What is a multiple award Schedule contract?
A multiple award Schedule (MAS) contract is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity acquisition vehicle awarded to all responsible companies that submit a proposal. It is a primary vehicle for Federal agencies to acquire commercial items, and the only vehicle by which VA ordering activities are allowed to purchase medical equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals.
Leveraging the Government’s volume buying power, MAS contracts are awarded to vendors that offer fair and reasonable prices and established commercial terms and conditions. This allows eligible ordering activities to place orders directly with Schedule contractors for delivery worldwide.
How do VA Schedule contracts differ from those managed by GSA?
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Acquisition Center (NAC) Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Service supports the healthcare requirements of the VA and other federal Government agencies. In 1981, the VA launched the VA managed FSS program under delegated authority by GSA for multiple award contracts for medical equipment, supplies, pharmaceuticals, and services. Today, the VA manages 9 Schedule programs:
|65 I B||Drugs, Pharmaceuticals, & Hematology Related Products|
|65 II A||Medical Equipment & Supplies|
|65 II C||Dental Equipment & Supplies|
|65 II F||Patient Mobility Devices|
|65 VA||X-Ray Equipment & Supplies|
|65 VII||Invitro Diagnostics, Reagents, Test Kits, & Test Sets|
|66 III||Cost-Per-Test, Clinical Laboratory Analyzer|
|621 I||Professional & Allied Healthcare Staffing Services|
|621 II||Medical Laboratory Testing & Analysis Services|
I already do business with the Government, why should my firm pursue a VA Schedule contract?
With annual sales to VA and OGA customers totaling nearly $12 billion, the VA FSS program manages nine Schedule programs and over 1,800 contracts. The goal of the Schedules program is to simplify the federal acquisition process by mirroring the commercial market. Pricing is based on a commercial “most-favored-customer” pricing concept, and awards commercially available terms and conditions.
Helping federal acquisition professionals realize advanced cost savings, flexibility, choice, and reduced lead times, the Schedules program allows contractors to enjoy the convenience of selling to the Government through a streamlined acquisition vehicle offering enhanced business growth opportunities.
Is a Schedule contract right for me?
VA Schedule solicitations are open and continuous, allowing your firm to submit a proposal at any time. It is important that your firm take the time to consider if a Schedule contract is right for you, and if you have the resources and capabilities to effectively pursue a Schedule contract and market & manage your contract after award.
Your firm should take into consideration whether or not
- Your offered products/services fit under a VA Schedule solicitation
- You can compete under current Schedule market conditions
- Your firm has the time and resources needed to dedicate towards submitting a solicitation proposal, administering a Schedule contract, and marketing your awarded products/services after award
- Your offered products are manufactured in a designated country
- You can offer the best value to the Government, including pricing, terms, and conditions
Paul Skalman Consulting, Inc. knows and understands the requirements of seeking and managing a Schedule contract. We will work with you to answer these hard hitting questions. Using available data, market information, and resources we will help you decide if a Schedule contract is right for you.
Who can purchase from FSS contracts?
The VA is the primary user of the VA Schedules program; however, other Government agencies are also eligible to use the Schedules program, including:
- All federal agencies and activities in the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
- Government contractors authorized in writing by a federal agency pursuant to 48 CFR 51.1.
- Mixed ownership government corporations (as defined in the Government Corporation Control Act of 1945, as amended). There are 18 of these quasi-government organizations, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Amtrak. These organizations typically have fewer regulatory guidelines for purchasing than the federal government, and are authorized by statute to use the Schedules Program.
- The government of the District of Columbia.
- Other activities and organizations authorized by statute or regulation to use GSA as a source of supply.
PSC will help identify relevant markets for your offered products/services, and aid in market penetration after contract award.
Do I have to make a minimum amount of sales under my awarded Schedule contract?
Yes, the Government requires that all contractors sell at least $25,000 in the first two years of their contract, and $25,000 each year thereafter. Contracts that do not meet these thresholds run the risk of not being extended, or even cancelled.
PSC can help your firm work with your assigned contract specialist to ensure continued service, even if you do not meet the minimum sales criteria.
I’ve decided that a VA Schedule contract is right for my business, how long will it take to get a contract?
Contract review and award usually takes 180 calendar days from the date of submission to contract award; however, this will vary depending on the completeness and complexity of your proposal.
PSC will work with you and your assigned contract specialist to ensure that your proposal is completed in a timely manner, including managing expectations and working through any pre-award review processes that may be required due to the scope of your proposal.
I have a contract, but need to change some of my awarded pricing, terms, and/or conditions. Can I do this? How long will this process take?
Yes, your firm can submit a request for modification to add/delete products, increase/decrease pricing, and incorporate changes to other awarded terms & conditions.
Contract modifications are generally completed within 60 calendar days after receipt of the request. As with contract proposals, PSC has the tools and resources to help your firm work through the process of modifying your contract, and ensuring that changes are made in a timely manner.
How long are VA Schedule contracts effective?
Except for contracts awarded under the Schedule 65 I B, Drugs, Pharmaceuticals, and Hematology Related Products, VA Schedule contracts are awarded for a five (5) year period of performance, with an additional Government option to extend for up to an additional five (5) year period.
GSA Schedule contracts are awarded for up to twenty (20) years.
PSC can help you ensure that your contract meets all annual compliance & reporting requirements to make contract extension a smooth process.
I want to conduct some market research, can I get information on my competitors FSS sales?
Yes, PSC can access your competitor’s sales data and help you conduct a thorough market analysis to determine your competitiveness.
Is there someone who can help me market my contract to Government customers?
PSC has all of the tools and resources needed to effectively market your Schedule contract to VA and other Government customers. We can help you identify key regions of success and provide points of market penetration.
My firm is interested in acquisition vehicles other than a Schedule contract, how do I go about that?
PSC can assist you with getting involved in other acquisition vehicles, including bid opportunities, GWAC, blanket purchase agreements, and contractor team arrangements.