirements should be the same without the deviations applied by the individual contracting officer.