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VA Federal Supply Schedule Service

General FAQs

  1. What is the VA Federal Supply Schedule Program?

  2. What are the defining characteristics & benefits of the VA Schedule program?

  3. What is a Multiple Award Schedule contract, and why should I get one?

  4. What is the relationship between the General Services Administration and the VA Federal Supply Schedule Service?

  5. What agencies are eligible to purchase against FSS contracts?

  6. What FSS programs does the VA administer?

  7. How can distributors that have been added to a manufacturer’ FSS contract by modification respond to RFQs posted on GSA eBuy?

  8. Will the NAC Contract Catalog Search Tool and GSA Advantage! be combined?

  9. Is there a link to a list of all VA FSS contracting officers and the geographic areas that they cover?

  10. We were awarded a VA Schedule contract but have not yet received any task/delivery orders from ordering agencies.  How do we maximized our contract to access these opportunities?

  11. If my company is purchased in whole or by another company that also maintains a VA Schedule contract is my contract still valid? Or will the responsibility of my contracted items fall to the new owner?

  12. What forms should we use to process a name change and/or novation?

  13. We have non-disclosure agreements in place for our commercial customers and may not be able to provide these commercial agreements with our proposal. How will this be handled by my assigned contract specialist?

  14. What types of items are considered to be "high tech medical equipment" (HTME)? How are contracts that currently offer HTME products handled?

  15. Where in the solicitation does it state that similar pricing will be used as a price analysis?

  16. What is considered a "timely fashion" when it comes to responding to a contract specialist's request for additional information?

  17. What happens if I submit a proposal and my firm is classified as a small business but during the evaluation period my size status changes?

  18. Can we charge extra shipping and handling for shipping to Alaska, Hawaii AND Puerto Rico?


1.  What is the VA Federal Supply Schedule Program?

Delegated authority by the General Services Administration the VA Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Service supports the health care acquisition needs of the VA and other Government agencies.  Our program manages 9 multiple award Schedules for medical equipment, supply, pharmaceutical, and service contracts (FSC 65, 66, and 621).  Managing over 1,800 contracts and earning nearly $11 billion in annual sales, the VA FSS Service provides federal customers with access to over 1 million state-of-the-art commercial medical and health care related products & services.

Our Vision:  To be the foremost source for quality healthcare products and services.

Our Mission:  To provide world class healthcare products and services through performance excellence that is demonstrated by contractual competence, timeliness, innovations, and results-driven solutions while assuring accountability to our Federal customers and taxpayers.

2.  What are the defining characteristics & benefits of the VA Schedule program?

VA Schedule program offers numerous benefits to our contractors and customers: 

  • VA FSS contractors represent a unique cross section of small and large businesses in the healthcare acquisition industry. 
  • All offerors are evaluated based on their past performance, financial stability, and overall stability. 
  • All awarded contracts represent the best value to the Government, considering pricing, terms and conditions. 
  • As a streamlined acquisition vehicle, the FSS program effects shorter lead times, affords lower administrative costs, and promotes reduced inventories. 
  • With limited competition and expanded access to the Government market, FSS contractors can experience enhanced business growth opportunities. 
  • Ordering from a VA Schedule simplifies the acquisition process &emdash; effecting shorter lead times, affording lower administrative costs, and promoting reduced inventories. 

3.  What is a Multiple Award Schedule contract, and why should I get one?

A Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) acquisition vehicle that is available for use by federal agencies worldwide.  Under the MAS program, GSA & VA enter into Government–wide contracts with responsible commercial firms to provide over 11 million simple and complex supplies & services.  All pricing, terms & conditions are determined to be fair and reasonable by a specially trained and warranted contracting officer. 

Interagency agreements are not required and the Economy Act does not apply when an agency places an order against a MAS contract.

4.  What is the relationship between the General Services Administration and the VA Federal Supply Schedule Service?

The General Services Administration (GSA) has overall responsibility for the management and policy development of the Federal Government’s Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) programs for supplies and services through the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949.  This act established GSA’s FSS as a central organization to provide an economic and efficient system for the procurement, supply, and disposal of surplus property, and performance of related functions. 

GSA has delegated the responsibility of managing FSS programs related to medical products and services to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Through this delegation, the VA National Acquisition Center (NAC) manages the FSS programs for all medical related products under FSC classes 65 and 66.  In 2001, the VA Schedules program was expanded to include services under FSS programs 621 I (Professional and Allied Healthcare Staffing Services), and 621 II (Reference Laboratory Services) was added shortly thereafter.

