By: Stephanie Hagan on January 4th, 2021
State and Local Government Program Opportunities for GSA Contractors
GSA Schedule | 7 Min Read
There’s a common misconception that contractors can only sell to the federal government through a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract. Along with a list of eligible national and international organizations, GSA contractors can also sell to state and local government as well as tribal governments and certain educational institutions through certain purchasing programs.
Our clients often ask us who they can sell to beyond federal agencies, so in this blog, we’ll highlight GSA specific and other state and local purchasing vehicles GSA contractors can use to expand their customer base.
GSA State and Local Government Purchasing Programs
The Cooperative Purchasing Program
Through the Cooperative Purchasing Program, state and local government entities can purchase IT, law enforcement, and security products and solutions.
State, local, and tribal governments as well as certain educational institutions can purchase from this program at any time using any funds available. Eligible educational institutions include public elementary, middle, and high schools, and public colleges and universities.
This program is voluntary, so you are not required to accept any orders in this program. To find out if you are in the program, you can look for this logo in GSA eLibrary under your Special Item Numbers (SINS).
The Disaster Purchasing Program
Unlike Cooperative Purchasing, the Disaster Purchasing Program has a wider-scope, and is applicable to all GSA Schedules. This program allows state and local government to buy supplies and services to facilitate disaster preparation, response, or major disaster recovery.
Products and services can be purchased for both natural and manmade disasters including acts of terrorism, nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attacks. In March 2020, President Trump enacted the Stafford Act due to COVID-19, which has initiated a lot of state and local spending to mitigate the pandemic.
Who exactly can purchase from this program? Disaster Purchasing applies to state, local, regional, tribal, educational institutions. Educational institutions include local public elementary, middle, and high schools, public charter school programs, and public universities.
This program is voluntary and can easily be added on to your Schedule through a contract modification.
Public Health Emergencies Program
If a federal public health emergency is declared, non-federal entities can buy from all Schedules when spending federal grants funds under the Public Health Emergencies (PHE) Program. This program is managed by GSA and the Department of Human and Health Services (HHS).
State, local, tribal, and territorial governments can purchase from this program, but not educational institutions. That’s why it’s important to always check who is eligible to purchase from these programs, because there are stipulations for each one.
Although participants in the PHE program can purchase from all Schedules, the scope is limited compared to Cooperative and Disaster Purchasing. As with the other programs, this one is voluntary.
The 1122 Program is owned and managed by the Department of Defense (DoD) in conjunction with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and GSA. This program allows states and units of local government access to purchase equipment to support counter-drug, homeland security, and emergency response activities.
Eligible entities include states such as D.C., the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other U.S. territory. However, not all states participate. 32 states and Puerto Rico are currently a part of this program. To see if your state participates, you can check the State Point of Contact List.
State Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contracts
The California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS)
The California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS) is an enrollment contract that uses the awarded terms and conditions and pricing of your GSA MAS contract. California state and local governments, municipalities, and school districts including public universities can purchase from a CMAS vehicle.
CMAS doesn’t allow for all scopes of work. Available solutions include:
- Identity and access management professional services
- Homeland security products and components
- Human resources and EEO services
- Professional engineering services
- Facilities, maintenance, and management services
The Texas Multiple Award Schedule (TXMAS)
The State of Texas has an open enrollment vehicle through Texas statewide procurement division called the Texas Multiple Award Schedule (TXMAS). Like CMAS, TXMAS leverages the terms and conditions of your MAS contact and uses your awarded pricing.
TXMAS applies to non-IT contractors, so if you sell exclusively under Large Category F (formerly Schedule 70), this vehicle does not apply to you. TXMAS contractors are able to sell to state and local governments, municipalities, and K-12 and higher educational institutions.
TXMAS does not have a full scope of work and does not accept products or services including IT, job order contracts, engineering services, and consulting services.
State and Local Cooperative Purchasing Vehicles
NASPO Value Point
National Association of State Procurement Officials, or better known as NASPO Value Point, is a national cooperative that combines the demands of all 50 states to provide a wide range of competitive solutions from cloud solutions to car tires. NASPO Value Point leverages the purchasing power of a single state to develop a master contract.
Once a contractor is awarded the master contract for a specific state, they can sell their products and services to all 50 states and 5 U.S territories within the cooperative. To do this, the NASPO Value Point contractor enters a Participating Addendum with the state or territory they want to sell to.
This is not an open enrollment, you need to respond to an open solicitation and be awarded a contract. These contracts typically have a period of performance of a 5-year base contract with 2-3 additional 1-year options to renew.
Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR)
The Texas Department of Information Resourced (DIR) is the state of Texas’ purchasing arm for IT products and services. To become a DIR vendor, you need to respond to a solicitation that relates to your company’s core products and services and then be awarded the contract through that process.
DIR posts solicitations on their “Current Contracting Initiatives” page. If you’re interested in the DIR, we suggest you register first and periodically check out this web portal for specific opportunities that pertain to your solutions.
Florida Department of Management Services (DMS)
The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) is the state of Florida’s procurement division of the Florida government.
Florida does participate with NASPO Value Point with most products and services, but they do have separate solicitations as well. Like Texas DIR, you need to actively respond to a posted opportunity on their “State Contracts and Agreements” page and find the ones you are qualified to respond to.
New York Office of General Services (OGS)
Like Florida, New York has its own contract vehicle under the Office of General Services (OGS). OGS is responsible for the establishment of centralized contracts that are used by New York state agencies, localities, municipalities, and other authorized users.
Like most states, New York requires a potential contractor bids on specific opportunities within the state. Bids are posted on the “State Contract Reporter” page. It’s important to note that OGS can participate in other state contracts, but it’s only in situations where the OGS portfolio does not have certain products or services available.
State of Washington
The state of Washington has its own contract vehicle through the Department of Enterprise Services (DES). To sell through the DES, you need to register with Washington’s Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) Portal, then you can bid on opportunities. Washington uses a statewide master contract where pricing is pre-negotiated and allows for direct purchasing.
Take Advantage of Your GSA Contractor Status
As a GSA contractor, you have an incredible advantage in the government marketplace – use it. Evaluate all the business opportunities out there, and make sure you are expanding your customer base whenever possible.
If you’re not sure about a state or local government organization’s eligibility, you can always reference the eligibility determinations list from GSA. We recommend double checking an entity is eligible before you use a program. You can also submit an eligibility determination request to GSA.
To learn more details about state and local purchasing programs, watch the full webinar on Leveraging the GSA Schedule to Sell to State and Local Government.
If you have any questions about any of these purchasing vehicles or how your company can sell to state and local government, reach out to one of our consultants. We would be happy to help you figure out where your solutions fit best in the GSA marketplace.
About Stephanie Hagan
Stephanie Hagan is the Content Writer and Digital Editor for Winvale where she helps the marketing department continue to develop and distribute GSA and government contracting content. Stephanie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism and Rhetoric/Communications from the University of Richmond.