Frequently asked questions
What is a BPA?
A Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is a vehicle or acquisition strategy that an ordering activity can use to simplify the acquisition of recurring needs for Schedule services or supplies. The benefits of using BPAs include leveraging buying power, saving administrative time, and reducing overall procurement transactions. BPAs simplify the ordering process and should be used for negotiating better pricing for large, recurring requirements. BPAs specify the frequency of orders, invoices, discounts, requirements (e.g., estimated quantities, work to be performed), delivery locations, time, and procedures for placing orders under the BPA, which are prescribed at FAR 8.405-3(c).
Both “traditional” BPAs and MAS (or “Schedule”) BPAs can be used to fill anticipated repetitive needs for supplies and services. While traditional BPAs are subject to the requirements of FAR Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures, FAR Part 13 does not apply to GSA Schedule BPAs. Schedule BPAs under the GSA Schedule program are established using ordering procedures outlined in FAR 8.405-3.
As a purchasing option, Schedule BPAs eliminate such contracting and open-market costs as the search for sources, the need to prepare solicitations, and the requirement to synopsize the acquisition. BPAs also:
· Provide an opportunity to negotiate improved discounts
· Satisfy recurring requirements
· Reduce administrative efforts by eliminating repetitive, individual orders and payments
· Let customers obtain better value by leveraging buying power through volume purchasing
· Enable an ordering activity to use streamlined ordering procedures
· Permit an ordering activity to incorporate Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs)
· Allow for quicker turnarounds on orders
· Permit an ordering activity to incorporate terms and conditions not in conflict with the underlying contract
· Provide “on/off ramps” for contractors when using multiple-award BPAs
What is a CTA?
A GSA Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) is an arrangement in which two or more GSA Schedule contractors team together to provide a total solution to meet a customer's needs. Under Schedule CTAs, contractors complement each other and it allows teams to compete for orders for which they may not qualify independently. GSA encourages the use of CTAs to meet buyer’s requirements.
NOTE: FAR 9.6, Contractor Team Arrangements, does not apply to GSA Schedules teaming. Under GSA Schedules, Teaming allows contractors to use their individual GSA Schedules to develop a solution for the government.
The Schedules CTA does not create a separate legal entity, but allows Schedule contractors to meet buyer’s requirements by combining the supplies and/or services from each team member’s separate Schedule contract in response to a buyer’s Request for Quote.
Additional benefits are posted here:
Why are there multiple BPA numbers on the quote I received?
Team DH Tech is a CTA with more than 20 members. DH Tech is the CTA Lead and has the authority as the CTA Lead to bid IT products on DH Tech’s 2GIT BPA Catalog, as well as IT products available on Team DH Tech CTA Members’ 2GIT BPA contracts. Only the CTA Lead has the authority to bid IT products on Team DH Tech CTA Members’ 2GIT BPA contracts.
Therefore, it is possible for a CTA Lead to have a quote that includes their own BPA number at the top of the quote, while quoted line items will reference the applicable 2GIT BPA contract number from the CTA Members.
Why am I receiving so many No-Bids?
The 2GIT BPA has a total of 9 CTA teams. Each CTA has a CTA Lead and CTA Members. Since the GSA CTA (definition above) allows privity of contract to the CTA Lead and its members, each CTA Lead and Member has a unique BPA contract number and access to all 2GIT RFQs posted in eBuy. The full list of 2GIT BPA awardees is available here but does not delineate between CTA Lead or CTA Member: https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/2GIT%20CTA%20Awardees%20May%202021%20-%20Sheet1.pdf
Per the contract, CTA Leads and Members are required to provide a timely bid/no-bid response before the RFQ closes. Therefore, while there are only 9 CTA teams, there are a total of 79 2GIT BPA holders that are required to provide a bid/no-bid response to each 2GIT RFQ posted. Furthermore, not all 2GIT members are authorized to sell all OEM supplies, so it is possible to receive less than 3 quotes in response to an RFQ.
What if I don’t receive three (3) responses to my RFQ?
Posting the RFQ on eBuy is automatically considered to be adequate justification that “reasonable efforts” were made to identify contractors who can fulfill the requirement in the event that fewer than three quotes are received. Reference: FAR 8.405-1(d)(3)(i) and 8.405-2(c)(iii)(A).
Therefore, an award can be made even when less than three (3) responses are received to an RFQ.
What is Order Level Materials (OLM)?
OLMs are supplies and/or services acquired in direct support of an individual task or delivery order placed against a Schedule contract or BPA. OLM pricing is not established at the Schedule contract or BPA level, but at the order level. Since OLMs are identified and acquired at the order level, the ordering contracting officer (OCO) is responsible for making a fair and reasonable price determination for all OLMs.
OLMs are procured under a special ordering procedure that simplifies the process for acquiring supplies and services necessary to support individual task or delivery orders placed against a Schedule contract or BPA. Using this new procedure, ancillary supplies and services not known at the time of the Schedule award may be included and priced at the order level.
All OLM products must be TAA-compliant. Additional benefits are posted here:
Can I purchase Open Market items on 2GIT?
Open Market Items are occasionally required to complete the full scope of an agency’s need. As a contractor, we are able to provide those items, even if they are not approved under our GSA contract/BPA.
For example, an agency purchases a computer using a GSA contract/BPA; however, they also need a power strip for their new computer. The contractor has power strips in stock, but they are not available on the GSA contract. The power strip can still be combined on the same order, but is considered an open market item. In accordance with FAR 8.402(f), for administrative convenience, an ordering activity Contracting Officer may add items not on the GSA Schedule contract – e.g., open market items – to a GSA Schedule BPA or an individual task or delivery order. However, the following limitations and guidelines apply:
· The customer agency is required to follow all applicable acquisition regulations for items not on the Schedule contract (e.g., publicizing (FAR Part 5), competition requirements (FAR Part 6), acquisition of commercial items (FAR Part 12), contracting methods (FAR Parts 13, 14, and 15), and small business programs (FAR Part 19).
· The ordering activity Contracting Officer has determined the prices for the open market items are fair and reasonable.
· The items must be clearly labeled on the quote, order and invoice as open market items.
· All clauses applicable to open market items should be included in the order.
It is important to recognize that GSA has only negotiated prices or determined prices to be fair and reasonable for those supplies and services that are awarded to Schedule contracts. Therefore, the ordering activity must comply with the requirements for full and open competition, by following all applicable acquisition regulations and determining price reasonableness for open market items.
The terms and conditions of the Schedule contract do not apply to Open Market Items, and all contract clauses applicable to such items must be included in the order. Be mindful of following FAR 8.402(f) for any Open Market Items.
Additional benefits are posted here:
Can an item be quoted OLM even if they are available on other company’s 2GIT BPAs?
Since it is not possible for all 2GIT holders to sell the same or all IT products on their Schedule/2GIT BPA, it is highly likely to receive a quote from a vendor for an item listed as OLM while another vendor has them on contract so they are listed under one of the following 2GIT BPA SINs:
· 33411 Purchase of New Electronic Equipment
· 811212 Maintenance of Equipment, Repair Services and/or Repair/Spare Parts
· 511210 Software Licenses
· 54151 Software Maintenance Services
For this reason, GSA has made the OLM SIN available, furthering the ability of the 2GIT BPA vendors to offer IT solutions and services to its customers without the timely burden of waiting for the IT solution to be added at the contract level. Since the 2GIT BPA only allows for IT Products to be on contract, all ancillary services are covered under the OLM SIN.