5.  What agencies are eligible to purchase against FSS contracts?

GSA Order ADM 4800.2F, Eligibility to Use GSA Sources of Supply and Services, provides detailed information regarding those agencies, activities, and organizations that are eligible to use Schedule contracts.

6.  What FSS programs does the VA administer?

The VA FSS Service manages nine (9) multiple award schedule programs:

VA Schedule Programs
65 I B Drugs, Pharmaceuticals, & Hematology Related Products SINs
65 II A Medical Equipment & Supplies SINs
65 II C Dental Equipment & Supplies SINs
65 II F Patient Mobility Devices SINs
65 V A X-Ray Equipment & Supplies SINs
65 VII Invitro Diagnostics, Reagents, Test Kits, & Test Sets SINs
66 III Cost-Per-Test, Clinical Laboratory Analyzers SINs
621 I Professional & Allied Healthcare Staffing Services SINs
621 II Medical Laboratory Testing & Analysis Services SINs

7.  How can distributors that have been added to a manufacturer’ FSS contract by modification respond to RFQs posted on GSA eBuy?

Only VA Schedule contractors are eligible to respond to RFQs posted on GSA eBuy.  Authorized distributors should work with the manufacturer to determine their role.

8.  Will the NAC Contract Catalog Search Tool and GSA Advantage! be combined?

At this time there aren’t any specific plans to combine the CCST and GSA Advantage! databases.  We are, however, continuing to work with GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) to get access to some of their enhanced electronic contracting systems.

9.  Is there a link to a list of all VA FSS contracting officers and the geographic areas that they cover?

Our contracting officers are not responsible for a specific geographic area.  You can find the contact information for our contracting officers in the NAC Contract Catalog Search Tool.

10.  We were awarded a VA Schedule contract but have not yet received any task/delivery orders from ordering agencies.  How do we maximized our contract to access these opportunities?

There is no easy answer to this; however, we offer some tips and tricks for accessing the federal marketplace on our marketing page.

It is important to remember that you need to market your products to federal customers just as you do to your commercial ones.  One of the marketing tools in your arsenal is your Authorized FSS paper Price List.  By turning this document into a marketing toll you will position your firm to enter the federal marketplace.

11.  If my company is purchased in whole or by another company that also maintains a VA Schedule contract is my contract still valid? Or will the responsibility of my contracted items fall to the new owner?

There are several factors to consider when determining your course of action if your contract has been purchased in whole by another company that maintains a VA Schedule contract.

  1. Novation is not required if your company was acquired by means of a stock purchase (with no legal change in the contracting party), and the company continues to operate (i.e., remains in control of the company’s assets and is the party performing the contract), a novation agreement is unnecessary.  In this instance no change to your contract so long as the party named by the contract continues to operate and fulfill its contractual obligations.  In essence, there is no issue with the company functioning as a subsidiary of the new parent/owner, and holding its own FSS contract, even if the owner also holds a VA Schedule contract.
  2. Novation is required if the sale of your company was executed through a sale of assets (or the entire portion necessary for performance of the contract) and/or your company was merged into the new parent/owner company, a novation is required.  If the contractor submits the required documentation and the Government determines that a novation is in the best interest of the Government, we will (typically) recognize a successor in interest (the company to which the assets were transferred).  In this case, the contract itself will continue to be in effect; however, the successor in interest will be recognized as the party performing under the contract.  Refer to FAR 42.12 for further details and consult your attorney as necessary.

12.  What forms should we use to process a name change and/or novation?

FAR 42.1204(e)(f) detail the documents that need to be submitted to our office to support a novation action. FAR 42.1204(i) provides the novation agreement template that must be completed by the transferor, transferee, and the Government.  Once these documents have been completed (excepting the signature of a contracting officer on the agreement itself), an administrative change RFM should be submitted along with the supporting documents.

Name changes are handled in a similar manner.  The specific documentation requirements are detailed in FAR 42.1205.  Again, the request for a change of name should be submitted using the administrative changes RFM, along with the requirements of 42.1205.

It is important that you advise and consult your assigned contract specialist any time your company proposes either of these actions.

13.  We have non-disclosure agreements in place for our commercial customers and may not be able to provide these commercial agreements with our proposal. How will this be handled by my assigned contract specialist?

Pursuant to FAR 3.104-3, the Government is required to treat all information disclosed in your offer as confidential - meaning that it will not be shared or handled by non-authorized Government personnel.

During the webinar we mis-spoke when we indicated that the Government will always accept partially redacted versions of an offeror’s commercial agreements if said agreements contain a confidentiality provision.

