You may know that GSA has recently converted to using the E-Mod and E-Offer system for virtually all contract modifications and submissions. The one action that cannot be done through the eMod system is the contract extension, which occurs every five years. But not for long! GSA recently announced that they will begin using eMod for Extensions.
The new Extension process, called Options Process Ensuring iNtegrity (OPEN), is planned to launch this fall. Details are limited at this time, but GSA promises that OPEN will reduce the number of steps needed to submit and process an Extension. The Notification of Intent, sent by GSA to contractors prior to the Extension, will also be automated moving forward. This should greatly reduce any room for error where contractors are not notified regarding the Extension and then have to scramble to get their submission together.
One important change is that GSA will no longer require a new Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation for Extensions. Lately, this report has been required for all IT Extensions, and the process of obtaining a Past Performance Evaluation can be lengthy, as well as an added expense for the contractor. GSA also notes that the Extension will be a unilateral modification, meaning that no other modifications or changes can be made at the same time.
As someone who has focused extensively on Contract Extensions for the last few years, I am really looking forward to there being an automated process in the future. I have high hopes that this will reduce the time it takes Contracting Officers to process the award of an Extension, and that the more standardized approach will be a success for Contractors and for GSA. Just remember that Digital certificates are required in order to use eOffer/eMod. If you have any questions or need help with your contract Extension, let us know!