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GSA

Who is GSA?

GSA is a centralized federal procurement and property management agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. GSA provides services and solutions for the office operations of over 1 million federal workers located in 8,300 government -owned and leased buildings in 1,600 U.S. communities. Covering a vast array of commercial items - from office supplies and copier paper to systems furniture, computers and laboratory equipment as well as services ranging from accounting to graphic design to landscaping - GSA's Federal Supply Service operates the Multiple Award Schedule Program for all Federal government agencies to use as a streamlined procurement vehicle. The Schedules closely mirror commercial buying practices and provide customers with literally millions of state-of-the-art high-quality commercial services and products at volume discount pricing on a direct delivery basis.

Should a contractor report sales and remit the fee if sales/fee for a particular contract are zero or some small amount?

Yes. Clause 552.238-74 requires contracts to submit sales reports quarterly. If no sales occur, it requires the contractor to show “zero” on the report. Contractors must remit fees quarterly for all amounts greater than zero.

How are the procedures for ordering services under the Multiple Award Schedules Program different from the procedures for ordering products?

Although the Ordering Procedures for Services Requiring a Statement of Work differ from the Ordering Procedures for Products and Services That Do Not Require a Statement of Work in FAR 8.404(b), both sets of procedures are designed to simplify the acquisition process.
  • For orders of services and/or products up to the micro-purchase threshold: Place the order with any Schedule contractor.
  • For orders above the micro-purchase threshold but below the maximum order threshold:
    • Services Requiring a Statement of Work: Prepare a request for quotes that includes the statement of work; transmit the request to at least three Schedule contractors; evaluate responses; and make a best value selection.
    • Products and Services That Do Not Require a Statement of Work: Review the GSA Advantage! online shopping service or at least three Schedule contractors' pricelists; evaluate; and make a best value selection.
  • For orders above the maximum order threshold:
    • Services Requiring a Statement of Work: Follow the same procedures for orders above the micro-purchase threshold, except transmit the request for quotes to additional Schedule contractors; seek price reductions; evaluate responses; and make a best value selection.
    • Products and Services That Do Not Require a Statement of Work: Follow the same procedures for orders above the micro-purchase threshold, except review additional Schedule contractors' pricelists or use the GSA Advantage! online shopping service; seek price reductions; evaluate; and make a best value selection.
Note: For orders of services exceeding $100,000 using Department of Defense (DoD) funds, the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) has been amended in Section 208.404 to implement Section 803 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (Public Law 107-107). DoD offices and non-DoD activities placing orders on behalf of DoD should refer to DFARS 208.404 and 208.404-70 for additional information regarding ordering procedures and documentation requirements.

What is a GSA Schedule?

That is the best question that anyone could possibly ask! First of all, a GSA Schedule is NOT a list or a number. A GSA Schedule is a contract between YOU and the Government period. It is the easiest contracting vehicle to obtain, use and administer for any company that has commercially available products and/or services. YOUR contract is only usable by YOU and anyone YOU authorize to sell from it.

Why do I need a GSA Contract?

Have you ever worked a really large deal only to have it cut down below $25,000 because your company did not have a GSA Schedule? How many of those can you afford? How many times have you had a really large deal take 6 months because it had to be posted in the CBD and there were stacks of red tape to go through? Have you ever lost a deal because it had to be competed and another company won the deal you had been working so hard? This does not happen with a GSA Schedule. No $25,000 limit, no competition, no lost deals. Can you really afford not to have a GSA Schedule? By the year 2006 if you do not have a schedule, you will find it almost impossible to be able to do business with the government!

Why can't we use a resellers GSA Schedule?

You can use a reseller schedule. However, you will NOT be able to accept your own orders. In addition, they will most likely want you to pay for a portion of that schedule. When you have a modification to your price schedule, how responsive will they be to changing their schedule for you? What if they have similar products on the schedule? What is their incentive for selling yours? In other words... you can pay now or later and forever. Now for the reality! You are competing with hundreds of companies on a reseller's schedule. You might as well not even be there. The reseller will not sell your product for you (push through) but they will take an order for your product (pull through). Big deal, you can do that. Also, if they get audited, you get audited. You have all the same responsibilities without much benefit.

Why not let a dealer add my products to their Schedule?

You can use a reseller schedule. However, you will NOT be able to accept your own orders. In addition, they will most likely want you to pay for a portion of that schedule. When you have a modification to your price schedule, how responsive will they be to changing their schedule for you? What if they have similar products on the schedule? What is their incentive for selling yours? In other words... you can pay now or later and forever. Now for the reality! You are competing with hundreds of companies on The reseller's schedule. You might as well not even be there. The reseller will not sell your product for you (push through) but they will take an order for your product (pull through). Big deal, you can do that. Also, if they get audited, you get audited. You have all the same responsibilities without much benefit.

Can I be audited if I do not have my own Schedule?

Yes you can. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) states that any contract that has a sub-contractor (you) as part of the contract is subject to the same restrictions and rules that the prime contractor is subject to. It is like cosigning a loan. They default, you pay.

What are the largest difficulties in marketing to the US Government?

Selling open market and not understanding what you are doing. We can help you in both areas through the GSA schedule process and training on how to sell to government.

What is the size of the market?

The market is HUGE! At last count it had surpassed $40 Billion and climbing.

What does it cost and why?

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 52.203.5 expressly prohibits any company from receiving compensation based upon GSA acting favorably towards a prospective vendor. Therefore, it is illegal for MarketUS to accept a commission against your potential GSA sales. An officer of your company may have to sign a Standard Form 119 certifying that you are not/will not pay a contingent fee resulting from this contract. Sorry!

Why not get added on a bigger contract?

We believe bigger contracts are going to be a thing of the past in the near future due to the quickly changing procurement world. In addition, they do not allow you the flexibility of changing prices or adding or deleting products as easily as GSA does.. Can you afford to have your products stay at the same price level for 5 years?

Why pay you when I can get on a reseller's Schedule for free?

You can use a reseller schedule. However, you will NOT be able to accept your own orders. In addition, they will most likely want you to pay for a portion of that schedule. When you have a modification to your price schedule, how responsive will they be to changing their schedule for you? What if they have similar products on the schedule? What is their incentive for selling yours? In other words... you can pay now or later and forever. Now for the reality! You are competing with hundreds of companies on The reseller's schedule. You might as well not even be there. The reseller will not sell your product for you (push through) but they will take an order for your product (pull through). Big deal, you can do that. Also, if they get audited, you get audited. You have all the same responsibilities without much benefit.

Is it true that GSA Schedules are going away?

GSA schedule activity is bigger than ever. They are not going away. They just recently moved and merged back under Federal Supply Service (FSS) so now they have unlimited resources. Effective April 1, 1996, GSA began charging a 1% Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) to allow them to continue to grow. That fee dropped to 0.75% as of January 1, 2004. As of June 1996 GSA had added IT Services to the contract which opened up a whole new world in procurement. In addition, we are seeing that large IDIQ contracts will be a thing of the past shortly and GSA will be the only procurement vehicle within the next 5 years.

Why can't we do a schedule by ourselves?

You CAN do your own schedule and don't believe anyone who says you cannot. You have to be ready to devote a lot of time have a lot of patience and be available at all times when a contracting officer finally decides to work on your proposal and wants information and clarifications NOW. Also what if you fill something out incorrectly and your proposal is thrown out? According to GSA, 79% of all proposals submitted by a company directly are rejected.  It is our job to clarify and make sure these things do not happen. Recently, one of our clients, an ex-buyer for the armed forces, did the GSA schedule for his company. Not a real complicated one and this person knows more about the process than any company executive we have ever met. He spent 5 months, and then called us. Can you afford this kind of time? Can you afford to hire someone when we are so reasonable? Consider our unconditional guarantee for full service clients, If you are turned down for ANY reason, we will resubmit your proposal at no charge.

I am selling open market, why should I pay you to get me a Schedule?

If you are doing fine selling open market, that will end as soon as the agency gets audited. Any agency who circumvents the procurement process stands to get written up for voplating the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984. The government awards contracts for the purpose of making buying easier from known vendors that have passed review and negotiating standards with the government. With a GSA contract you could double or triple what you are doing now! Also, is it because you have no competition? What happens when a competitor gets a schedule and the government starts getting everything from them because it is so much easier and cheaper for them to buy from a schedule holder? By the year 2006 if you do not have a schedule, you will find it almost impossible to be able to do business with the government!

How do your fees compare to your competition?

You will find that we are more reasonable. Many of our clients have tried other companies and have found that they were not satisfied. While other companies can do a great job at filling out paperwork, they offer no other help. For example, they have never directly sold to the Federal Government. We do everything possible to help you achieve success.

How long does the process take?

We can prepare a proposal in less than two weeks. Once we submit to GSA, we can gently prod it along but we can not guarantee a specific time. GSA wants the terms, conditions and pricing in your proposal to be guaranteed for 180 days. We have been very fortunate in that we are averaging 45-60 days for award.

Can't I fill out a SF129 and get the same results?

You can but that does almost no good. This just means you MAY get open market bid information from some of the agencies. By the time you do receive the information, the bids have already been wired for another vendor. Worse yet, it has probably already become an order with a vendor who has a, you guessed it, GSA Schedule.

What is a GWAC?

