Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Federal Supply Schedules
Under the GSA Schedules program, GSA establishes long-term government-wide contracts with commercial firms to provide access to millions of commercial supplies, products, and services at volume discount pricing. The GSA Schedules Program serves as the catalyst for billions of dollars in federal spending, helping meet procurement needs for eligible users, including all branches of federal, state, and local governments.
The Department of Defense is the largest user of the GSA Schedules Program (as well as other smaller and less well-known Federal Supply Schedules). It has noted however, that the use of these schedules allow, but do not necessarily require, that ordering activities may consider socio-economic status when identifying contractors for consideration or competition for an award of an order.
As part of DoD's effort to promote the use of small businesses, the Department "strongly encouraged" its contracting officers in an August 19, 2011 memorandum, to have at least two or more small businesses in the competitive mix when soliciting from Federal Supply Schedules.
Small businesses that have a GSA Schedules contract (or any multiple award schedule program contract) should ensure that their size/socio-economic classifications are accurately stated in order to improve the chances for awards.