12 Reasons an Agency Should Use the GSA Schedule

12 Reasons an Agency Should Use GSA Schedules

Ordering activities often ask why they should use GSA Schedules to meet their procurement needs, and what are the benefits of doing so?  In this article we will outline some key benefits of using GSA Schedules.

Multiple Award Schedules are multiple award,  IDIQ contracts that buyers may leverage for the purchase of commercial products and services. These pre-competed, on-demand contracts are meant to increase the productivity and capacity of acquisition resources and provide quick and easy access to the right industry partners, allowing ordering activities to more efficiently complete the procurement process.

Use of FAR Subpart 8.4 procedures significantly reduces acquisition lead time.   Orders can be awarded in days or weeks, rather than months.

12 reasons to use GSA Schedules:

  • Streamlined acquisition processes – For the most part, FAR Parts 13, 14, 15, and 19 do not apply to orders placed against GSA Schedules, and ordering activities only have to follow the simplified ordering procedures prescribed in FAR Subpart 8.4.
  • No requirement to synopsize – GSA Schedules have been synopsized at the contract level in FedBizOpps and satisfy the requirements of the Competition in Contracting Act (Pub. Law 98-369) and FAR Part 5, Publicizing Contract Actions. Ordering activities “shall not” synopsize (see FAR 8.404(a)).
  • Socioeconomic determinations are made at the contract level, therefore reps and certs are provided at the contract level.  There is no requirement for reps and certs at the order level and ordering activities should rely on the size determination made at the contract level and displayed in GSA eLibrary.
  • Small Business set-asides are allowable at the discretion of the ordering activity contracting officer helping your organization to meet your socioeconomic goals. It is important to note that 80% of all GSA Schedule holders are small businesses and the simplified ordering procedures for Schedule set-asides are prescribed in FAR 8.405-5, not Part 19.

Note that the “rule of two” prescribed in FAR Part 19, in which agencies must set aside acquisitions exceeding $150,000 for small businesses when there is a reasonable expectation that 1) offers will be received from at least two responsible small business concerns offering the products of different small business concerns, and 2) award will be made at fair market prices, does not apply to orders issued against the GSA Multiple Award Schedules.

  • Subcontracting plans are issued and administered at the contract level, and are therefore not required for orders issued against GSA Schedules.
  • GSA performs the contractor responsibility determination IAW FAR Part 9 at the contract level.  A separate determination of responsibility is not required at the order level.
  • Conducting a cost and price analysis as prescribed in FAR Subpart 15.4 is not required. Fair and reasonable pricing is determined by GSA at the contract level.  Ordering activities must ensure that pricing does not exceed the GSA Schedule price and consider discounts offered at the order level when evaluating price.

Note:  When buying services IAW FAR 8.405-2 the ordering activity is required to conduct an overall price reasonableness determination.  This means that the proposed mix of labor and level of effort must be considered to ensure that the overall price provides the best value to the government.

  • Additional discounts off of the already fair and reasonable pricing is permitted and encouraged at the order level.  The ordering activity is required to ask for a discount when the order exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT).
  • The FAR Part 15 debriefing requirement does not apply to orders issued against GSA Schedules.  Ordering activities may provide feedback.
  • There is no requirement to establish a competitive range determination for orders issued against GSA Schedules. This is a Part 15 procedure that should not be used.
  • Use of GSA Schedules is considered a competitive procedure in accordance with FAR 6.102(d)(3)).
  • Over 28 million products and services – GSA Schedules offer tremendous depth and breadth of available solutions.

Courtesy of http://interact.gsa.gov/blog/benefits-schedules-12-reasons-use-gsa-schedules