GSA & VA Schedule FAQs

What are GSA & VA Schedules?
GSA & VA Schedules are pre-negotiated contracts with the General Services Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs (GSA/VA). They are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts that are available for use by federal agencies worldwide. GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts, are also referred to as:
  • GSA Schedule
  • GSA Contract
  • GSA Schedule Contract
  • GSA Schedules Program
  • GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program
  • Federal Supply Schedule contracts
  • Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)
  • Federal Acquisition Service (FAS)
A potential contractor negotiates terms and conditions such as pricing, discounts, licensing, delivery, and types of products or services being offered with GSA. Since all the significant terms are pre-negotiated with the vendor, it makes it very easy for the government to order goods or services from that company. How much easier? Orders placed under Schedule contracts are issued on average in 15 days, compared to 268 days for other types of federal contracts.
What is the VA’s Schedule Program?
The VA National Acquisition Center (NAC) Federal Supply Schedule Service is responsible for establishing, soliciting, awarding, and administering the VA’s Federal Supply Schedule Program, which currently consists of 8 active schedules. Annual sales against these contracts exceed $2 billion. These schedules encompass such products as pharmaceuticals; medical equipment and supplies; dental supplies; x-ray equipment and supplies (including medical and dental x-ray film); patient mobility devices (including wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, etc.); antiseptic skin cleansers, detergents and soaps; in vitro diagnostics, reagents, test kits and sets; and clinical analyzers, laboratory cost-per-test. There are a total of over 1,200 contracts in place for the various commodity groups. All Federal Supply Schedule contracts are multiple award, indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity type, and are national in scope. These contracts are available for use by all Government agencies including but not limited to: VA medical centers, Department of Defense, Bureau of Prisons, Indian Health Services, Public Health Services, some State Veterans Homes, etc. Delegated to VA by the General Services Administration over 30 years ago, VA’s current schedules are:
  • 621 I Professional Medical Healthcare Services
  • 65 I B Pharmaceuticals and Drugs
  • 65 II A Medical Equipment and Supplies
  • 65 II C Dental Equipment and Supplies
  • 65 II F Patient Mobility Devices (including Wheelchairs, Scooters, Walkers)
  • 65 VA X-Ray Equipment Supplies (including Medical and Dental X-Ray Film)
  • 65 VII In Vitro Diagnostics, Reagents, Test Kits and Test Sets
  • 66 III Clinical Analyzers, Laboratory, Cost-Per-Test
Who can buy off of GSA & VA Schedules?
All federal agencies, certain charitable institutions, the District of Columbia, and in some cases state and local governments. In the last fiscal year, these entities bought billions of dollars off of GSA and VA Schedules. That is money your company could be getting. See Appendix A, B, and C for a full list of specific agencies, activities, and organizations for which eligibility determinations have been made.
What is the Federal Government buying off of GSA & VA Schedules?
A better question would be, what is the government not buying off of GSA & VA Schedules? The GSA & VA Schedules program covers virtually everything from shoes to services. Some of the bigger purchases by government buyers are in the IT systems and software areas, but management consultants and other professional services are in the billions of dollars of sales. It is highly unlikely that your company sells something that the federal government does not buy. For example, temporary services, furniture, security services, office equipment, management consulting, energy audit services, and much more. No matter what size your company is, or what you are selling, the federal market offers tremendous opportunities to grow your business.
What are the requirements to obtain GSA & VA Schedules?
Your company needs to be registered in the System for Acquisition Management (SAM).  If you are providing services, many schedules require that your company be in business for at least two years. If you are not already in the federal market, you should have a plan for entry. We can help you with that through competitive analysis, strategic positioning, and marketing messages.
What are the most common errors you see?
We see consultants tell companies that they have to give GSA their lowest prices. That is wrong. You don’t have to agree to give GSA your lowest price; you just have to disclose your most favored customer price. Because you will often be called upon to grant additional discounts when competing for MAS orders, it is not in your best interest to extend most favored customer pricing at the MAS contract level. Did your consultant tell you that you will probably have to give further discounts on competitive bids against other companies? Also, too many companies negotiate contracts that cause major compliance headaches and problems because they unwittingly tie their Schedule pricing to broad or undesirable “basis of award” or “tracking customer” categories. We like to say that almost anyone can eventually get a company on schedule, but the important question is whether the resulting contract is one that will be profitable and manageable for the next 20 years.  Many consultants who ignore this harsh reality are only concerned with getting a contract awarded. Centre Law and Consulting’s attorneys and consultants anticipate the problems and negotiate a contract that you can use profitably and succeed with.
Why should I choose Centre Law and Consulting as my GSA & VA Schedule consulting company?
First and foremost, Centre Law and Consulting will be there if you have audit questions later on. Your independent consultant may not. Indeed we are frequently called upon to fix contracts that others have originally negotiated. Second, we have more than 20 years of legal and consulting experience. We know the rules. Our people testify before Congressional panels. We speak at the conferences. We develop and teach highly acclaimed courses. No one has more expertise in GSA and VA Schedules than the Centre Law and Consulting team.  We have successfully negotiated many GSA and VA Schedules. We know the people, their organizations, and their priorities. They have a job to do on behalf of the taxpayer, and we treat them professionally and respectfully while at the same time ensuring that they do not take advantage of their position to establish undesirable contract terms and conditions. Let us give you the advice you can really rely upon every time.
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