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Expanding Your Contracting Opportunities with the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS) Blog Feature
Elizabeth Mordica

By: Elizabeth Mordica on May 16th, 2022

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Expanding Your Contracting Opportunities with the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS)

Government Business Development | Government | 5 Min Read

It’s well known that you can sell to the federal government through the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program, but you can also sell to state, local, and tribal governments under certain circumstances. Some states even have their own MAS contract vehicles that are the preferred medium of procurement. A great example of this is the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS), a special contract vehicle for state and local entities in California. This is a popular vehicle and is often overlooked by GSA contractors. In this blog we’ll share with you what CMAS is and how it could be beneficial for your GSA Schedule.

What is the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS)?

The California Multiple Awards Schedule (CMAS) offers a wide variety of commodities including IT products and services, and non-IT services at prices which have been assessed to be fair, reasonable, and competitive. Suppliers may apply for a CMAS contract at any time, but it’s important to note that you must have an active GSA Schedule to apply.

CMAS is an open enrollment platform, which enables companies to submit previously assessed and awarded products/services to the State of California, using the same terms and conditions (including pricing) as your GSA contract.

CMAS includes 3 types of products/services contracts, including:

  1. Information Technology – Software as a Service (SaaS), Email as a Service (EaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), IT professional services, hardware, helpdesk, custom developed software
  2. Non-Information Technology Services – Facility site services, financial services, professional consulting services, furniture, hardware
  3. Non-IT Commodities – Business planning, project management, program development, security assessment, training development, homeland security services, public safety training, marketing consulting services

However, there are some products and services that are available on GSA contracts that are excluded from CMAS. CMAS excludes all general professional services as you can see listed below:

  • Products and services from other California Department of General Services’ (DGS) contracts
  • Facility planning
  • Medical services
  • Registered nursing
  • Human resources
  • Security guard services
  • Architectural (also not available through GSA)
  • Construction (also not available through GSA)
  • Engineering
  • Environmental services

What Are the Benefits of Using the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS)?

If you already have a GSA Schedule or would be required to get one in order to participate, you may be asking yourself, what’s in it for my company? There are several benefits to getting a CMAS:

  • There is a streamlined sales pipeline to state and local agencies, school districts, and municipalities within the state of California.
  • You will have the opportunity to capture some of the $300 million procured through this contract annually.
  • You will have the ability to diversify your contract portfolio by selling through a different government contract.
  • It’s the same contract period as your GSA Schedule, with an additional 3 months added to allow for your GSA extension renewal to be reviewed and awarded.

This can be especially beneficial if you do/ or plan to do a lot of business with eligible entities in California, and it could make you a more attractive vendor.

How Do You Apply to Get on the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS)?

Since you already have a GSA Schedule, the process is less involved than submitting your GSA Schedule proposal. To submit a CMAS application, you will use your “base” contract, which is your GSA Schedule contract. This is beneficial because the pricing outlined in your GSA contract has already been determined to be “fair and reasonable.” The same can be said with the rest of the contract, as most of the heavy lifting of obtaining a contract have already been done. Your GSA Schedule must be active and listed in GSA eLibrary before you can move forward with the process.

In your submission, you must include the following information from your GSA Schedule:

  • Your GSA Schedule award number
  • Federal terms and conditions
  • Awarded products/services with descriptions
  • Pricing

With this information, Contracting Officers representing California will merge your federal terms and conditions with the regulations set forth by the State of California before they award your CMAS contract.

To sell to the state of California your business must also have a valid California Seller’s Permit or Certification of Registration issued by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). If applicable, you must provide your California Seller’s Permit number with your CMAS application. It's important to note that you do not have to be based in California to get a CMAS contract, you just need a GSA Schedule and to register with State of California as mentioned above.

To clarify, the CMAS Program does not use your “base” Schedule once a CMAS contract is awarded. It’s only used to streamline the submission process. Instead, they establish an independent California agreement for the same products and services at equal or lower prices. Once a CMAS is awarded, you are responsible for marketing and distributing the CMAS, and you must provide quarterly reports of CMAS sales transactions, just like you have to do now with your GSA Schedule.

To learn more about how to apply for a CMAS, you can visit the California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS) application page.

Other State and Local Procurement Vehicles

CMAS is just one example of a large procurement vehicle available at the state and local level. There are a few other avenues for state and local procurement, government purchasing cooperatives.

Government purchasing cooperatives are agreements between the states to aggregate demand in order to reduce their pricing from vendors. By seeking greater volume-based price discounts for quantity one purchases, purchasing power can be leveraged by multiple states and their political subdivisions. Some examples of major cooperatives include NASPO ValuePoint, National Cooperative Purchasing Agreement (NCPA), and OGS Procurement Services.

Similar to CMAS, Texas manages their own Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) through a vehicle called TXMAS. A GWAC is a contract between a commercial IT service or product vendor and the U.S. government that consolidates the procurement of IT solutions across multiple federal agencies.

There are also programs you can opt into through your GSA Schedule without a separate application process such as Cooperative Purchasing and Disaster Purchasing.

Use Your GSA Schedule to Find Additional Contracting Opportunities

After reading this blog, we hope you see there are so many state and local opportunities you can access with your GSA Schedule in addition to federal opportunities. If you think CMAS or another state or local procurement vehicle could be advantageous for your business, one of our consultants would be happy to help you find the best contract medium. If you want to learn more about state and local opportunities through your GSA Schedule, check out our blog “State and Local Government Program Opportunities for GSA Contractors.” If you want to learn more about how you can find and capture more opportunities with your GSA Schedule whether it’s federal or state and local, check out our webinar below.

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About Elizabeth Mordica

Elizabeth Mordica is a consultant in our Richmond office. Elizabeth is originally from Richmond, VA and graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in government and policy.