The small business set-aside designations are being removed from GSA Schedule 541, Advertising and Integrated Marketing Solutions (AIMS). The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) now authorizes agencies to set aside procurements for small businesses at the task order level of a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract.
This change will affect contractors that hold Special Item Numbers (SINs): 541-3 Web Based Marketing, 541-4D Conference, Events and Tradeshow Planning Services, 541-4E Commercial Photography Services, 541-4F Commercial Art and Graphic Design Services, and 541-2000 Other Direct Costs (ODC). Changes to affected AIMS contracts will occur by July 1, 2013.
As a result of these changes, all AIMS contractors will only have one contract and SIN 541-2000 will be discontinued. A detailed summary of the changes that the removal of the set-aside designations will have on AIMS contracts are described in the scenarios below. Impacted contractors will be sent modifications to their contracts to execute the changes noted. A detailed letter explaining the action taken will be sent concurrently with the modifications. Companies with any open Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA), task orders and/or quotations should inform the ordering agencies of the change to the contracts as soon as possible.
Scenario 1: Contractor holds only a set-aside contract for any of the SINs listed above, EXCEPT ODCs under SIN 541-2000. No change will occur.
Scenario 2: Contractor holds only a set-aside contract for any of the SINs listed above and contract includes ODCs under SIN 541-2000. All ODCs from SIN 541-2000 will be transferred to SIN 541-1000, the ODC SIN for unrestricted contracts, and SIN 541-2000 will be removed from the contract effective July 1, 2013. No other changes will occur.
Scenario 3: Contractor currently has both small business set-aside and unrestricted AIMS contracts. Small business set-aside AIMS contracts will be cancelled effective June 30, 2013 and all SINs under the contracts, with the exception of 541-2000, will be transferred to the existing unrestricted contracts effective July 1, 2013. ODCs on SIN 541-2000 will be transferred to SIN 541-1000, the ODC SIN for unrestricted contracts. If SIN 541-1000 is not currently awarded on the unrestricted contract, it will be added via modification effective July 1, 2013.
Scenario 4: Contractor has only unrestricted SINs on the contract and wishes to add formerly set aside SINs. Effective July 1, 2013, large business contractors may request a modification to add any of the formerly set-aside SINs for which it qualifies to its AIMS contract.
About the author: Amy Vernon is a Senior Consultant in Aronson LLC’s Government Contract Services Group, where she specializes in GSA Schedule contract acquisition, management and contract compliance. She works closely with clients to develop scope and pricing strategies and maintaining contract compliance.
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