In response to question 3 of Exhibit 5 — Commercial Sales Practices Format, if an offeror indicates that it is not proposing pricing to the Government that is equal to or better than commercially established pricing, then the offeror must provide either copies of the commercial agreements themselves or an extract of the salient terms and conditions.  Your assigned contract specialist, or the OIG (if conducting a pre-award review), can require that you provide non-redacted copies of these commercial agreements if they determine that it is necessary to make a fair and reasonable pricing determination, and/or to verify the accuracy of the disclosures included in your proposal.

Commercial agreements are also used to verify the terms, conditions, and pricing of the proposed and/or negotiated tracking customer.  In the event that you are not willing or able to provide a non-redacted commercial agreement when requested by your assigned contract specialist your offer may be returned (partially or in whole) without further consideration.

You may want to consider amending your commercial agreements to allow for the disclosure of customer contracts for official federal Government purposes.

14.  What types of items are considered to be "high tech medical equipment" (HTME)? How are contracts that currently offer HTME products handled?

High Tech Medical Equipment (HTME) is a broadly used term that generally refers to various technical modalities and sophisticated systems.  To the FSS Service HTME signifies radiological (imaging) and radiation therapy equipment, including:  computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography and mdash computed tomography (PET/CT), picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), linear accelerator, bone densitometers, fluoroscopy, mammography, nuclear medicine, diagnostic ultrasound upgrades AND accessories, x–ray equipment (computerized radiography AND digital radiography, nuclear and the like.

As indicated in the No Award Checklist we will not award Portable X-Ray, Portable C-Arm, Ultrasound, CR Readers, Bone Densitometers, MRI, CT, Radiographic Equipment, Fluoroscopy, Mammography, IR, Nuclear Medicine, Cath Labs, Hybrid OR, Linear Accelerator, PACS and PET-CT (list is not all inclusive).  The most definitive listings of products that are considered HTME are included on the second page of M6–Q8–06, Imaging and M6–Q3–05, Radiation Therapy — both of which can be viewed on the HTME page.

We cannot award these HTME items to VA FSS contracts as purchases of such equipment fall within the domain of our organization’s National Contract Service High Tech Medical Equipment Division.  Accordingly, our FSS contracts do not include special item numbers for HTME.  In cases where we inadvertently included HTME items in an FSS contract, we will take action to remove such products from the contract.

15.  Where in the solicitation does it state that similar pricing will be used as a price analysis?

The solicitation itself does not explain exactly how evaluation of prices will be accomplished.

GSAM 538.270 and 271 provide guidance on the evaluation of multiple award schedule (MAS) offers and awarding MAS contracts, respectively. Both citations clearly articulate the requirement for the contracting officer to determine the offered prices to be fair and reasonable before a contract may be awarded.  GSAM 538.271 refers the reader to FAR 15.4, Contract Pricing.  As indicated in FAR 15.4, the Government may use various price analysis techniques to ensure a fair and reasonable price.  One of those techniques is the comparison of proposed prices with prices obtained through market research for the same or similar items.

16.  What is considered a "timely fashion" when it comes to responding to a contract specialist's request for additional information?

An appropriate length of time to provide additional or updated information may vary from case to case.  Your assigned contract specialist will use their best judgment to determine an appropriate suspense date based on the specific situation.  To be timely, your response must be provided by the suspense date provided by your assigned contract specialist.  It is essential that you communicate with your assigned contract specialist and inform them if you will be unable to meet the suspense date provided.  If you have not discussed your company’s suspense date with the contract specialist, the requested information will be expected not later than the date identified in the request.

If your contract specialist did not indicate a suspense date, we recommend following up with them upon receipt of the request to determine when your response is required.

17.  What happens if I submit a proposal and my firm is classified as a small business but during the evaluation period my size status changes?

Communicate the change to your assigned contract specialist.  They will evaluate your offer to see if you meet the size standards for your selected NAICS code(s).  If your firm is no longer identified as a small business, changes to company information in the System for Award Management (SAM) will be required.  Additionally, if the estimated value of your offer meets the requisite threshold (currently $650,000), your firm will be required to submit a small business subcontracting plan.

18.  Can we charge extra shipping and handling for shipping to Alaska, Hawaii AND Puerto Rico?

No.  You are given the opportunity to indicate whether you are willing to include delivery to Alaska, Hawaii, and/or Puerto Rico at the offered prices under provision F–FSS–2002–G Delivery Prices (Document 04 — Vendor Response Document).  If you elect not to include delivery to these locations, shipment to locations in Alaska, Hawaii, and/or Puerto Rico will be made FOB inland carrier to a point of exportation within the 48 contiguous states.  In such cases, the Government will be responsible for the transportation from the point of exportation to the destination in Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico.

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