The Role of GSA Schedules in Federal Contracting
This video provides an overview of federal contracting and major agency buying programs. It demonstrates the value of having a GSA schedule contract.
Correction to the above vehicle: The Micro-Purchase Threshold is now $10,000.
What is the GSA
The General Services Administration, or GSA, is a central buying authority for the U.S. Federal government. It runs the Public Building Service (PBS) and the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS).
To make Federal buying more efficient and less costly, GSA identified over 30 million commercial products and services that agencies regularly buy. GSA developed a contract vehicle called the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), which contains large categories and subcategories that house all these commercial items into logical groupings,
For firms that want to offer their products or services via this contract vehicle, they submit an offer in response to GSA's MAS soliciation. If a company successfully completes the GSA negotiation, GSA will award the contract.
What is a GSA Schedule Contract?
A GSA Schedule contract enables you to sell your products or services to ANY agency of the federal government, certain other organizations, and state and local governments under some circumstances.
Best of all, it allows your business to receive orders for products or services without the need to respond to each government request for costly federal proposals and confusing federal contract requirements.
It is a contract for five years, with three five-year option periods. So it is potentially a 20-year contract with the world's largest client.
A GSA contract is also a government-wide contract, which means you can sell to any Federal agency, not just GSA. Without such a deal, you would need to bid on and negotiate with agencies separately
Many synonymous terms are used to describe the program, such as:
- Multiple Award Schedule or MAS
- GSA Schedule
- GSA Contract
- Federal Supply Schedule
- GSA Listing
- GSA Number
GSA Schedule contracts have become the contracting vehicle of choice for procurement officers.
Obtaining a GSA Schedule contract enables your firm to be listed on GSA eLibrary and provides you with access to GSA eBuy, an exclusive database of requests for quotations reserved only for GSA contractors.
Countless firms have pursued opportunities with agencies and convinced technical staff that their product or service was great, only to be asked, "Do you have a Schedule?" If the answer is yes, those firms are in business; if not, they are out of luck.
Small Businesses Size Standard
Congress requires agencies to issue 23% of its prime contracts to small businesses. Small business is defined by the SBA size standard based on your industry. For manufacturing or products industries, it uses the number of employees as the determination of size (often it is 500 employees). For service firms, it is usually based on revenues (varies widely depending on industry codes, but can run from $7.5 million to $37 million).