What is a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)?
Government agencies often need to place recurring orders with GSA Schedule holders, within such segments for instance, as office supplies, software or janitorial services. Searching for contractors and preparing requests for quotes for each new order requires a lot of time and money, which could be put to better use elsewhere. It can also be hard for agencies to predict the exact date and volume of their next order. To fulfill anticipated orders and simplify the ordering process, Government BPAs were set up.
The Blanket Purchase Agreement specifies the product/service of the recurring order, unit price, invoicing requirements, delivery locations, and other details. Once a BPA has been established, it allows the government buyer to repeatedly order from a selected GSA MAS contractor, over a certain period of time and up to a certain budget. A government agency makes funding available through the BPA if and when they need to, and then the contractor provides the product or service required, until the buyer’s budget is used up.
BPAs established under the GSA MAS program are governed by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 8.405-3. You can read about details of the FAR Blanket Purchase Agreement here.
What is the difference between a BPA and a GSA contract?
The difference is that the BPA is an agreement and the GSA Schedule is a contract. A BPA doesn’t oblige government agencies to place orders or provide funds, but states that once an order has been placed, the contractor will deliver it as quickly as they can under the agreed pricing and T&Cs.
How can you find BPA requests?
Blanket Purchase Agreements are found on GSA EBuy and GSA Advantage!: GSA Advantage displays the current GSA contractors who have a BPA; EBuy shows active BPA requests that contractors can bid on. In order to do this, you must have a GSA Schedule which is relevant to the specific BPA government contract, demonstrate flawless past performance and financial stability, and have low but fair prices. According to BPA FAR 8.405-3, quotes of at least 3 GSA contractors must be selected for consideration.
What are the benefits of BPAs for GSA contractors?
Advantages of BPAs for your business include:
- Less paperwork: the BPA ordering procedure is much simpler. Once the agreement has been established, the contractor just processes orders as and when they come in. There’s no need for new paperwork and administrative hassles every time an order is received, saving you the time to focus on your business.
- Increased sales: the ease of placing orders through a BPA encourages government agencies to buy in bulk. Contractors will benefit from these increased sales and revenue!
How can I negotiate the best possible BPA?
If you are a GSA Schedule holder and are interested in bidding for BPAs, you have two options: either do it yourself, or hire a consultant experienced in government contracting and FAR BPA. Competition for BPAs is fierce, and it can be extremely useful to have guidance throughout the bidding process. Contact Price Reporter today to learn more.
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