Top Four Ways to Avoid MAS Modification Rejections in 2020

By Global Services on March 23, 2020

As a GSA Schedule holder, sooner or later you may need to submit a modification request for your contract. Whether it’s a modification (mod) to add a new Special Item Number (SIN) to your contract or something as simple as updating your company’s email address, it’s essential to exactly follow GSA’s instructions regarding modification requests. Below is a list of four (4) essential rules to follow to avoid getting a rejected request:

1. Follow All Modification Instructions Exactly

GSA has to reject numerous modification requests simply because they don’t conform to the instructions. Often this is because contractors are not aware that these detailed instructions exist, and without the instructions, the requirements are easy to miss. These rejections result in wasted time and effort both for the Government and the contractor.

Prior to the MAS Consolidation, which combined the numerous legacy Schedules into one overarching Consolidated Schedule, each Schedule came with its own unique instructions for mods. Now that the legacy Schedules have been consolidated, there is one master instructions document, located here.

Keep in mind, however, that under the Consolidated Schedule, different Large Categories, and different SINs under the large categories, have differing requirements.

For instance, a mod to add SIN 518210C, Cloud and Cloud-Related IT Professional Services, part of the IT Large Category, would need to meet the general mod requirements, plus the IT Large Category’s specific requirements, plus the additional special requirements unique to SIN 518210C.

For this reason, it’s important to understand not only the modification guidelines, but also the unique Large Category and SIN requirements that may affect your mod, which can be found in the Solicitation and its accompanying Large Category attachments.

2. Avoid Common Modification Pitfalls

According to GSA’s modification guidelines, the following are among the most common reasons for rejected mod requests:

  • Items to be added are out of scope for the proposed/awarded SIN;
  • Duplicate items or part numbers on spreadsheet;
  • Adding items already on contract;
  • Essentially the same (ETS) products as AbilityOne items being added;
  • Math is incorrect on Price Proposal Template;
  • Pricing or discounts are incorrect;
  • Attempt to delete items that are not on contract;
  • Overhead is not included in the cost and is being charged separately;
  • Using non-standardized part numbers;
  • Proper type of mod is not chosen in GSA eMod system;
  • Incorrect documentation submitted with mod;
  • Irrelevant documentation submitted with mod;
  • All the required documentation is not initially submitted with modification request; and
  • Slow contractor response to CO’s/CS’s comments or requests.

3. Contact Your Contracting Officer

Keep in mind that if something is unclear or confusing you can always look up your current Contracting Officer (CO) via GSA eLibrary. Their contact information is available on your contract information screen, which you can reach by searching your company name or contract number. If you have questions or out-of-the-ordinary requests regarding your modification, you may wish to discuss it with the CO.

4. Have an Up-to-Date Digital Certificate

Finally, remember that in order to submit or sign modifications, at least one of your Authorized Negotiators will need to have a current Digital Certificate. Digital Certificates do expire, so the one you used when setting up your contract initially may no longer be valid—this is an issue that companies frequently face when trying to modify their Schedule contracts. It is recommended that all Authorized Negotiators should set reminders through their calendars to obtain a new Digital Certificate a month before the expiration date.

Some modifications can be simple and others vast and complex. If you have any questions about submitting a mod, or need information on another Schedule, please reach out to us.

Global Services has more than 20 years of experience empowering contractors with over 2,500 awards and over $20 billion in contract value. We help contractors by developing winning proposals and training their teams by fitting our processes to the needs of their contracts, their businesses, and their people.