The End of SIP
by Brandon Graves, Partner
GSA, GSA Alerts
GSA has formally announced the replacement for its long-in-the-tooth Schedule Input Program (SIP). SIP is currently required to upload catalogs pursuant to GSA Schedule requirements. The program only operates on desktops, requires specific file structures, and can take over a computer for hours at a time processing.
GSA has developed the FAS Catalog Platform (FCP) as the replacement. FCP is a web application that should be easier to use for GSA Schedule holders. The transition will happen in Fiscal Year 2024 and beyond. GSA Schedule holders will find it much easier to update and maintain their catalogs.
If you are a GSA Schedule holder, your authorized negotiators should have received emails on this process from GSA this week. If no one in your organization has, you need to make sure that your authorized negotiators are up to date.
The emails request that Schedule holders complete a survey to help GSA plan the transition. Part of that planning is determining the transition sequence, so organizations that want to transition early should complete the survey as soon as possible. It is important that the survey is completed by an employee and not a consultant, and that the survey is completed fully and accurately.
In addition, Schedule holders should submit a full catalog replacement file. We advise clients to do this regardless of the transition, as iterative updates can propagate errors that impact sales. Doing so now will have the added benefit of making the transition easier.
Schedule holders shouldn’t get too excited, however. This transition will take a while. As the UEI and SAM.gov transitions showed, there will be missteps. To mitigate risks caused by this transition, Schedule holders should start the transition as early as possible. They should keep local copies of all data from both systems. And they should validate that the steps they take actually propagate through the various GSA systems. While FCP will likely be simpler from the Schedule holder’s perspective, it will be more complex and interconnected from GSA’s perspective.
This transition is exciting, and many Schedule holders have been waiting for years for SIP to be retired. But this is just the beginning of the transition. There will be stops and starts over the next couple of years as GSA modernizes how Schedule holders post their catalogs and maintain their Schedules.
If you are unclear about your next steps, or what this transition means to you, please reach out to us for assistance.