Everyone has heard of the Reinvention of Government program - in some quarters it is already here. Federal contracting is already changing. The older minority and disadvantaged programs such as 8(a) are declining while the newer Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) are growing in popularity everyday. Many of the best contracting opportunities available today are closed except to a select few. These opportunities are open only to the holders of select GWACs and their affiliates. These contracts include such well known vehicles as CIO-SP, BITS, ITOP, and even GSA's Answer.

If I've been a subcontractor, when I get my Schedule will I be able to get the same rates the prime has been getting?

Absolutely not. The Government takes the position that if you can charge the prime those rates, then you can charge the government the same rate.

Why are GSA Schedules different?

GSA Schedules are not owned by any one agency and are not directed to solve the particular problems of a single agency and then, almost as an afterthought, opened for use by all agencies. GSA, in its role as a solutions provider, issues schedules and contracts for use by all agencies. The uniform Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) -- paid by the vendor -- applies to all sales under the schedules. (Yes, even when GSA orders under a schedule contract the IFF must be paid.) No other contract vehicle has the universal acceptance and respect that the GSA Schedules have. No federal marketing program is complete without a GSA Schedule.

Who can purchase from a GSA Schedule?

All Federal and DoD offices, the District of Columbia, some state and local agencies, and some approved commercial enterprises are eligible to purchase from GSA Schedules. If you hold an IT contract, State, Local, Municipal and Universities may also purchase directly from your GSA Contract.

What are the differences between GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts, Governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs), and Multi-agency contracts (MACs)?

GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts available to all federal agencies worldwide. GSA awards and administers MAS contracts pursuant to section 201 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended. Under the MAS Program, GSA enters into governmentwide contracts with commercial firms to provide over 4 million commercial services and products. Agencies place orders directly with MAS contractors. Interagency agreements are not required to use MAS contracts. The Economy Act does not apply to orders placed against MAS contracts. Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACS) are task order or delivery order contracts for information technology established by one agency for governmentwide use. Each GWAC is operated by an executive agent designated by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to section 5112(e) of the Clinger-Cohen Act. The Economy Act does not apply to orders under GWACs. Multi-agency contracts (MACs) are task order or delivery order contracts established by one agency for use by government agencies to obtain a variety of supplies and services. The Economy Act (Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 17.5) applies to orders placed under MACs, with the exception of MACs for information technology that are established pursuant to the Clinger-Cohen Act.

Who is eligible to use GSA Multiple Award Schedule contracts?

GSA Order ADM 4800.2E, Eligibility to Use GSA Sources of Supply and Services, provides detailed information regarding those agencies, activities, and organizations that have been determined to be eligible to use GSA Multiple Award Schedule contracts.

How do I know I am getting the best price?

GSA's goal is to be the best value supplier of choice. Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts offer "most favored customer" pricing/discounts. Quantity discounts may also be available. With the elimination of maximum order limitations, and the implementation of maximum order thresholds, contractors may now accept "any size" orders. In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.404(b)(3), the maximum order threshold represents the point where it is advantageous for customers to seek price reductions. In fact, for orders exceeding this threshold, after a customer reviews additional Schedule contractors' pricelists or GSA Advantage!, the FAR, as well as the Ordering Procedures for Services (Requiring a Statement of Work), instructs the customer to generally seek price reductions from Schedule contractor(s) appearing to provide the best value (considering price and other factors). Agencies are encouraged and empowered to seek price reductions, not only for orders over the maximum order threshold, but also when circumstances warrant, for orders below this amount in order to ensure that when using MAS contracts, they receive the best value at the lowest overall cost.

Sometimes I need delivery right away. Can I get it when I use Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts?

MAS contracts have the same delivery times as the Schedule contractors' commercial delivery times. MAS contracts may also contain expedited delivery terms, or customers may request expedited delivery to meet their requirements.

Can I use my governmentwide commercial purchase card for payment?

Acceptance of the governmentwide commercial purchase card is a strongly encouraged payment method. Schedule contractors are required to accept the purchase card for payments equal to or less than the micro-purchase threshold. Schedule contractors are also encouraged to accept the card for dollar amounts above this threshold.

When I place an order under a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract does it meet Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) requirements?

In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 6.102(d)(3), use of the Multiple Award Schedules Program is considered a competitive procedure under CICA when the MAS ordering procedures are followed; i.e., the ordering procedures in FAR 8.404 and the Ordering Procedures for Services (Requiring a Statement of Work).

What is a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) under the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program?

A detailed explanation is under the CTA FAQ section below.  A CTA under the MAS Program is an arrangement in which two or more Schedule contractors join together to provide a total solution to meet a customer's needs. Orders placed under a CTA are subject to the terms and conditions of each team member's Schedule contract.

Is it really easier to purchase from Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts than it is to procure on the open market?

Purchasing from MAS contracts offers the following advantages over procuring on the open market:

  • GSA has determined prices under MAS contracts to be fair and reasonable.
  • Synopses are not required for MAS purchases.
  • MAS contracts have been awarded in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Administrative time is reduced.
  • MAS contracts offer a wide selection of state-of-the-art commercial services and products.

Can the Multiple Award Schedules meet all of my needs? Even large or complex requirements? What if the Schedule contractor doesn't have everything under contract? How can I be certain that the services or products I need, including new technology, are alw

With over 4 million commercial services and products available, Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) can meet the vast majority of a customer's needs. For those large or complex requirements, MAS contractors can join with other Schedule contract holders and submit a total solution to meet a customer's needs under a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA). MAS contractors may request that their contracts be modified at any time during the contract period to add new services and products to meet a customer's requirements. The modification process also ensures that the latest technology is always available to the customer. Schedule contract periods are as long as five years with three five-year option periods to provide for continued sources of services and products. Most MAS solicitations now have continuous open seasons, which enable companies to submit offers at any time and further ensure that customers have, not only a variety of services and products to meet their requirements, but also the latest technology available in the commercial marketplace.

Can items NOT on a Multiple Award Schedule contract be included on a Schedule order?

Yes. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) has been amended to incorporate policies that address the handling of open market items. Note: Open market items are also known as incidental items, noncontract items, non-Schedule items, and items not on a Federal Supply Schedule contract. In accordance with FAR 8.401(d), for administrative convenience, an ordering office contracting officer may add items not on the Federal Supply Schedule (Multiple Award Schedule) contract, i.e., open market items to a Federal Supply Schedule blanket purchase agreement (BPA) or an individual task or delivery order only if, all applicable acquisition regulations pertaining to the purchase of the items not on the Federal Supply Schedule contract have been followed (e.g., publicizing (Part 5), competition requirements (Part 6), acquisition of commercial items (Part 12), contracting methods (Parts 13, 14, and 15), and small business programs (Part 19); The ordering office contracting officer has determined the price for the items not on the Federal Supply Schedule contract is fair and reasonable; The items are clearly labeled on the order as items not on the Federal Supply Schedule contract; and All clauses applicable to items not on the Federal Supply Schedule contract are included in the order.

What is a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) under a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract? Are there any dollar limitations when establishing BPAs?

A detailed explanation is under the BPA FAQ section below.  An MAS BPA is a simplified method of filling recurring needs for services and products, while leveraging a customer's buying power by taking advantage of quantity discounts, saving administrative time, and reducing paperwork. A BPA is an "account" established by a customer with a Schedule contractor. MAS BPAs are authorized by FAR 13.303-2(c)(3). With an MAS BPA customers can order as little as they want, as much as they want, and as often as they want. Customers are not restricted by any dollar limitations when placing orders under an MAS BPA. A BPA can be set up for field offices across the nation to use, thus allowing them to participate in a customer's BPA and place orders directly with Schedule contractors. In doing so, the entire agency reaps the benefits of additional discounts negotiated into the BPA. A BPA cannot exceed the contractor's Schedule contract period. Customers should always perform an annual review of each BPA to determine whether the BPA is still a "best value." Contractor Team Arrangements, which are permitted with MAS contractors in accordance with FAR 9.6, may be incorporated into a BPA.

As an ordering agency Contracting Officer, can I terminate an order or must I go through the GSA Contracting Officer?

In accordance with FAR 8.405, an ordering agency Contracting Officer may terminate an order for cause or for the convenience of the government. Such terminations shall comply with FAR 12.403. The GSA Contracting Officer shall be notified in all cases where an order has been terminated for cause or fraud is suspected.

Can my contract be cancelled for lack of sales?

Yes it can. Please see the follwing excerpt from the actual solicitation. C.41 CONTRACT SALES CRITERIA (I-FSS-639) (MAR 2002) (a) A contract will not be awarded unless anticipated sales are expected to exceed at least $25,000 within the first 24 months following contract award, and are expected to exceed $25,000 in sales each 12-month period thereafter. (b) The government may cancel the contract in accordance with clause 552.238-73, Cancellation, unless reported sales are at the levels specified in paragraph (a) above.

Can state and local government buy from my GSA contract?

A recent change in the law amended the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act to allow for Cooperative Purchasing. Currently, Cooperative Purchasing allows state and local governments to purchase from Schedule 70, Information Technology and Corporate schedule contracts. The information includes automated data, processing equipment, software, supplies support, and equipment. Since its implementation in May 2003, state and local governments have purchased over 8 million in products and services, the majority being services, under the cooperative purchasing agreement. See the Cooperative Purchasing FAQs for more detailed information.

