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Establishing GSA Schedule BPAs Blog Feature
Tyler Kittle

By: Tyler Kittle on May 8th, 2023

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Establishing GSA Schedule BPAs

Government Business Development | Government | 6 Min Read

When government agencies purchase goods and services, they often have to go through a series of hoops to make sure they are abiding by the proper rules and regulations. But what if they have a need to purchase recurring solutions such as electrician services, office supplies, or repair parts? By establishing Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), government agencies and contractors can set up more efficient contracts that allows them to repeatedly purchase a particular good and service.

As a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contractor, you can establish a BPA through your GSA Schedule. Here’s what you need to know about GSA Schedule BPAs and how they may compare to or differ from traditional BPAs.

What is a GSA Schedule BPA?

A GSA Schedule BPA is a type of BPA established by a government buyer and a GSA Schedule contractor to fill repetitive needs for supplies or services, which is defined in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.405-3.

These BPAs make it easier for contractors to supply recurring products or services with customer's specific requirements in mind, while taking advantage of quantity discounts, saving administrative time, and reducing paperwork.

Differences Between GSA Schedule BPAs and Traditional BPAs

Schedule BPAs are different from traditional BPAs in several ways. First, Schedule BPAs are established with contractors who have already been awarded a GSA Schedule contract. This means that the contractor has already been vetted by GSA and has met the requirements to provide goods or services to the government.

The vetting process includes evaluating the contractor's financial responsibility, past performance, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. This process can save both the buyer and the contractor significant time and effort.

Another difference between Schedule BPAs and traditional BPAs is the flexibility they offer. Traditional BPAs are typically established for a set period and cover a specific list of goods or services. In contrast, Schedule BPAs are established for an indefinite period (within the terms of the Schedule in four, five-year terms) and can cover a wide range of goods or services. This allows the government buyer to order the supplies or services they need quickly and easily without having to go through the lengthy procurement process.

Traditional BPAs are subject to FAR Part 13—Simplified Acquisition Procedures, which does not apply to GSA Schedule BPAs aside from the section which states that BPAs may be established with GSA Federal Supply Schedule contractors. Rather, GSA Schedule BPAs follow ordering procedures in FAR 8.4.

Establishing GSA Schedule BPAs

The best procurement approach is the process of evaluating the different procurement methods available and selecting the most suitable one for a particular need. In determining the best procurement approach, factors such as the nature and complexity of the requirement, the estimated value of the acquisition, and the availability of qualified sources are considered.

Schedule BPAs can be an appropriate procurement approach for recurring needs, and the FAR provides guidance on when and how Schedule BPAs should be established. The FAR states that BPAs may be established with one or more suppliers for repetitive needs. The FAR also states that Schedule BPAs may be used when the buyer needs a recurring service or supply and when it is advantageous to the government to establish the BPA.

Establishing a Schedule BPA requires several steps, including identifying the goods or services required, identifying qualified Schedule contractors, and negotiating the terms and conditions of the BPA. The following sections will provide a more detailed overview of these steps.

Identifying the Goods or Services Required

The first step in establishing a Schedule BPA is to identify the goods or services required. This includes determining the quantity, quality, and delivery requirements. The buyer should also consider any special requirements, such as packaging or labeling.

Identifying Qualified Schedule Contractors

The next step is to identify qualified Schedule contractors who can provide the required goods or services. Government buyers do this by searching the GSA Schedule contractor database or by issuing a Request For Information (RFI) or Request for Quote (RFQ) to Schedule contractors who have been awarded a contract for the relevant Special Item Number (SINs). The RFI or RFQ should include a description of the requirement, the estimated quantity, and any special requirements. The buyer must receive quotes from at least 3 contractors before establishing a GSA Schedule BPA.

Negotiating the Terms and Conditions of a GSA Schedule BPA

Once the qualified contractors have been identified, the buyer can begin negotiating the terms and conditions of the BPA. This includes determining the pricing structure, delivery terms, and any other relevant details.

It’s important to note that all terms and conditions for a GSA Schedule BPA flow down from a contractor’s GSA Schedule. Government buyers cannot alter the GSA Schedule terms and conditions, but can add agency level or local terms and conditions that don’t conflict.

The FAR provides guidance on the terms and conditions that should be included in a Schedule BPA, including the following:

  1. Scope of the BPA: The scope of the BPA should be clearly defined, including the goods or services to be provided, the quantity, and the delivery requirements.
  2. Ordering Procedures: The ordering procedures should be clearly defined, including the method of ordering, the time frame for placing orders, and any special requirements for order placement.
  3. Delivery: The delivery terms should be clearly defined, including the delivery location, delivery time frames, and any special requirements for delivery.
  4. Pricing: The pricing structure should be clearly defined, including any applicable discounts or price reductions.
  5. Performance Requirements: The performance requirements should be clearly defined, including any quality assurance or performance standards that must be met.
  6. Payment Terms: The payment terms should be clearly defined, including the payment method, the payment schedule, and any special requirements for payment.

Single-Award vs. Multiple-Award BPA

A buying agency may issue a single-award BPA to a single contractor or multiple-award BPA with more than one contractor. The FAR allows for the establishment of a single-award BPA or multiple-award BPA when the Contracting Officer (CO) determines that it is in the best interest of the government. The determination must be documented and included in the contract file. However, single-award BPAs with an estimated ceiling value of $112 million cannot be established unless there are specific circumstances.

Time Limitations

While Schedule BPAs do not have a set expiration date, the FAR requires they must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure that the pricing and terms and conditions remain fair and reasonable. This review typically includes an analysis of market conditions, pricing trends, and any changes in the contractor's cost structure.

BPA Set-Asides

BPAs can also be set aside for small businesses or other socio-economic categories (FAR 8.405-5). This allows small businesses or other socio-economic categories to compete for BPA awards, increasing their chances of winning government contracts. If you are a small business contractor, small business BPAs may be a great opportunity for you to get your foot in the door.

Are You Interested in Establishing a Schedule BPA?

Schedule BPAs can be a valuable procurement approach when there is a need for recurring goods or services, giving contractors a perfect opportunity to increase sales. BPAs offer flexibility, reduced administrative burden, and save on costs for both the buyer and the contractor.

The FAR provides guidance on how to establish Schedule BPAs, including the identification of goods or services required, identifying qualified Schedule contractors, and negotiating the terms and conditions of the BPA.

Contractors who are interested in establishing Schedule BPAs should become familiar with the FAR requirements and work closely with the government buyer to ensure that the BPA meets the buyer's specific requirements. If you would like assistance with your GSA Schedule or would like to establish one, Winvale would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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About Tyler Kittle

Tyler Kittle is a Consultant for Winvale. Tyler is a retired Army combat veteran, a former federal careerist, and Cum Laude graduate of American Military University. Utilizing his government contracting experience, Tyler works to establish strong client relations and efficiency in the acquisitions process.