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Emily Murphy: ASTRO Contract Vehicle to Use Section 876 Authority

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Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration (GSA) and a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, said the ASTRO master contract for unmanned, manned and robotic systems will be the first contract vehicle to use a provision in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will require price as an evaluation criterion only at the task order level, Federal News Network reported Monday.

“While ASTRO will be the first contract vehicle to use the Section 876 authority, GSA anticipates that more will follow,” Murphy told the network in an email. GSA issued a solicitation for the ASTRO contract in late August.

She said ASTRO will be an assisted procurement effort on behalf of the Pentagon without the direct order components usually found on multiagency contracts and governmentwide acquisition contracts.

“This means GSA can closely monitor competition at the task order level and ensure in particular we see that competition in pricing,” Murphy said. “Second, ASTRO will serve as an opportunity to refine best practices for use of the Section 876 authority while the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (published on August 19, 2020)  to use Section 876 authority in the Federal Supply Schedule program proceeds.”

She also mentioned the potential benefits of the new approach to ASTRO to customer agencies and small businesses.

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