GSA stands for the General Services Administration which is a centralized authority for the acquisition and management of federal government resources. GSA manages government-owned and leased buildings, historical properties, and fleets of government vehicles. However it’s most widely known for its development of the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program. The purpose of the Schedules Program is to influence the buying power of the federal government in order to negotiate efficient contracts with commercial businesses.
GSA Schedule Contracts, also known as Federal Supply Schedules, are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), long-standing contracts under the GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. GSA Schedule Contracts were developed to assist federal employees in purchasing products and services. They contain delivery terms, warranties, pre-negotiated prices, and other terms and conditions.
The GSA Schedule Contract is the most widely used government contract vehicle. In fiscal year 2012, state, federal, and local government spent over $37 billion through GSA Contracts. GSA Contracts benefit companies wishing to sell to the federal government, as well as federal customers wishing to purchase goods and services, by simplifying the procurement process and allowing federal customers to make purchases swiftly and effortlessly.
In attaining a GSA Schedule Contract, the General Services Administration will conduct an in-depth review of a company’s past performance, capabilities, and commercial sales practices. After discussing discounted rates for government buyers and establishing a GSA Schedule price list, the GSA will award a GSA Contract Number.
When ordering under a GSA Contract, government buyers are not required to: seek full and open competition, condense requirements (unless the buyer is using Recovery Act funds for a purchase of $25,000 or more), or make a determination of fair and reasonable pricing. GSA has essentially completed this work on behalf of government buyers in awarding the GSA Contract.
Once awarded a GSA Contract, it is valid for an initial five-year period with three five-year extension options. To maintain effectiveness and success, it is important that a GSA Contract be kept up-to-date with current compliancy guidelines, as well as a company’s current pricing and offerings.
Acquisitions through GSA Schedules are issued using full and open competition. Purchases can be made directly from a contractor's GSA Schedule Contract, eliminating time-consuming responses and lengthy negotiations. Prices have already been deemed fair and practical, and contracts are in agreement with all applicable laws and regulations, reducing evaluation cycles.
• Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA’s) between agencies and contractors under the GSA Schedule are established to meet recurring product/service needs. BPA's reduce administrative costs.
• GSA Advantage is an online shopping mall for federal government agencies to compare, view, and directly purchase products and services available through GSA Schedule Contracts.
• Contractor Team Arrangements (CTA’s) are agreements between two or more GSA Schedule Contract holders to work together in order to provide a complete solution to an agency's need.
Companies interested in getting on the GSA Schedule must submit a proposal in response to the appropriate solicitation. There is no single application that a company can fill out to obtain a GSA Schedule or get on the GSA list. Depending upon the solicitation and starting from the time you submit your proposal to GSA, it may take up to a year to receive your GSA Schedule Contract Award.
There are currently over 11 million products and services available through nearly 50 GSA Schedules. It is important that you pick the appropriate schedule for your product or service offerings. Depending upon your offerings, the appropriate Schedule may be immediately obvious, or may require an in-depth analysis of your products/services in comparison with the scope of various schedules. Contact Malyszek & Malyszek today for assistance in choosing the appropriate schedule for you.