SDVOSB

Can a SDVOSB decision be appealed?

Yes, but all appeals must be submitted to SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals in writing within ten business days of the date of receipt of a determination. (See 13 C.F.R. §125.27).

Does the Contracting Officer have the authority to reject an SDVOSB offeror?

No Contracting Officer has the authority to reject an offeror based on his or her own SDVOSB status determination. SDVOSB status protests are decided by the SBA Director for Government Contracting. However, a solicitation may require bidders to provide proof that the veteran owner possesses a service-connected disability that has been recognized by a cognizant authority (e.g., a copy of the veteran's DD-214 or a claim adjudication letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs) along with their proposals. When a bidder fails to provide such proof, a Contracting Officer may reject a bid as non-responsive. (See 13 C.F.R. 125.8. and 13 C.F.R. 125.8-125.10). Yes, but all appeals must be submitted to SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals in writing within ten business days of the date of receipt of a determination. (See 13 C.F.R. 125.27).

Is a Contracting Officer (CO) an interested party?

A Contracting Officer is an interested party for purposes of filing SDVOSB status protests. (See 13 C.F.R. 125.25(e)).

How does a joint venture qualify as an SDVOSB?

A joint venture's ability to qualify as an SDVOSB primarily centers on control of the joint venture. The SDVOSB must be the managing venturer, an employee of the SDVOSB must be the project manager, 51% of the net profits of the joint venture must go to the SDVOSB, and the SDVOSB must retain the joint venture's original records. A joint venture of at least one SDVOSB and oneor more other business concerns may submit an offer as a small business for a competitive SDVOSB procurement so long as each concern is small under the size standard corresponding to the North American Industry Classification System code assigned to the contract. (See 13 C.F.R. 125.15).

When is an SDVOSB eligible for an award?

In order to be eligible for award of an SDVOSB set-aside contract, a firm must represent, at the time of its offer, that it is an eligible SDVOSB. (See FAR 52.219-1 and 52.219-27).

What is SBA's timeline for processing an SDVOSB protest?

SBA has fifteen (15) working days to render a decision after receipt of a protest. The SBA may request an extension from the Contracting Officer if more time is needed. (See 13 C.F.R. 125.127 (c)).

When will SBA accept an SDVOSB protest?

SBA will consider an SDVOSB protest only if the protester presents credible evidence that the concern is not 51% owned/controlled by a veteran with a service-connected disability. (See 13 C.F.R. 125.26).

What differentiates a size and service-disabled veteran-owned protest?

A size protest is a challenge to an offeror’s representation that it does not exceed the size standard assigned to a solicitation. A service-disabled veteran-owned status protest involves an allegation that an offeror does not qualify as an SDVO SBC.

What agency is responsible for size and SDVOSB protests?

All questions about a firm's service-disabled veteran-owned size status must be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for resolution (see Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) §19.307(h). Size protests are decided by the SBA's Government Contracting Area Office serving the geographical area where the protested firm is located (See 13 C.F.R. 121.1002 and FAR 19.302(c) (1). SDVOSB status protests are decided by the SBA Director for Government Contracting, (See 13 C.F.R. 125.24(e) and FAR 19.307(c). Any questions concerning an apparent successful offeror's representation that it qualifies as an SDVOSB, including a challenge from a Contracting Officer, must be forwarded to the SBA. (See 13 C.F.R. 125.8).

 

A size protest is a challenge to an offeror's representation that it does not exceed the size standard assigned to a solicitation. A service-disabled veteran-owned status protest involves an allegation that an offeror does not qualify as an SDVOSB.

What defines a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB)?

The Small Business Act defines an SDVOSB as a business that is (1) at least 51% owned directly and unconditionally by a service-disabled veteran and (2) managed and controlled by a service-disabled veteran, or spouse or permanent caregiver of a service-disabled veteran with a permanent and severe disability. (See 13 C.F.R. 125.8-125.10).

What is the purpose of the service-disabled veteran-owned small business program?

The purpose of the service-disabled veteran-owned small business program is to provide procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, as well as the authority to make sole source awards to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses if certain conditions are met. (See Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 13 C.F.R. 125.8-125.10).

BPA

Some ordering offices are issuing GSA Schedule BPAs for millions of dollars. Is there a dollar amount too large for GSA Schedule BPA procedures? Is there a limit on the dollar value of an order placed against a BPA?

There is no limitation on the total dollar value of a GSA Schedule BPA. In addition, with the elimination of maximum order limitations and the implementation of maximum order thresholds, contractors may now accept "any size" order, including any size order under a BPA. In accordance with FAR 8.404, in addition to seeking price reductions for orders over the maximum order threshold, ordering offices may seek price reductions when establishing BPAs to fill recurring requirements. Based upon the potential volume of orders under BPAs, ordering offices may be able to obtain greater discounts (lower GSA Schedule contract prices), regardless of the size of individual orders.

Can agencies join together to establish GSA Schedule BPAs?

Yes. Multiple agencies may combine their requirements in an effort to obtain better discounts under a Cooperative GSA Schedule BPA. Agencies should consolidate their requirements before the Cooperative GSA Schedule BPA is established. In order to ensure that the "best value" is obtained under the BPA, the Cooperative GSA Schedule BPA should reflect the consolidated requirements of all users and contain an estimated dollar value of the total requirement. The Cooperative GSA Schedule BPA should also identify all users and contain the signatures of all participating agencies.

In establishing a GSA Schedule BPA is there a requirement to solicit more than one source, or can the BPA be negotiated with one specific GSA Schedule contractor?

When establishing a BPA, an ordering office must first follow the Ordering Procedures For Services (Requiring A Statement of Work) or the Ordering Procedures For Services And Products Not Requiring A Statement Of Work in FAR 8.404. The net result of following these ordering procedures is that for a requirement exceeding the micro-purchase threshold, an ordering office does solicit more than one source prior to establishing a BPA.

What cost or pricing information does GSA require to establish a GSA Schedule contract? If cost or pricing information is used as the basis for award of a GSA Schedule contract, do ordering offices need this information to establish GSA Schedule BPAs?

GSA evaluates GSA Schedule offers in accordance with procedures in the FAR and the General Services Administration Acquisition Manual (GSAM). GSA Contracting Officers determine that prices are fair and reasonable, prior to the award of a GSA Schedule contract, by comparing the prices or discounts that a company offers the government with the prices or discounts that the company offers to its own commercial customers. This negotiation objective is commonly known as "most favored customer" pricing. Since GSA has already determined that prices under GSA Schedule contracts are fair and reasonable, ordering offices do not need to make a separate determination of fair and reasonable pricing and, therefore, do not need to obtain cost or pricing information to establish a GSA Schedule BPA.

If our office issues the BPA, can our field offices also have ordering authority?

Yes, as long as the authorized signatures are listed on the BPA.

If we need additional products not offered on FSS, can we request these additions on our blanket purchase agreement or do we request through the GSA contracting officer the addition of these products to the FSS?

Open market items can be added to delivery orders as stated in question number 1. However, customers may also contact the GSA Contracting Office and request that items be added to the FSS contract.

Must the local PCO termination go through GSA, and if so, how long of a process would this be?

The customer can terminate or cancel any order placed with a schedule contractor. GSA does not get involved in this process. FAR 8.405-4 gives guidance on FSS delinquent performance, 8.405-5 provides guidance on FSS termination for default, and 8.405-6 provides guidance on FSS termination for convenience.

Is there a limit on the BPA period under a Federal Supply Schedule?

Yes. The BPA cannot exceed the Federal Supply Schedule contract period. Customers are reminded that annual review should be performed to make certain the BPA still represents a "best value".

When a BPA is established under a Team Arrangement, can the Team Leader report the Industrial Funding Fee for the entire team?

No. Each team member must report their own sales, in accordance with the terms and conditions of their Federal Supply Schedule contract.

Is there a limit on the dollar value of an order placed against an established Schedule BPA?

No. The maximum order limitation requirement has been removed from MAS procedures. In accordance with FAR 8.404(b)(3) the maximum order threshold represents the point where it is advantageous for customers to seek a price reduction. If fact, for orders exceeding the maximum order threshold, after a customer reviews the pricelist(s) or GSA Advantage!, the FAR instructs customers to generally seek price reductions from schedule contractor(s) appearing to provide the best (considering price and other factors) before placing the order.

What is the difference between "traditional" Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR ) Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures, and BPAs established under the GSA Federal Supply Schedules Program in accordance with

Although the objective of both "traditional" BPAs and GSA Schedule BPAs (also known as Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) BPAs) is to provide a simplified method of fulfilling anticipated repetitive needs for services and products, "traditional" BPAs are subject to the requirements of FAR Part 13. With the exception of FAR 13.303-2(c), which states that "BPAs may be established with GSA Federal Supply Schedule contractors...," FAR Part 13 does not apply to MAS BPAs. FAR 8.404 also states that ordering offices may establish BPAs when following the ordering procedures for the MAS Program.

When an ordering office establishes a BPA against a GSA Schedule contract, do orders placed under the BPA meet Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) requirements for full and open competition?

In accordance with FAR 6.102(d)(3), use of the Multiple Award Schedules Program is considered a "competitive procedure" under the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA) when the MAS ordering procedures are followed; i.e., the Ordering Procedures For Services And Products Not Requiring A Statement Of Work in FAR 8.404 and the Ordering Procedures For Services (Requiring A Statement of Work). Thus, when an MAS BPA is established as a result of compliance with MAS ordering procedures, any order placed against the BPA meets CICA requirements.

