General CounselPresented by the NVTC General Counsel Committee
March 19, 2009
GSA Schedule Contracting: Recent Trends, Contractor Challenges and Best Practices to Mitigate Compliance Risk
The federal government is the largest consumer in the world. To acquire supplies and services to meet the government's needs, the U.S. General Services Administration, through its Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) program, establishes long-term government-wide contracts that contain pre-negotiated prices and terms. The Schedules program is the program of choice for thousands of companies that sell to the government due to the program's preferred status within the government and its streamlined competition requirements. More than $35 billion in goods and services were sold through the program in government fiscal year 2008.
Notwithstanding the program's popularity, the compliance obligations and magnitude of legal risks associated with Schedule contracting are often misunderstood. The government has been pursuing numerous audits and investigations, especially including investigations into allegations of "defective pricing," improper "alliance benefits," and sales of goods in noncompliance with the Trade Agreements Act. The risks faced by many companies is highlighted in a recent GSA Office of Inspector General report, which found that contractors failed GSA's disclosure requirements in 70 percent of audited contracts, and failed to comply with the Price Reduction Clause for 34 percent of audited contracts.
This session will provide insight on the sticky issues GSA Schedule contractors regularly face and summarize the contract administration best practices to minimize compliance risk in light of current and likely future requirements.
The speakers will cover the following important issues:
- The most pressing compliance challenges GSA products and services contractors face, along with contractor best practices to minimize contract compliance risk (e.g., pre-award disclosures, Price Reduction Clause risks, and issues raised in recent Department of Justice/False Claims Act cases)
- The unique challenges for manufactures and product resellers
- The unique challenges of systems integrators and professional service providers The recent rule changes resulting from GSA's GSAR rewrite initiative and the impact they will have on GSA Schedule contractors
- The impact of the FAR's recent "mandatory disclosure" rule on GSA Schedule contracting. The Multiple Award Schedule Advisory Panel's activities, and how its recommendations may impact the future of GSA Schedule contracting
Mike Mason, Partner, Hogan & Hartson LLP
Tony Fuller, Partner, Beers + Cutler
SponsorsGold Sponsors: Albo & Oblon, LLP; Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, P.C.; Baker &McKenzie LLP; Hogan & Hartson LLP
Morrison & Foerster, LLP; Pillsbury; Venable; Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
Silver Sponsor: AH&T Insurance
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