Relevant State and Local Opportunities for GSA Contractors
Government Business Development | 4 Min Read
It often comes as a surprise to many contractors that they can leverage their GSA Schedule contracts to sell to state and local governments. Contractors are not limited to using their Schedule to sell only to federal buyers. As a consultant, I come across clients who are constantly looking for ways to expand their customer base. Many are unaware that GSA also supports the procurement needs of state and local governments through various programs, especially during this time with recent natural disasters and the global pandemic. This blog will cover a few emerging opportunities that contractors can take advantage of and use to sell to state and local governments.
State and Local Purchasing Vehicles
While the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program is known for being open to all federal and executive agency buyers, state and local entities can also purchase through this program under certain circumstances. A lot of these programs have been around for a while, but they are becoming more and more prevalent as the pandemic continues, natural disasters strike, and remote work becomes more of the norm. Programs under GSA Schedules that allow contractors to sell to state and local government entities include, but are not limited to the following:
Cooperative Purchasing Program
The Cooperative Purchasing Program allows state and local governments and other eligible entities to purchase Information technology (IT), security, and law enforcement items from approved industry partners using any available funds. The items eligible for purchase under this program fall under Large Category F (Information Technology) and Large Category J (Security and Protection). Unlike many other state and local government purchasing programs, there are no extenuating circumstances required to use this program. Through this program state and local governments have access to the GSA Schedule at any time for any reason.
Disaster Purchasing Program
The Disaster Purchasing Program allows state and local governments to purchase products and services to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters declared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Buyers can only use GSA Schedule contracts and authorized Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) to make purchases. This program plays a major role in aiding state and local governments to prepare and respond quickly and efficiently in times of disaster.
Public Health Emergencies (PHE) Program
The Public Health Emergencies (PHE) Program allows state and local governments to purchase products and services in response to public health emergencies using federal grants. During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this program has continued to be heavily utilized for personnel protection equipment (PPE).
The 1122 Program is owned and managed by the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and GSA. Through the 1122 program, state and local governments can access GSA Schedules to purchase equipment to support counter-drug, homeland security, and emergency response activities. Only states that have a certified State Point of Contact can purchase through this program. Currently, 32 states are enrolled in this program.
How Do I Get Involved in State and Local Purchasing Programs?
Requirements vary for contractors to participate in these state and local government purchasing programs. Participation in all programs is voluntary. Contractors who opt-in to participate in the Disaster Recovery Program and the Cooperative Purchasing program can be identified by these corresponding program symbols (, )next to their list of categories. Contractors who did not opt-in to these programs can submit a modification to change their terms and conditions. We suggest you visit the links of any of the programs above that apply to you to learn more in depth about how to get involved.
How Do State and Local Governments Order from These Programs?
Except for the Dispute Clause, Patent Indemnity, Prompt Payment Clause, and certain commercial contract terms and conditions, all other terms and conditions of a contractor’s GSA Schedule are applicable at the order level through these programs. In other words, they can purchase off your GSA Schedule as a federal or executive agency would, as long as there are no exceptions, and they are taking advantage of one of the programs above, or a similar verified program. State and local government buyers should verify if there is specific ordering language required when making purchases through these programs.
It’s also important to confirm whether an entity is determined eligible to use GSA sources of supply under these programs before you fill and accept an order. If the entity that you would like to purchase from your GSA Schedule is not eligible, a request for eligibility can be sent to gsaeligibilitydetermination@gsa gov. However, it’s not necessary for entities that fall under the umbrella of state and local government to submit a request, so we suggest you consult GSA Order OGP 4800.2I, which provides definitions and listings of agencies and organizations eligible to use GSA solutions.
Capitalize On State and Local Purchasing Vehicles
For prospective contractors, understanding the various ways in which the GSA Schedule can be leveraged is a great start to becoming a successful contractor. If you are already a GA Schedule contract holder, your participation in these state and local purchasing programs can increase your chance of success by broadening your customer reach. These programs increased exponentially at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and they are expected to remain on a steady incline. Check out our blog on state and local purchasing vehicles to explore more options. If you have more questions about how you can take advantage of these emerging opportunities, feel free to contact us at Winvale.