The GSA, or General Services Administration, was establishing in 1949 for the purpose of managing government owned real estate, among many other jobs. It is best known known today for having developed the GSA Multiple Award Schedule Contracts. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a GSA Multiple Award Schedule Contract?
These are long term contracts administered by the award schedule program of the GSA. They’re designed to help federal employees as they obtain services or goods on behalf of the government. They do this by laying out many of the terms that would otherwise be hashed out every time goods and services are bought. This includes terms like warranties, delivery arrangements, and prices.
Some of the entities that make use of GSA contracts include fire and emergency services, defense contractors, and those involved in operational solutions.
Do You Have to Have a GSA Multiple Award Schedule Contract to Sell to the US Government?
There is no requirement that federal employees do business only with those who have a government contract. In practical terms, however, many agencies prefer to business with those who have a GSA multiple award schedule contract. Anyone who is interested in doing regular business with the government would be well advised to get a contact.
Are All Companies Eligible For These Contracts?
There are some eligibility requirements, including that a company be able to demonstrate financial stability, have been in business for at least two years, have products that are immediately commercially available, and have products that comply with the Trade Agreements Act.
How Does a Company Get on The Schedule?
Assuming eligibility, there are three basic steps to getting a GSA multiple award schedule contract.
- Obtain the necessary registrations This means finding the right registration online, figuring out which of the more than 100 subcategories your registration should apply under, identifying the correct schedule, and then downloading all the necessary paperwork.
- Fill out all paperwork A company that wants to be on the schedule will need to fill out a report about their past performance, gather all the required documents, and then write and submit a proposal for a contract award.
- Go through revisions and negotiations The GSA will review all submissions and will ask for any needed clarifications. Then the contract is negotiated, and if things change a company may be asked to revise their proposal. When this step is finished, the proposal will either be accept and the contract awarded, or it will be ultimately rejected.
How Long Does the Process Take?
This depends upon how long it takes to gather the paperwork and prepare a proposal. Once proposals are submitted, it normally takes somewhere between three and four months for the GSA to make a decisions. Some companies use a lawyer or other professional to help them design a proposal, which can both speed up the process and increase the likelihood of it being accepted.
What Is Sold Through GSA Multiple Award Contracts?
There are today about 11 million different products and services available through the schedule, and in 2017 buyers on behalf of the government spent well over $1 billion buying off the schedule. Nearly every type of good or service that is available in the modern world is currently being offered on the GSA schedule. There are orders for everything from firearm optics to firefighting equipment, vehicles to concrete.
Getting a contract on the federal schedule can be a great way to ensure regular, lucrative orders of your goods or services. Getting on the schedule can be tricky, however, so it’s best to get professional help to make sure your application goes smoothly.