What is a Robomod?
A Robomod is the process where GSA leverages software to automatically find inconsistencies on products listed in their Verified Products Portal (VPP) and produce an email to a vendor with a list of flagged items scheduled to be removed unless contested by contractor.
Although Robomods have been used for several years, GSA piloted a new Robomod process back in January of 2022. This process is to ensure that products listed on the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract and displayed on GSA Advantage! are only offered by contractors authorized to sell items.
GSA Supply Chain Assessments
Over the past year, GSA has conducted a supply chain risk assessment within its marketplace and found about 200,000 products to be “of concern”. These items of concern range from cybersecurity concerns, products sold from companies of foreign ownership or foreign dependency.
GSA assessments cover a range of inspections including:
- Banned product and services developed by Russian Firm, Kaspersky Labs and Chinese telecommunications firms, Huawei and ZTE.
- Products that are incorrectly labeled as U.S-mad
- Duplicate products offered at different price points
- Unauthorized sellers (Suppliers)
This assessment aimed to uncover threats in the millions of GSA products offered to the agencies and consisted of the top 20% of companies who supply 80% of the products offered across the federal government. These items were then divided into high-risk categories, consisting of industrial control systems, HVAC systems, and security cameras.
GSA uses the Robomod notification system to notify vendors about items of concern.
If you are a product-based contractor, you may receive a notification from GSA of their findings within the VPP and contractors will have 30 days to dispute the discrepancies. Otherwise, the items will be removed from the MAS schedule.
Robomods have successfully mitigated risks related to:
- Ability One “Essentially the Same”
- Kaspersky and Section 889
- “MiA” designations and TAA.
A Robomod Has Two Main Objectives:
- Removed unauthorized products from schedule contracts and GSA Advantage
- Reduce customer risk of purchasing fraudulent, counterfeit, or otherwise illegitimate items.
- Minimize FAS contract Specialist and Contracting Officer burden
- Leverage data analytics, automated acquisition processes and centralized communication to streamline the removal process.
GSA is able retrieve this data by working with identified companies to get information about their supply chains, using data from Federal threat intelligence, and using open-source information. Upon identifying the products of concern, GSA can take actions into having those items suppressed or removed from the marketplace. This is in the hope of helping contractors in need of higher margins with their solutions provided.
Collaborating with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Defense Department, GSA continues to work on supply chain security and share best practices. By taking a risk-based approach to address these issues, GSA hopes to go beyond identifying concerning products.
Coley GCS has over 20 years of helping contractors acquire and maintain GSA Schedules. All GSA consultants are in house and work closely with contractors to keep their catalog and product list updated. If you have any questions on how Coley can support your contracting needs, please schedule a call or reach out to directly at 210-402-6766, by email at [email protected].