What is GSA's policy regarding adding supplies/services to MAS delivery orders, where those supplies/services are not under MAS contract?

As stated in the ATA Defense Industries case of June 27, 1997 - GSA's procedures satisfy the requirement of the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA) since the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contract prices have been competitively awarded based on price negotiations and evaluations prior to award of the FSS contract. However, GSA has not negotiated or evaluated prices for products and services that are not listed in the FSS contract. Therefore, customers must purchase "incidental" open market items using appropriate competitive procedures. Customers should use competitive procedures or combinations of competitive procedures that are best suited under the circumstances of the procurement to assure they obtain the lowest overall aggregate price. (This decision is consistent with previous GAO decisions covering incidental items.) After a customer complies with requirement of full and open competition for the incidental item it may be placed on the delivery order for administrative convenience.

Traditional Blanket Purchase Agreements have supplies and services with prices for each listed. It sounds like these newly "evolved" BPAs don

FAR 8.404 states use of the Multiple Award Schedules program meets the competition requirements of the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA), this would therefore, include the use of MAS BPA

If our office issues a BPA, can our field offices also have ordering authority?

Yes. A GSA Schedule BPA can be set up so that the customer's field offices may place orders under the BPA directly with GSA Schedule contractors. In order for these field offices to participate in the BPA, the BPA must list the authorized offices and corresponding points of contact.

Is there a time limit on the length of a BPA established under a GSA Schedule contract?

A BPA cannot exceed the GSA Schedule contract period. GSA Schedule contracts have a base contract period of five years with three five-year option periods. If GSA exercises an option to extend the term of the GSA Schedule contract, the BPA can be extended as well. Annual reviews must be conducted to determine whether the BPA is still considered a best value.

When a BPA is established under a Contractor Team Arrangement, can the team leader report the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) for the entire team?

No. In accordance with the terms and conditions of each GSA Schedule contract, each team member must report its own GSA Schedule sales and Industrial Funding Fee (IFF).

Some agencies are issuing BPAs against schedules for multi-million dollar amounts. Is there a dollar amount too large for MAS/BPA procedures?

No. The maximum order limitation requirement has been removed from MAS procedures. FAR 8.404 (b) (3) states that agencies may find it advantageous to request a price reduction where the ordering agency finds that a schedule product is available elsewhere at a lower price, or where the quantity of an individual order clearly indicates the potential for obtaining a reduced price. Note that on Federal Supply Schedule contracts, the GSA Contracting Officer has already determined the prices to be fair and reasonable on the total value of the contract.

Are MAS/BPAs being used in place of the IDIQ government-wide acquisition contracts like Desktop V, with decentralized ordering by several agencies?

A BPA should not be used to establish a government-wide IDIQ. Multiple agencies may, however, consolidate their requirements in an effort to obtain better discounts under a Schedule BPA. To assure they obtain the best value the BPA should reflect the consolidated requirements of all users, and include an estimated quantity. If a BPA is set up for multi-agency use, all agencies should sign the BPA. Multiple Award Schedule contractors provide a large variety of commercially available products and services at prices equal to or better than their most favored customer prices. A cooperative multiple award schedule blanket purchase agreement is an excellent way for agencies to fulfill recurring needs quickly and cost effectively with schedule contractors.

Would GSA be willing to negotiate less than the 3/4 percent industrial funding fee for MAS/BPAs?

GSA recovers a 0.75% industrial funding fee for all orders placed under multiple award schedule contracts, including blanket purchase agreements. GSA must recover this fee on orders placed with FSS schedules, because, in 1995 Congress started phasing out appropriations so the agency can be self supporting. The 0.75% fee covers the spectrum of administrative costs to manage the program from market research, procurement planning, solicitation issuance, evaluation of proposals, negotiations and award, contract administration, marketing, publications, etc. This fee may be added to the final negotiated prices.

When we establish a BPA is there a requirement to solicit more than one source or can we negotiate with one specific vendor?

When establishing a BPA the customer must follow the ordering procedures in FAR 8.404, which state, for orders above $2500 the customer must review 3 price lists or use GSA Advantage and make a best value selection. Once this selection process is completed and the BPA is established orders are simply placed against the BPA - no further documentation or justification is required. If an agency requirement in excess of the micro-purchasing threshold is defined so as to require a particular brand-name, product, or a feature of a product peculiar to one manufacturer, thereby precluding consideration of a product manufactured by another company, the ordering office shall include an explanation in the file as to why the particular brand-name product or feature is essential to satisfy the agency

What cost and pricing information do you require to establish a Federal Supply Schedule contract? If cost and pricing data is used as a basis for award of an FSS contract, do we need this information to establish a MAS/BPA?

The evaluation of an MAS offer is in accordance with FAR and GSAR procedures. Those regulations specify under what circumstances cost and pricing data is required. The GSA Contracting Officer has evaluated the Multiple Award Schedule offer prior to award, and determined the prices to be fair and reasonable. This determination is partially based upon the contractor

When establishing a GSA Schedule BPA, can the terms and conditions of the GSA Schedule contract be modified? For example, if the GSA Schedule contract has a delivery time of 60 days from receipt of order, but the ordering office needs delivery in 30 days,

Generally, the alteration or tailoring of GSA Schedule contract terms and conditions to meet the needs of individual procurements is not permitted. Such tailoring may violate the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA) and alter the scope of the contract. In the case of delivery times, however, GSA Schedule contracts provide for various expedited delivery terms. An ordering office may find that the GSA Schedule contracts already contain the expedited delivery it requires, or the ordering office may contact GSA Schedule contractors to request the desired delivery time. Additional clauses that change the scope of a GSA Schedule contract cannot be added to a BPA. However, special provisions

If we need additional services/products not offered on GSA Schedule contracts, can we add such services/products to our BPA or do we submit a request to the GSA Contracting Officers

The FAR has been amended to incorporate policies that address the handling of open market items. Note: Open market items are also known as incidental items, noncontract items, non-Schedule items, and items not on a GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract. In accordance with FAR 8.401(d), for administrative convenience, an ordering agency contracting officer may add items not on the GSA Schedule contract i.e., open market items to a GSA Schedule BPA or an individual task or delivery order only if:
  • All applicable acquisition regulations pertaining to the purchase of the items not on the GSA Schedule contract have been followed (e.g., publicizing (Part 5), competition requirements (Part 6), acquisition of commercial items (Part 12), contracting methods (Parts 13, 14, and 15), and small business programs (Part 19));
  • The ordering agency contracting officer has determined the prices for the items not on the GSA Schedule contract are fair and reasonable;
  • The items are clearly labeled on the order as items not on GSA Schedule contract; and
  • All clauses applicable to items not on the GSA Schedule contract are included in the order.
Under the terms of GSA Schedule contracts, contractors have the ability to submit modifications to add services/products to their contracts. Ordering offices may contact GSA Schedule contractors to request that open market items be added to their GSA Schedule contracts.

Regarding a multiple award schedule blanket purchase agreement, can we modify terms and conditions of the Federal Supply Schedule contract (e.g., FSS requires 60 day delivery from receipt of order, but we want a 30 day requirements)?

FSS contracts provide various expedited delivery terms. Generally, the alteration of or tailoring of a Federal Supply Schedule contract terms and conditions to meet the needs of individual procurements are not permitted. Such tailoring may violate the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA) and alter the scope of the contract. Tailoring for a special requirement is permitted only if appropriate and the schedule contract allows for it. For example, FSS contracts provide various expedited delivery terms. A customer may be able to obtain faster delivery for special requirements.

CoOp

If the contractor does not perform acceptably under a Cooperative Purchasing order issued by a state or local entity, should the ordering activity request the GSA Contracting Officer take corrective measures?

No. Acceptance of an order by the Schedule contractor under Cooperative Purchasing constitutes the formation of a new contract between the non-federal ordering activity and the Schedule contractor. The ordering activity's Contracting Officer is responsible for all contract administration under the new contract. While the majority of the terms and conditions of the Schedule contract are incorporated by reference into the Cooperative Purchasing order (see Question 12 below for exceptions), the federal government is not liable for the contractor's performance, or non-performance. Disputes that cannot be resolved by the parties may be litigated in any state or federal court with jurisdiction, using the principles of federal procurement law and the uniform commercial code, as applicable and appropriate. However, state and local government entities may submit information concerning a contractor's performance to the GSA Contracting Officer for consideration when evaluating the contractor's overall performance under the GSA Schedule contract.

How do I place an order against a Schedule contract?

State and local government entities are encouraged to use GSA's Schedule Ordering Procedures to ensure the benefit of receiving the best value from GSA Schedule contractors. When it is not feasible to use GSA's Schedule ordering procedures, state and local entities may follow their own ordering procedures for buying products and services under Cooperative Purchasing.

Are state and local government entities required to use the GSA Schedules Program?

