FAR 8.4 provides specific authorities for GSA schedule contracts that supercede the FAR 16.5’s specific provisions for task order or indefinite delivery contract types
Subpart 8.4—Federal Supply Schedules
As used in this subpart—
“Ordering activity” means an activity that is authorized to place orders, or establish blanket purchase agreements (BPA), against the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule contracts.
“Multiple Award Schedule (MAS)” means contracts awarded by GSA or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for similar or comparable supplies, or services, established with more than one supplier, at varying prices. The primary statutory authorities for the MAS program are Title III of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 251, et seq.) and Title 40 U.S.C. 501, Services for Executive Agencies.
“Requiring agency” means the agency needing the supplies or services.
“Schedules e-Library” means the on-line source for GSA and VA Federal Supply Schedule contract award information. Schedules e-Library may be accessed at http://www.gsa.gov/elibrary.
“Special Item Number (SIN)” means a group of generically similar (but not identical) supplies or services that are intended to serve the same general purpose or function.
8.404 Use of Federal Supply Schedules.
(a) General. Parts 13 (except 13.303-2(c)(3)), 14, 15, and 19 (except for the requirement at 19.202-1(e)(1)(iii)) do not apply to BPAs or orders placed against Federal Supply Schedules contracts (but see 8.405-5). BPAs and orders placed against a MAS, using the procedures in this subpart, are considered to be issued using full and open competition (see 6.102(d)(3)). Therefore, when establishing a BPA (as authorized by 13.303-2(c)(3)), or placing orders under Federal Supply Schedule contracts using the procedures of 8.405, ordering activities shall not seek competition outside of the Federal Supply Schedules or synopsize the requirement; but see paragraph (e) for orders (including orders issued under BPAs) funded in whole or in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-5).
(b) The contracting officer, when placing an order or establishing a BPA, is responsible for applying the regulatory and statutory requirements applicable to the agency for which the order is placed or the BPA is established. The requiring agency shall provide the information on the applicable regulatory and statutory requirements to the contracting officer responsible for placing the order.
(c) Acquisition planning. Orders placed under a Federal Supply Schedule contract—
(1) Are not exempt from the development of acquisition plans (see Subpart 7.1), and an information technology acquisition strategy (see Part 39);
(2) Must comply with all FAR requirements for a bundled contract when the order meets the definition of “bundled contract” (see 2.101(b)); and
(3) Must, whether placed by the requiring agency, or on behalf of the requiring agency, be consistent with the requiring agency’s statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to the acquisition of the supply or service.
(d) Pricing. Supplies offered on the schedule are listed at fixed prices. Services offered on the schedule are priced either at hourly rates, or at a fixed price for performance of a specific task (e.g., installation, maintenance, and repair). GSA has already determined the prices of supplies and fixed-price services, and rates for services offered at hourly rates, under schedule contracts to be fair and reasonable. Therefore, ordering activities are not required to make a separate determination of fair and reasonable pricing, except for a price evaluation as required by 8.405-2(d). By placing an order against a schedule contract using the procedures in 8.405, the ordering activity has concluded that the order represents the best value (as defined in FAR 2.101) and results in the lowest overall cost alternative (considering price, special features, administrative costs, etc.) to meet the Government’s needs. Although GSA has already negotiated fair and reasonable pricing, ordering activities may seek additional discounts before placing an order (see 8.405-4).
(e) Publicizing contract actions funded in whole or in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-5):
(1) Notices of proposed MAS orders (including orders issued under BPAs) that are for “informational purposes only” exceeding $25,000 shall follow the procedures in 5.704 for posting orders.
(2) Award notices for MAS orders (including orders issued under BPAs) shall follow the procedures in 5.705.
8.405-3 Blanket purchase agreements (BPAs).
(a)(1) Establishment. Ordering activities may establish BPAs under any schedule contract to fill repetitive needs for supplies or services. BPAs may be established with one or more schedule contractors. The number of BPAs to be established is within the discretion of the ordering activity establishing the BPAs and should be based on a strategy that is expected to maximize the effectiveness of the BPA(s). In determining how many BPAs to establish, consider—
(i) The scope and complexity of the requirement(s);
(ii) The need to periodically compare multiple technical approaches or prices;
(iii) The administrative costs of BPAs; and
(iv) The technical qualifications of the schedule contractor(s).
(2) Establishment of a single BPA, or multiple BPAs, shall be made using the same procedures outlined in 8.405-1 or 8.405-2. BPAs shall address the frequency of ordering, invoicing, discounts, requirements (e.g. estimated quantities, work to be performed), delivery locations, and time.
(3) When establishing multiple BPAs, the ordering activity shall specify the procedures for placing orders under the BPAs.
(4) Establishment of a multi-agency BPA against a Federal Supply Schedule contract is permitted if the multi-agency BPA identifies the participating agencies and their estimated requirements at the time the BPA is established.
(b) Ordering from BPAs—
(1) Single BPA. If the ordering activity establishes one BPA, authorized users may place the order directly under the established BPA when the need for the supply or service arises.
(2) Multiple BPAs. If the ordering activity establishes multiple BPAs, before placing an order exceeding the micro-purchase threshold, the ordering activity shall—
(i) Forward the requirement, or statement of work and the evaluation criteria, to an appropriate number of BPA holders, as established in the BPA ordering procedures; and
(ii) Evaluate the responses received, make a best value determination (see 8.404(d)), and place the order with the BPA holder that represents the best value.
(3) BPAs for hourly rate services. If the BPA is for hourly rate services, the ordering activity shall develop a statement of work for requirements covered by the BPA. All orders under the BPA shall specify a price for the performance of the tasks identified in the statement of work.
(c) Duration of BPAs. BPAs generally should not exceed five years in length, but may do so to meet program requirements. Contractors may be awarded BPAs that extend beyond the current term of their GSA Schedule contract, so long as there are option periods in their GSA Schedule contract that, if exercised, will cover the BPA’s period of performance.
(d) Review of BPAs.
(1) The ordering activity that established the BPA shall review it at least once a year to determine whether—
(i) The schedule contract, upon which the BPA was established, is still in effect;
(ii) The BPA still represents the best value (see 8.404(d)); and
(iii) Estimated quantities/amounts have been exceeded and additional price reductions can be obtained.
(2) The ordering activity shall document the results of its review.