The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA) has released a memo confirming that its Texas Multiple Award Schedules (TXMAS) has been reopened. The CPA has been rewriting the terms & conditions, as well as the scope of the TXMAS program.
The new memo establishes the critical rules and guidelines that can affect a vendor’s chances of being added to TXMAS. Potential vendors should keep the following four criteria in mind:
- You must provide a unique good or service that is not being met by other state contracts.
- You must provide pricing that is lower than other available contracts.
- You must have a long-term (at least one year) existing Federal, State, or Local Government contract upon which a TXMAS contract can be based.
- You must have gone through the competitive bid process for any contract upon which a potential TXMAS contract is to be based.
- It is also important to note that the CPA will NOT award contracts that conflict with existing contracts awarded by the following entities:
- Comptroller’s Statewide Procurement Division
- Texas Industries for the Blind and Handicapped (TIBH)
- Texas Correctional Industries (TCI)
- Department of Information Resources (DIR)
- CPA/TPASS (Term or Managed contracts)
You can search current TXMAS vendors and their pricing at http://www.txsmartbuy.com/
It is important to emphasize that without a Federal, state, or local government contract (either a GSA Schedule or other Government contracting vehicle) a TXMAS contract between your company and CPA cannot exist. While it is true that obtaining a GSA Schedule allows Federal, state, and local government purchasers to buy from you and gives you a better chance of obtaining a TXMAS contract, the decision to award a TXMAS contract is solely left to the discretion of CPA and is by no means guaranteed by the successful acquisition of a GSA Schedule or other Government contract.
Recent experience has shown us that if you are an Information Technology company looking to sell to state and local agencies, it is recommended that you scrutinize the DIR option closely before submitting a TXMAS Offer Packet to avoid conflicts between TXMAS and DIR. Depending on the product, “grey areas” may exist in which both entities may refer you to the other. If there are any questions related to TXMAS/DIR conflicts, it is important to address these before excessive time and effort is spent. As the IT sector continues to grow in size and competition, these TXMAS vs. DIR conflicts may become more commonplace and should be addressed as soon as possible.
If you are a current GSA Schedule holder, another point of emphasis is the importance of completing an analysis of current TXMAS contractors and submitting a justification letter explaining why your company truly represents a “best value” option to the State of Texas. A repository of current TXMAS vendors holding the same Schedule can be found in the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts web site and should be used as a point of reference when drafting your justification letter.
The letter should not be taken lightly, as CPA has made very clear that the content of your justification letter is a central determining factor in the decision-making process.
Due to the extremely high volume of TXMAS applicants, the review time can now be lengthy. Current estimates for process and review are described by CPA as “a few months” but this can fluctuate over time dependent upon external factors including evaluator work load, training, and vacation schedules, as is the case with other contracts.
We urge that all of the above factors are taken into account when attempting to obtain a TXMAS contract. We are committed to help clients gain a competitive edge in the Texas marketplace so that can you can accelerate and sustain success while doing business in the Lone Star State.
Vice President for Coley Government Contracting Services, Dan leads the day-to-day Consulting Practice. He has more than a decade of experience with the acquisition, management, and marketing of Federal, State, and Local government contracts. Daniel specializes in all aspects of GSA Schedules management and marketing and has helped hundreds of Coley clients remain compliant with the terms of their GSA contract while helping them expand their business.