No. Cooperative Purchasing is voluntary for both state and local government entities and for Schedule contractors. State and local entities have full discretion to decide if they wish to make a Federal Supply Schedule purchase, subject to any limitations that may be established under state and local laws and procedures. Similarly, Schedule contractors have the option of deciding whether they will accept orders placed by state or local government buyers. Schedule contractors will make this decision on two levels. First, on the contract level, Schedule contractors will decide which SIN(s) they want to offer under Cooperative Purchasing and enter into a mutual agreement with GSA to modify the contract. Second, even after an existing contract is modified or a new contract awarded, a schedule contractor will retain the right to decline orders received from state or local government entities on a case-by-case basis. Schedule contractors may decline an order, for any reason, within a five-day period after receipt of the order; however, credit card orders must be declined within 24 hours.

What is Cooperative Purchasing?

Section 211 of the E-Government Act of 2002 (the Act) amended the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, to allow for "Cooperative Purchasing." Cooperative Purchasing allows for the Administrator of General Services to provide states and localities access to certain items offered through the General Services Administration's (GSA's), Federal Supply Schedule 70, Information Technology (IT) and Corporate Schedule contracts, containing IT Special Item Numbers (SINs). The information technology available to state and local governments includes automated data processing equipment (including firmware), software, supplies, support equipment, and services.

Can state and local governments purchase from all Federal Supply Schedules?

No. The Cooperative Purchasing Program only allows for state and local government entities to purchase from contracts awarded under GSA Schedule 70, Information Technology, contracts containing IT SINs awarded under the Consolidated (formerly Corporate Contracts) Schedule, and contracts awarded under GSA Schedule 84, Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facility Management Systems, Fire, Rescue, Special Purpose Clothing, Marine Craft, and Emergency/Disaster Response. State and local government entities may not use the Cooperative Purchasing Program to purchase products and services from contracts awarded under any other GSA Schedules.

When does Cooperative Purchasing go into effect?

Technically, Cooperative Purchasing was effective upon publication of the Interim Rule in the Federal Register (May 7, 2003). However, existing Schedule 70 and Corporate Schedule contracts, containing IT SINs, must be modified, as mutually agreed between the Schedule contractor and the Federal Supply Service, to allow for Cooperative Purchasing.

Can contractors or grantees of state and local government entities purchase from the Schedule contracts?

No. Neither contractors nor grantees are authorized to purchase from GSA Schedule contracts under the Cooperative Purchasing Program.

Are Cooperative Purchasing orders subject to the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF)?

Yes. Each Schedule contract price includes an industrial funding fee, which is represented in the prices paid by ordering activities and passed on to GSA by Schedule contractors. The IFF reimburses GSA for procurement and administrative costs incurred to operate the GSA Schedules Program.

Can state and local governments utilize Federal Supply Service (FSS) Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) under Cooperative Purchasing?

No. State and local government entities may only purchase information technology from GSA Schedule 70, Information Technology, and Consolidated (formerly Corporate Contracts) Schedule contracts containing IT SINs. GSA Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) are not authorized for use by state and local government entities under Section 211 of the E-Government Act of 2002 or the Local Preparedness Acquisition Act.

How are state and local governments defined?

The General Services Administration Acquisition Manual (GSAM), Part 538.7001, Definitions, offers the following definition of state and local governments: "The States of the United States, counties, municipalities, cities, towns, townships, tribal governments, public authorities (including public or Indian housing agencies under the United States Housing Act of 1937), school districts, colleges, and other institutions of higher education, council of governments (incorporated or not), regional or interstate government entities, or any agency or instrumentality of the preceding entities (including any local educational agency or institution of higher education), and including legislative and judicial departments."

Under Cooperative Purchasing, can ordering activities include terms and conditions required by state or local statutes, ordinances, regulations, or orders?

Yes. However, the additional terms and conditions must be included as a part of the statement of work or the statement of objectives and must not conflict with the terms and conditions of the GSA Schedule contract.

Are any GSA Schedule contract terms and conditions not incorporated by reference into Cooperative Purchasing orders?

Yes. The following contract terms and conditions are not incorporated by reference into Cooperative Purchasing orders: Disputes Clause; Patent Indemnity Clause; and Commercial Item Contract Terms and Conditions. Portions of the Commercial Item Contract terms and conditions that specify compliance with laws unique to federal government contracts are not applicable to Cooperative Purchasing orders.

Are Prompt Payment provisions incorporated into Cooperative Purchasing orders?

Yes. Clause 552.232-81, Payments by Non-Federal Ordering Activities, allows for the terms and conditions of a state's prompt payment law to apply to orders placed by eligible non-federal ordering activities. However, if the ordering activity is not otherwise subject to a state prompt payment law, the activity is covered by the federal prompt payment act in the same manner as federal ordering activities.

Are state and local government preference programs affected by Cooperative Purchasing?

No. Cooperative Purchasing does not impact state and local government preference programs.

May state and local government entities use credit cards to purchase products and services under this program?

Yes. Schedule contractors may accept any state and local government-issued credit cards for orders placed under Cooperative Purchasing. Contractors are required to accept credit cards for orders up to the micro-purchase threshold and contractors may voluntarily accept credit cards for orders exceeding the micro-purchase threshold.

Can state and local governments issue Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) under the Schedule contracts?

Yes. State and local government entities may issue BPAs under the Schedule contracts.

Can state and local governments use existing BPAs under the Schedule contract?

No. State and local governments cannot use existing BPAs, unless they were initially included as authorized users of the BPA. Existing BPAs cannot be modified to include state and local government entities.

Can state and local government entities be granted additional price reductions under the Schedule contracts?

Yes. State and local government entities may be granted additional price reductions under Cooperative Purchasing.

Will a spot discount to state and local government entities under the GSA Schedule contract trigger the Price Reductions clause? No. Granting state and local government entities additional price

No. Granting state and local government entities additional price discounts under the GSA Schedule contract will not trigger the Price Reductions clause.

Does the Trade Agreements Act apply to contracts between the Schedule contractor and state and local government entities?

Yes. All Schedule contract terms and conditions, except those stated in Questions 14 and 15, apply to contracts between the GSA Schedule contractor and state and local government entities.

CTA

How do I know that all items are on GSA Federal Supply Schedule?

In providing a total solution to an agency's requirement under a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA), the services and products proposed should be identified under each team member's GSA Schedule contract. Any proposed services and products that are not part of a GSA Schedule contract (i.e., open market items) may be included only after all applicable acquisition regulations have been followed (see Federal Acquisition Regulation 8.401(d)) and must be clearly labeled as such.

If my company is on multiple GSA Federal Supply Schedules, can I team with myself?

A contractor holding multiple GSA Federal Supply Schedule contracts may offer a solution that crosses those contracts. Such a solution would not be considered a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA).

When should GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs) be set up?

GSA Federal Supply Schedule contractors may establish a CTA in advance of any known requirement or after requirements are defined and the Request for Quotation (RFQ) issued. The CTA should include the names of the team members, their respective GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract numbers, and a description of the responsibilities of each team member. Agencies should review CTAs to ensure that the CTAs clearly delineate team member responsibilities and provide for coordination and cooperation between team members, thus diminishing the risk for all parties involved.

Who is responsible for crafting the GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)?

GSA Federal Supply Schedule contractors are responsible for crafting the CTA. The government is not involved in this process.

Is a formal contract between GSA Federal Supply Schedule contractors required to establish a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)?

No. However, to prevent misunderstandings between team members, CTAs should identify each team member's responsibilities.

What is a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)?

A GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) is an arrangement between two or more GSA Schedule contractors to work together to meet agency requirements. A CTA permits contractors to complement each other's capabilities to compete for orders for which they may not independently qualify. A customer benefits from a CTA by buying a solution rather than making separate buys from various contractors.

How can an ordering agency ensure that the responses it receives to its Request For Quotation (RFQ) are, in fact, Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs) and not simply Prime Contractor/Subcontractor Arrangements?

GSA strongly recommends that an ordering agency's RFQ indicates that all CTAs must be specifically identified as such. Do not be confused, for example, by a "Team ABC" response; the response should clearly identify that the GSA Schedule contractors are proposing a "Contractor Team Arrangement." The CTA should designate all team members, their corresponding GSA Schedule contract numbers, and describe the tasks to be performed by each team member, along with the associated proposed prices (e.g., unit prices, labor categories and rates). If applicable, the team leader should also be identified. The ordering agency should then be able to verify that any proposed prices do not exceed the prices awarded under each team member's GSA Schedule contract and avoid any misunderstandings regarding each team member's responsibilities and prices.

What happens in the event of a problem, such as warranty or performance issues?

Since each contractor in a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) has a GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract, each team member is held accountable under the terms and conditions of its contract for any problems such as those described.

My team member's rates/prices are much higher than mine. Can I charge my team member's rates/prices instead of mine?

No. A contractor may only charge the rates/prices that have been awarded under the company's GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract. The same holds true for other team members.

In a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA), who is responsible for reporting sales and remitting the industrial funding fee?

Each GSA Federal Supply Schedule contractor is responsible for reporting its GSA Schedule contract sales and remitting the appropriate industrial funding fee.

There is a cost involved for my company to participate in a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA). How do I recoup these costs under my GSA Schedule contract?

The CTA should spell out any costs associated with the arrangement. Each team member should consider such costs when the team develops its price quote for the total solution. The benefits of a CTA may more than compensate for a contractor's costs by expanding the firm's capabilities and broadening its customer base.

Can team members still use subcontractors and if so, would the subcontractors be considered team members of the GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) if the subcontractors did not hold individual GSA Schedule contracts?

