The Importance of Solid GSA Labor Category Mapping Practices: A Recent GAO Protest Decision

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A recent protest challenging the agency’s issuance of a task order to a firm under its Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contract has been sustained where record shows that the task order was based on awardee quoting a labor category under its FSS contract that does not meet the requirements of the solicitation. The protest was sustained by the GAO. However, as we have discussed in the past the importance of labor category mapping practices during the proposal pricing phase is an integral part of any GSA Schedule compliance plan. The specific finding of this protest is interesting in that GSA responded that it reasonably found the vendor’s quotation technically acceptable.  Specifically, GSA maintains that no contractor’s GSA/FSS labor categories align precisely with the requirements of any particular PWS, and that, accordingly, the agency looked to the vendor’s technical quotation to determine what duties the vendor’s proposed linguists would perform.  According to the agency, the vendor’s technical quotation offered a labor mix that would meet the PWS requirements.  GSA also points out that it confirmed with vendor that its quoted labor category included all of the services required under the PWS. The important takeaway here is to remember that your GSA awarded Labor Category titles are not the main focus of labor category mapping to a specific opportunity. GSA Schedule Labor Categories can be used to respond to any agency’s Request For Quote (RFQ) and with any agency having the ability to solicit approved vendors through this vehicle the likely hood of having labor category titles that match the solicitation requirements are very slim.  As a responsible contractor you must map, match and qualify the functional responsibilities that are listed under the schedules approved labor category as well as meeting the minimum education and experience requirements. The important take away is that the proposed mapped person you place in the labor category meets the minimum relevant experience and education requirements and that their resume also matches, maps and meets the functional responsibility criteria listed in the GSA Schedule as well as the requirements that the labor category is being mapped to. Labor Category Mapping Matrixes and Policies are the cornerstone of any GSA Schedule compliance program that are couple with a Basis of Award Monitoring System and IFF Sales tracking system. For more information please contact Vets GSA atwww.vetsgsa.com   For the full GAO report please see the following link:http://www.gao.gov/products/B-411481.3#mt=e-report

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