The U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) is the official purchasing agent for the United States government. It spends tens of billions of dollars annually on procurements alone. Basically, it establishes long term government contracts with various commercial entities so that it is able to provide access to millions of commercial services and products at volume discount pricing.
This means that there is tremendous business scope for a duly approved supplier under the GSA Schedule. However, the commercial organization has to go through a detailed application process before it can become an authorized seller to the US government. As a general rule, the vetting process can easily take months before it is approved.
However, once a contract has been successfully negotiated, the business is assigned a specific GSA contract number and it is then placed on the list of duly approved suppliers. But this applies only to that particular schedule contract. This helps to avoid the long process of repeatedly bidding on individual government contracts.
The GSA Schedule
This is basically a formal agreement to sell products and/or services from your business organization to different government departments, as per the many terms outlined and administered by the U.S. General Service Administration. The GSA Schedule is also referred to as a GSA Contract. Once a GSA contract has been made, it will help to facilitate the order process. This is because government agencies will now use the information present in the GSA Schedule to order from your firm or company.
The GSA Schedule or contract contains important information, such as your contract number, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) clauses governing the contract, the duration of the contract, a succinct description of the goods or services that your organization offers, the maximum rates of your products or services as well as various other items that may be deemed necessary for the successful conclusion of the contract.
Multiple Award Schedule Contracts
The GSA website defines GSA schedules as “a government-wide, indefinite quantity indefinite delivery, (IQ/ID) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract/s.”
It is considered ‘government-wide’ due to the fact that once you have qualified, you will be able to apply the contract to work with many different federal agencies. Here, ‘indefinite quantity Indefinite delivery’ is taken to mean that the contract is open-ended. The average GSA contract lasts five years and can be renewed up to 20 years. Multiple Award Schedule denotes the fact that it is possible for multiple business entities to apply for the same contract.
Choosing the correct GSA schedule for your business is extremely important. This is why you need expert help and guidance that can assist you in determining and subsequently obtaining the proper schedule for your small business. If you have any questions and queries regarding your eligibility, you can contact us at