Team members may still use subcontractors as allowed by their GSA Federal Supply Schedule contracts and as may be addressed in the CTA. Subcontractors, however, would not be considered members of the "team" in this specific instance; responsibility would rest with the applicable GSA Schedule contractors.

In a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA), who bills the customer?

Invoicing and payment are areas that should be addressed in the CTA. Many times, an agency will want to receive one invoice. In such cases, the team leader may submit a single invoice for all team members, provided that the invoice indicates each team member's GSA Schedule contract number, the applicable services/products provided, and the corresponding dollar value attributable to that team member. In accordance with the Assignment of Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3727), a contractor may only assign moneys due under a contract if the assignment is made to a bank, trust company, or other financing institution. Thus, in a CTA, although the team leader may submit a single invoice on behalf of all team members, each team member must be paid separately; the team leader cannot accept payment on behalf of the entire team.

Where can I find information on other GSA Federal Supply Schedule contractors who may want to team?

Please visit Schedules e-Library to find GSA Schedule contractors who match the service or product criteria.

What are the benefits of a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)?

  • Satisfies the customer with a single solution; Increases competitive edge;
  • Increases market share; Increases visibility; Focuses on core capabilities;
  • Obtains complementary capabilities; Integrates different skills;
  • Offers additional opportunities with customers;
  • Builds direct relationships with customers;
  • Maximizes use of one or more GSA Schedule solutions;
  • Shares risks and rewards; and
  • Increases small business participation.

How do GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs) differ from Prime Contractor/Subcontractor Arrangements?

Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)Prime Contractor/Subcontractor Arrangement
Each team member holds a GSA Schedule contract.Only prime contractor has a government contract.
Any team member may be designated the team leader. Team leader is only responsible for duties addressed in the CTA.Prime contractor cannot delegate responsibility for performance to subcontractors.
Any team member can interact directly with the government.Only prime contractor can interact with the government.
Responsibility of each team member is described in the CTA.Prime contractor is totally responsible for performance.
Each GSA Schedule contractor's prices have been determined fair and reasonable.Prime contractor determines price reasonableness of its subcontractors.
Each contractor has privity of contract with the government.Only prime contractor has privity of contract with the government.
Ordering agency is invoiced at each GSA Schedule contractor's prices.Ordering agency is invoiced at the prime contractor's prices.
Total solutions can be put together quickly and easily.N/A

Does GSA approve a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)?

No. The CTA is solely between the team members and cannot conflict with the underlying terms and conditions of each team member's GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract. In their review of quotations, however, agencies may identify deficiencies in the CTA in order to enhance the probability of successful performance.

Will GSA provide a sample GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)?

No. Arrangements are made between team members and will vary from one CTA to another. The following are common elements of a CTA:
  • Identifies participants, GSA Schedule contract numbers, and services and products covered by the arrangement;
  • Defines terms;
  • Sets forth each participant's roles, responsibilities, and obligations;
  • Identifies scope, period of performance (for specific, limited purposes or longer periods covering several transactions), and termination of the arrangement;
  • Identifies remunerations for functions performed, if any;
  • Establishes scope and limitations of any licenses or proprietary rights;
  • Establishes representations and warranties among the parties;
  • Identifies confidentiality requirements, obligations, disclosures, and remedies;
  • Identifies damages, liability/limitation of liability, and any indemnification requirements among the parties;
  • Addresses administrative requirements (e.g., assignments, how notices will be conveyed and recognized, how changes or amendments will occur);
  • Identifies any terms that survive the arrangement or termination; Identifies governing laws, venues, etc.;
  • Establishes how disputes will be addressed and resolved; and
  • Addresses force majeure; i.e., addresses how an unexpected or uncontrollable event will impact a team member's obligation under the CTA.

HUBZone

I've submitted a HUBZone application, but haven't heard anything yet. How can I check the status?

The application system available on the web (www.sba.gov/hubzone) has a built-in function that allows an applicant to check the status at any time. Just activate the certification function on the opening page and select the "Check Application Status" operation.

Which agencies participate in the HUBZone program and where are these contract opportunities posted for general public review?

As of Oct. 1, 2000, all Federal buying agencies must abide by the HUBZone Program requirements and many of these contracts are posted on Fed Biz Opps, that can be accessed at vsearch2.eps.gov/servlet/SearchServlet. Under 'Search by Set-Aside Code,' select either "#5- Total HUB-Zone" or "#11- Partial HUB-Zone."

Can the SBA protest a contracting officer's decision not to award a contract opportunity to a qualified HUBZone small business?

Yes. The SBA's Administrator may file a written request for re-consideration of the contracting officer's decision with the Secretary of the Department, or Agency head.

How does SBA define the term "principal office?"

It's the location where the greatest number of employees at any one location actually perform their work, except for construction and service industries, which have exemptions based on their occasional need to assign employees at the contract location. Notice that the ?principal office's definition can mean something very different from a company's headquarters. It could happen that a small business might have a headquarters in a non-HUBZone location and establish a principal office within a HUBZone locality and still qualify legitimately for program participation.(more details - see 'Regulatory Amendments' that follows).

Does a business that attempts to qualify for the HUBZone Program based upon its location on an Indian reservation have to be Indian owned?

No. As long as the principal office of the business is located on an Indian reservation and meets all other eligibility criteria, it can earn the HUBZone designation.

>How often can these designations change?

Urban is concurrent with the census (change is every ten years). Rural reflects employment and income adjustments (employment levels determined annually). Native American involves Federal recognition and boundary changes (no fixed time).

Will small businesses participating in the SBA?s 8(a) Business Development Program that are already in or relocate to a HUBZone area be eligible to receive both 8(a) and HUBZone contracting opportunities?

Yes. This dual status can be quite beneficial, so a firm that has one designation and legitimately qualifies for the other is strongly urged to obtain both.

How can a firm's eligibility as a HUBZone participant be challenged?

The specific process for challenging a firm's eligibility as a HUBZone participant is detailed in the SBA's operating regulations. Generally, these regulations allow an interested party to challenge the accuracy of an existing certification based on allegedly falsified applicant information or substantive changes that might have occurred since certification was first obtained. The SBA will have final authority in this regard.

What is the SBA's responsibility under the program?

SBA is responsible for formulating regulations to implement and administer the program. SBA is also required to submit a report no later than March 2002 to the Small Business Committee concerning the degree to which the HUBZone Program has resulted in increased employment opportunities and investment in HUBZones. Further, SBA is required to periodically examine and verify participant eligibility and investigate challenges to HUBZone certification.

Does this program only apply to small businesses that are currently located in HUBZones, or can firms move to these areas and then become eligible to participate?

This program applies to firms that are currently located within HUBZones and can include any start-up business that chooses to start operation in a HUBZone. An existing small business that chooses to relocate to a HUBZone can also become certified provided it meets the remaining criteria outlined earlier.

If my small business has several offices and one is qualified as a ?principal office? that serves as the basis for a HUBZone designation, can all my offices claim HUBZone certification?

Yes, HUBZone is a status that applies to the entire business. This designation will remain in effect as long as any of the firm?s locations meet the test for and are certified as a "principal office" for HUBZone certification (assuming all other eligibility requirements are similarly maintained).

The HUBZone Program is based on a geographical designation. Are there differences in these geographical assignments and approximately how many current locations are there for each?

The statute establishing the HUBZone Program directs the SBA to rely upon definitions provided by other Federal agencies to determine which areas qualify as HUBZones. Generally speaking, these determinations are arrived at after the collection of either income or employment data, and that data forms the basis for the calculations cited below:
A HUBZone may be one of the following:
  1. A qualified census tract. The definition for Qualified Census Tract is based on an Internal Revenue Service provision for the low income housing tax credit program that is developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Secretary of HUD designates Qualified Census Tracts by a notice published periodically in the Federal Register. The most recent notice based on the results of the 2000 census data collection appeared December 12, 2002, and were represented on the HUBZone mapping system on May 19, 2003. (11,600 TOTAL in U.S.).
    Information on how data is compiled for the Qualified Census Tracts designation is available on the web at qct.huduser.org

     
  2. A qualified county. The definition for qualified county is any county that, based on the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, is not located in a metropolitan statistical area and in which the median household income is less than 80 percent of the median household income for the entire non-metropolitan area of a state and/or any non-metropolitan county that, based on the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has an unemployment rate that is not less than 140 percent of the statewide average unemployment rate. (1,200 TOTAL in U.S.).

    Information on decennial census data used to determine the household income is available on the web at www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html.

    Information in the local employment data used to determine the unemployment element is available on the web at www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm#data

     
  3. A qualified Indian reservation. The definitions for qualified Indian reservations, which include lands covered by the phrase 'Indian Country,' are those established and used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There is one exception, which applies to portions of the state of Oklahoma where HUBZone is using a definition arrived at by the Internal Revenue Service. (EXCEEDS 340 TOTAL in U.S.).

    Information on Native American reservations and related information is available on the web at www.doi.gov/bureau-indian-affairs.html.

    Information on the Internal Revenue Service description for former Indian Reservations in Oklahoma is available on the web at www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=99491,00.html

I understand that some regulatory amendments became effective Feb. 20, 2001. What's changed?

