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VA Federal Supply Schedule Service

Customers

  1. Can I purchase custom packs from a VA Schedule contract?

  2. How long is a VA FSS contract effective?

  3. Is it easier to purchase supplies/services off of VA FSS contracts rather than making an open market purchase?

  4. Where can I find information on the ordering procedures for ordering against a Schedule contract?

  5. What documentation is required for placing an order against a Schedule contract?

  6. Can I use GSA Advantage! to order VA FSS contract supplies and services electronically?

  7. Why should I use GSA Advantage! to place my Schedule order?

  8. What is GSA eBuy?

  9. Can I include non-Schedule contract items on an order placed against a Schedule contract?

  10. Can I use a Government purchase card to pay for Schedule orders?

  11. Is the IFF paid in addition to the price listed by the Schedule contractor?


1.  Can I purchase custom packs from a VA Schedule contract?

No, as of October 1, 2013, custom packs are no longer available for purchase under the 65 II A Medical Equipment & Supplies Schedule program.  If your facility requires custom packs, you can acquire them through normal procurement mechanisms without requesting a waiver from FSS.  You must adhere to your office’s ordering guidelines as well as the Priorities of use of Government supply sources identified in VAAR 808.002 — you may purchase custom packs from the open market only after following this procurement hierarchy.  When purchasing custom packs on the open market you are not required to submit an open market waiver request.

You may want to consider working with the Strategic Acquisition Center as your requirement may fit under its mandate for strategic sourcing.

All BPAs for custom packs placed against a Schedule contract will expire on September 30, 2013, and cannot be renewed.  Contractors will be required to fulfill all task/delivery orders placed against the BPA prior to the expiration date.  New BPAs for custom packs established after the suspense date must comply with all policies and regulations for open market purchases.

Questions or concerns?  We’re here to help!  Contact us at (708) 786-7737 or fss.help@va.govNAC management is also available to answer your questions.

2.  How long is a VA FSS contract effective?

VA Schedule contracts are awarded for a 5 year base period of performance.  With the exception of contracts awarded under Schedule 65 I B, the option clause may be exercised to add 1 or more option year periods, with the total extension of performance limited to 5 years. The total period of performance shall not exceed 10 years.

3.  Is it easier to purchase supplies/services off of VA FSS contracts rather than making an open market purchase?

Purchasing from VA FSS contracts offers the following advantages over procuring on the open market:

  • A warranted and specially trained contracting officer has determined the prices under Schedule contracts to be fair and reasonable.  
  • Schedule buyers are not required to synopsize solicitations on FedBizOpps unless the requirement is funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.  
  • Schedule contracts have been awarded in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.  
  • Administrative lead times are significantly reduced. 
  • Quick access to a wide selection of state–of–the–art– selection of commercial supplies & services is right at your fingertips. 

4.  Where can I find information on the ordering procedures for ordering against a Schedule contract?

The procedures for orders not requiring a statement of work (FAR 8.405-1) differ from the those that require a statement of work (FAR 8.405-2). The intent of these procedures is to simplify and shorten the acquisition process for simple products & services.

Check out our in-depth review of both the procedures for orders requiring a statement of work and orders that do not require a statement of work.

When ordering against a Schedule contract, it is important to remember that: 

  • Each Schedule contract has a maximum order threshold, which will vary by special item number (SIN).   The maximum order threshold represents the point where, given the dollar value of the potential order, the ordering activity shall seek a price reduction.  You can find the maximum order threshold for a specific Schedule via our Schedules page.
  • Department of Defense (DoD) offices and non-DoD activities placing orders or establishing Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) for supplies and services on behalf of DoD must comply with the additional requirements outlined in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 208.405-70.

5.  What documentation is required for placing an order against a Schedule contract?

The documentation requirements for placing orders against VA FSS contracts are outlined in FAR 8.405–1(e) and 8.405–2(e).  Your Schedule order file, at a minimum should contain the following: 

For supplies, and services not requiring a statement of work:
The Schedule contracts considered, identifying the contractor to which the buy was awarded.
A full description of the supply/service purchased.
The total amount paid.
If applicable, the circumstances and rationale for limiting consideration of Schedule contractors to fewer than required by FAR 8.405–6.
For services that require a statement of work:
The Schedule contracts considered, identifying the contractor to which th buy was awarded.
A full description of the service purchased.
The total amount paid.
If applicable, the circumstances and rationale for limiting consideration of Schedule contractors to fewer than required by FAR 8.405–6
A description of the evaluation methodology used in selecting the contractor to receive the order.
The rationale for any tradeoffs considered when making the selection.
A fair & reasonable pricing determination as required by FAR 8.405–2(d).
If applicable, the rationale for awarding the acquisition as other than firm–fixed price or performance-based.
When placing an order against a Schedule contract that exceeds $100,000 and is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), you must follow the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS).  The DFARS has been amended to implement Section 803 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (Public Law 107-107) for the acquisition of services, and to establish similar policy for the acquisition of supplies.  DoD offices and non–DoD activities placing orders on behalf of DoD, including orders under Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), should refer to DFARS 208.405–70 for additional information regarding ordering procedures and documentation requirements.

6.  Can I use GSA Advantage! to order VA FSS contract supplies and services electronically?

Yes, in fact, you are encouraged to use GSA Advantage! to purchase simple products and services from the Schedules program.

7.  Why should I use GSA Advantage! to place my Schedule order?

There are a few reasons you should use GSA Advantage! to place your Schedule order:

  • With over 12 million supplies and services currently available, electronic ordering through GSA Advantage! allows a customer to send an order directly to the Schedule contractor, creating a direct customer-contractor relationship.
  • For services that require a statement of work (SOW), eBuy, a component of GSA Advantage!, provides a convenient way to publicize and disseminate the SOW and solicit quotations among VA and GSA contractors.
  • Additionally, you can generate a GSA Advantage! order directly through GSA eBuy — orders generated using eBuy will be recorded in your Advantage! order history allowing you to track the status of it.

8.  What is GSA eBuy?

GSA eBuy:

  • ...is an online request for quotation (RFQ) tool designed to facilitate the request for submission of quotations for a wide range of commercial supplies and services offered by the VA and GSA schedule contractors who are on GSA Advantage!.
  • ...provides Schedule contractors with greater opportunities to offer quotations and increase business volume for supplies and services provided under their schedule contracts.
  • ...streamlines the buying process with point-and-click functionality by allowing RFQs and responses to be exchanged electronically between agencies and VA Schedule contractors.
GSA eBuy's innovative & technological approach to federal acquisitions provides both agencies and contractors with a tool that will result in savings of both time and money.

9.  Can I include non-Schedule contract items on an order placed against a Schedule contract?

Yes, under certain circumstances you can include non-contract items on a Schedule order.  In accordance with FAR 8.402(f) ordering agencies may add items not on a VA contract - i.e., open market items - to an individual task/delivery order or blanket purchase agreement as long as the contracting officer:

  • Ensures that all applicable acquisition regulations pertaining to the purchase of the open market items have been followed (i.e. FAR Parts 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 15, & 19).
  • Includes all other relevant clauses in the acquisition.
  • Makes a fair & reasonable price determination for all open market items.
  • Clearly identifies the open market items on the purchase order.

10.  Can I use a Government purchase card to pay for Schedule orders?

Yes, in fact a Government credit card is the preferred method of payment.

All VA FSS contractors are required to accept the Government's credit card for orders equal to or below $3,000; however, some VA FSS contractors have been granted a credit card waiver. You can research a company's credit card acceptance via the NAC Contract Catalog Search Tool.

11.  Is the IFF paid in addition to the price listed by the Schedule contractor?

No, the IFF is already included in the net VA FSS price of an item/service.

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