Those amendments to our rules appeared in the Federal Register on Jan. 18, 2001. The amendments impact four areas:

Clarification on applicability to state and local governments

  • This makes clear that the HUBZone program does not apply to contracts awarded by state and local governments, since the HUBZone Act only applies to the federal government.

Definition of 'principal office

  • The amended rule says that for concerns whose primary industry is services or construction (i.e., other than manufacturing), the principal office would be the location where the greatest number of the concern's employees perform their work, but excluding those employees who perform their work at job-site locations to fulfill specific contract obligations.

Rules on affiliation

  • Before the amendment, regulations permitted a qualified HUBZone SBC to have affiliates only if those affiliates are qualified HUBZone SBCs, participants in the 8(a) Business Development Program, or woman-owned businesses (WOBs). But this was all seen as overly restrictive.
  • Accordingly, SBA eliminated these restrictions on affiliation and allows a qualified HUBZone SBC to have affiliates as long as it, when combined with its affiliates, is still small pursuant to SBA's size regulations.
  • In addition, the removal allows SBCs in non-HUBZone areas to establish new business ventures in HUBZones. This is especially critical due to the historical lack of investment capital in HUBZones and the need for such capital to establish new businesses that will promote economic development and create jobs.

Procurement requirements for non-manufacturers

  • SBA amended the provisions concerning non-manufacturers.
  • Under the amended rule, non-manufacturer HUBZone concerns no longer are required to demonstrate that they can provide product or products manufactured by qualified HUBZone SBCs.
  • SBA now allows a qualified HUBZone SBC to use any manufacturer, including a large business, for HUBZone contracts at or below $25,000 in total value. This provision encourages the participation of small business non-manufacturers that are located in HUBZones.
  • Contracts above $25,000 will still require that the HUBZone non-manufacturer provide the product of a HUBZone manufacturer

Where is there a list of all HUBZone certified companies?

A state-by-state listing is available on the HUBZone Opening web page, but a more comprehensive search capability is offered through the Contracting Officer's HUBZone Gateway, which now contains more than 4,700 Certified Small Business Concerns that have expressed an interest in working with the Federal government as HUBZone contractors.

What is the easiest way to find the location of a HUBZone in my area?

Simply log onto the web at www.sba.gov/hubzone and select the option Are You in a HUBZone? You can search the system using several designations, including a specific address, a county or a full state.

What benefits are small businesses receiving under this program?

Generally speaking, there are two levels of benefit. The first relates directly to Federal contracts, while the second involves specialized assistance.

Federal Contract Benefits -

There are four types of HUBZone contract opportunities:

Competitive: Contracts can be set-aside for HUBZone competition when the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that at least two qualified HUBZone small business concerns (SBCs) will submit offers and that the contract will be awarded at a fair market price.
Sole-source: HUBZone contracts can be awarded if the contracting officer determines that:
  • only one qualified HUBZone SBC is responsible to perform the contract,
  • two or more qualified HUBZone SBCs are not likely to submit offers and
  • the anticipated award price of the proposed contract, including options, will not exceed:
--- $5 million for a requirement within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for manufacturing or
--- $3 million for a requirement within all other NAICS codes
Full and open competitive contracts can be awarded with a price evaluation preference. The offer of the HUBZone small business must not be 10 percent higher than the offer of a non-small business.
Subcontracting: All subcontracting plans for large business Federal contractors must include a HUBZone subcontracting goal.

Other Specialized Assistance

  • Eligible HUBZone firms can qualify for higher SBA-guaranteed surety bonds on construction and service contract bids.
  • Firms in Federal Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC) can also benefit from employer tax credits, tax-free facility bonds, and investment tax deductions

What is the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program?

The HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program stimulates economic development and creates jobs in urban and rural communities by providing Federal contracting preferences to small businesses. These preferences go to small businesses that obtain HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUBZone. The company must also maintain a "principal office" in one of these specially designated areas. [A principal office can be different from a company headquarters, as explained later in this document.] The program resulted from provisions contained in the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997.

How does a firm qualify for this program?

To qualify for the program, a business must meet the following criteria:
  • It must be a small business by SBA size standards;
  • Its principal office must be located within a HUBZone, which includes lands on federally recognized Indian reservations;
  • It must be owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens (N.B.-this means any level of ownership in an applicant small business by another company would result in a decline). Approved ownership can also be by a Community Development Corporation or Indian tribe; and
  • At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone

If I own the company applying for HUBZone certification, should I include myself when calculating the number of employees?

Yes. You count regardless of whether you serve in a paid or unpaid status, so long as you consider yourself to be a principal employee of the firm and spend full-time equivalent hours devoted to the business.

How does SBA define the term "reside" in reference to the residency requirement?

The term reside means to live in a primary residence at a place for at least 180 days, or as a currently registered voter, and with intent to live there indefinitely. Employers should be aware that it makes no difference which HUBZone their employees reside in. An employee can reside in one HUBZone and work in another and meet the standards for this residency requirement.

IFF

What is an Industrial Funding Fee?

The Industrial Funding Fee is a fee paid quarterly on vendor sales. This fee is used to support the contract administration and is .75% of your quarterly GSA contract sales

Where do I mail my IFF payment?

Please make your check payable to: General Services Administration Industrial Funding Fee (IFF/SIFT) for Multiple Award Schedule Contracts P.O. Box 979017 St. Louis, MO 63197-9017

Does the IFF apply to sales awarded as the result of orders from State and local governments?

The IFF clause requires that sales identified as made under Federal Supply Schedules to state and local governments under Cooperative Purchasing authority and under the Disaster Recovery Purchasing program shall be counted as reportable sales for IFF purposes.

Can a contractor change the method of reporting sales?

The IFF Clause, 552.238-74, specifies that the contractor must maintain a consistent accounting method of sales reporting based on the contractor’s established commercial accounting practice. This established accounting practice should be the determining factor on when the contractor reports sales: (1) receipt of order; (2) shipment or delivery, as applicable; (3) issuance of an invoice; or (4) payment. The clause does not limit the number of times a contractor may change the method of sales reporting. However, this doesn’t mean the contractor may change the method of sales reporting each quarter because the contractor must demonstrate “consistent” practices in accordance with this clause. Also see question 16 above.

Is the IFF applicable to sales under a MAS based Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)?

Yes. BPAs are agreements under the Federal Supply Schedule contract. Therefore, all sales on the BPA are contract sales and should be reported as such.

Who is responsible for reporting and paying the IFF in a teaming arrangement?

All team members must abide by the terms and conditions of their respective Federal Supply Schedule contracts. All team members must report their own contract sales and submit the resulting IFF obligation.

Where can contractors obtain information regarding the IFF program?

The ACO is the point of contact for questions regarding a specific contract. If the contractor does not know which ACO is assigned the contract, the Contract Management Division below appropriate to the contractor’s contact for contract administration is located can provide the information.

What if a SIN is canceled from a schedule? Does the contractor still owe the IFF?

Yes. The contractor must report and remit the IFF for all sales that occurred while that SIN was under contract.

Can contractors report sales and remit fees on a contract rather than Special Item Number (SIN) basis?

The IFF clause specifies that contractors must report sales separately for each National Stock Number (NSN), Special Item Number (SIN), or sub-item. A contractor may consolidate fees for multiple SINs and/or contracts into one check provided that the check is annotated with the following identifying information: (1) contract number(s)), (2) reporting period(s)), and (3) report amounts. There is no requirement to remit the IFF by individual SIN.

Is the IFF applicable to additional contractor expenses such as travel on service contracts?

The IFF is a simple application of the rate to the sale. If a contractor makes a sale of contract items under a Federal Supply Schedule contract, the IFF applies. However, if the contractor doesn’t record compensation for additional expenses as a sale under the GSA contract, then the IFF should not be applied.

How do contractors know when to record a sale for 72A/IFF reporting purposes?

For IFF purposes, GSA recognizes a sale recorded in a manner consistent with the contractor’s accounting system. This method minimizes the administrative burden on contractors. Clause 552.238-74 specifies the following acceptable points at which contractors may report sales: (1) receipt of order; (2) shipment or delivery, as applicable; (3) issuance of an invoice; or (4) payment. Any contractor that changes accounting and reporting practices, however, should notify the applicable ACO.

Why should agencies use the MAS's and pay the IFF instead of contracting directly?

The benefits a customer received are well worth the fee, particularly when compared to the cost of customer staff time required to award a new procurement: Competition: All competition requirements have been met. Hassle-free Volume Purchase Prices: GSA has already negotiated discounts for its customers. Expedited Delivery: Many items can be delivered overnight or within two days. Easy Payment Options: Federal Supply Schedule contractors accepts the GSA SmartPay Card. Flexible Purchasing Options: Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) save customers time and money. No FedBizOps Synopsis required: GSA has already issued the synopsis. Price Reductions: Customers are free to request price reductions beyond the discounted Schedule prices. No Order Limitations: Customers can place an order for any dollar amount. Socioeconomic Goals: Federal Supply Schedule orders count toward small business goals. Quality Purchases: Customers have access to state-of-the-art technology and quality services and supplies. Environmental Compliance: Orders placed under Schedules provide compliance with environmental requirements for application services and products. Skill Pool: Federal Supply Schedules afford customers extensive teaming arrangements

How should contractors identify payments as IFF if they are paying by check?

Contractors should follow the instructions in the IFF Clause, 552.238-74, and must provide the following information with all payments: contract number(s)), report amount(s)), and report period(s)). If the payment is for more than one contract and/or for multiple reporting periods, the specific amount to be allocated to each reporting period and each contract number must be included on any check submitted

Can contractors pay the IFF by Electronic Funds Transfer or credit card?

Yes! Please CLICK HERE to download the ePay user's guide.

How is the IFF calculated?

To calculate how much IFF to remit, multiply total Federal Supply Schedule sales reported by the IFF rate in effect. The contractor should direct any questions regarding IFF calculations to the respective Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO).

How much is the IFF?

The current IFF rate is located at http://72a.gsa.gov/. The rate is set by the Commissioner, Federal Supply Service, reviewed periodically, and may be changed yearly.

Why don't agencies just pay GSA directly?

At the inception of the IFF, Government and industry mutually agreed that the current IFF remittance procedure would have the least impact on all parties.

How is contract sales reporting accomplished?

The contractor must have Internet connectivity and access to a web browser to submit sales reports electronically. The first step is to register with the GSA Vendor Support Center (VSC) at http://vsc.gsa.gov/. This web site provides information and instructions, including an online demo, regarding registration and electronic sales reporting. You may also contact the VSC by telephone at (877) 495-4849 or (703) 305-6235. Additional information on electronic payments can be found at http://72a.gsa.gov/. Following award, the appropriate ACO issues instructions to the contractor on utilizing these web sites.

What are standard calendar quarters?

The IFF Clause, 552.238-74, defines the respective calendar quarters as January 1-March 31, April 1-June 30, July 1-September 30, and October 1-December 31. The clause requires that contractors remit the appropriate IFF to GSA within 30 days of the end of the applicable reporting quarter.

What exactly are 72A reports?

The 72a Report is abbreviated reference to “GSA Form 72A, Contractor Report of Sales.” This is the form by which contractors electronically report sales via the Internet on a standard quarterly schedule. Clause 552.238-74 contains instructions for reporting sales.

How do contractors know when to pay the IFF?

Contractors must report contract sales to GSA within 30 calendar days following the completion of each reporting quarter. Clause 552.238-74 defines calendar quarters and defines four acceptable points at which contractors may report sales. Additionally, it specifies that GSA will provide the contractor with specific written procedural instructions on remitting the IFF within 60 days of award of a new contract. If no sales occur on a contract during a quarter, the contractor is still responsible for filing the sales report by entering zeroes.

How does GSA receive the IFF from contractors?

Schedule contractors remit to GSA a fixed percentage of their quarterly contract sales. Clause 552.238-74, Industrial Funding Fee and Sales Reporting, contains instruction for remitting the IFF.

How do customers pay the IFF?

The IFF is included in the price customer agencies pay the contractor when they purchase items from a MAS. The contractor remits the IFF due to GSA, quarterly.

Do all MAS contracts include the IFF clause?

The IFF requirement was introduced to Multiple Award Schedule contracts in April of 1995. It is currently included in all Federal Supply Schedule contracts as 552.238-74, Industrial Funding Fee and Sales Reporting (July 2003).

Do customers pay the IFF in addition to the price listed by the MAS contractor?

No. The IFF is already included in the price of the item because GSA negotiated the fee into the contract price before the award was made.

What is the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF)?

The IFF is a fee paid by customers to cover GSA’s cost of operating the Federal Supply Schedules program. The fee is a percentage of reported sales under Schedules contracts.

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ARRA

What is Recovery.gov

Recovery.gov is a website that lets you, the taxpayer, figure out where the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going. There are going to be a few different ways to search for information. Within days after the signing of the legislat

Where can I learn more about how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will affect the budget?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has calculated the impact that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will have on the federal government's budget deficit. You can review those calculations

How will the Recovery Act work?

Very soon, the different agencies -- such as the Departments of Education; Health and Human Services; and Energy -- will decide who will receive award grants and contracts. Sometimes the money will go to a state government; other times, the funds will go

I heard I'd be able to track recovery funds. Why can't I do that?

You aren't able to track funds yet because we have not yet started receiving information from Federal agencies on how they are going to allocate the money. It takes a little bit of time for them to make sure your money is going to be spent wisely. Right n

What's the purpose of the new legislation?

The purpose of the Recovery Act is to create and save jobs, jumpstart our economy, and build the foundation for long-term economic growth. The Act includes measures to modernize the nation's infrastructure, enhance America's energy independence, expand ed

Where can I find the full text of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009?

The text of the law can be found in Text or PDF format here.

What type of programs will this recovery package fund?

The Recovery Act specifies appropriations for a wide range of Federal programs and will increase or extend certain benefits payable under the Medicaid, unemployment compensation, and nutrition assistance programs. The legislation also reduces individua

What will I be able to locate on Recovery.gov?

Federal agencies are taking in bids for recovery projects, so right now, Recovery.gov features a summary of the funds that are allocated for different programs, as well as the responsible Federal agencies. As Federal agencies and other recipient organizat

What’s a better way to find the information I’m looking for — browsing or searching?

The website will have both functions, but for now, browsing is a better bet. As we begin to fill the database with more data, the search function will be more useful in finding specific information.

How does Recovery.gov differ from USASpending.gov?

Recovery.gov tracks only the targeted investments allocated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. USASpending.gov collects data about all types of contracts, grants, loans, and spending across government agencies.

How can I contact the Administration with questions or comments about Recovery.gov and the recovery package?

Q: A: The best method to comment or ask a question on Recovery.gov is to use our contact us form. The question or message will be referred to the best person to h

Is Recovery.gov accessible for people for with disabilities?

Recovery.gov complies with all of the automatic checkpoints of the Section 508 Accessibility Guidelines, and has been manually verified for nearly all of the manual checkpoints. This compliance has been tested using Watchfire WebXACT progra

What is a fiscal year (FY)?

For accounting purposes, the Federal government uses a defined 12-month period as a financial or fiscal year. The Federal fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following calendar year. For instance, fiscal year 2009 is 10/1/20

Is the spending data on recovery.gov available in a format (like XML) that developers can use to create mashups and gadgets?

Not at this time. But, as new systems are developed to capture the allocations and expenditures under the Act, we plan to make that data available in exportable form.

Disaster

New Authorization for National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster (NVOAD) to Purchase via Schedules

GSA Schedule contractors can now sell to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster (NVOAD) through their Federal Supply Schedules contract.  Section 2 of the Federal Supply Schedules Usage Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-263), states that the Administrator of General Services may provide for the use of  Federal Supply Schedules, by other qualified organizations to facilitate emergency preparedness and disaster relief.  Under the Act, the term “qualified organization” means a relief or disaster assistance organization as described in section 309 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5152).
GSA, pursuant to this Act, has authorized the NVOAD members to access Schedules when purchasing in furtherance of emergency preparedness and disaster relief.  GSA Order 4800.2H, Eligibility to Use GSA Sources of Supply, has been updated to reflect this new eligible ordering activity.  This authorization allows for immediate access to all Schedules, when the NVOAD members are purchasing in furtherance of purposes of emergency preparedness and disaster relief.
Purchases under this authority by other qualified organizations shall be used only in furtherance of purposes determined to be appropriate to facilitate emergency preparedness and disaster relief and set forth in guidance by the Administrator of General Services, in consultation with the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The authority under this subsection may not be used to purchase supplies for resale.
There is no modification, required at this time, to your Schedule contract in order to accept orders from the NVOAD members.  Acceptance of orders from the National Volunteer Organizations Active in a Disaster, is voluntary.  Schedule contractors may decline an order, for any reason, within a five-day period after receipt of the order; however, credit card orders must be declined within 24 hours (GSAM 552.232-79).  Orders placed under this authority are subject to the Industrial Funding Fee and should be reported quarterly on your 72a form under your Federal sales.  For a list of NVOAD members, please visit, www.nvoad.org.  For questions, please contact Tricia Scaglione at patricia.scaglione@gsa.gov.

Are Disaster Recovery Purchasing orders subject to the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF)?

Yes. Each Schedule contract price includes an industrial funding fee, which is represented in the prices paid by ordering activities and passed on to GSA by Schedule contractors. The IFF reimburses GSA for procurement and administrative costs incurred to operate the GSA Schedules Program.

Can state and local government entities use GSA Advantage!® to place orders under Disaster Recovery Purchasing?

No. Although state and local government entities are free to "browse" on GSA Advantage!®, they may not currently purchase products and/or services through the GSA Advantage!® online shopping and ordering system.

Are state and local government entities required to use the GSA Schedules Program?

No. Disaster Recovery Purchasing is voluntary for both state and local government entities and for Schedule contractors. State and local entities have full discretion to decide if they wish to make a GSA Schedule purchase, subject to any limitations that may be established under state and local laws and procedures.

Are Schedule contractors required to accept orders from state and local government entities?

Schedule contractors have the option of deciding whether they will accept orders placed by state or local government buyers. Schedule contractors will make this decision on two levels. First, on the contract level, Schedule contractors will decide whether they want to offer Disaster Recovery Purchasing and enter into a mutual agreement with GSA to modify the contract. Second, even after an existing contract is modified or a new contract awarded, a Schedule contractor will retain the right to decline orders received from state or local government entities on a case-by-case basis. Schedule contractors may decline an order, for any reason, within a five-day period after receipt of the order; however, credit card orders must be declined within 24 hours.