Section 3: Ordering Procedures

Ordering Procedures

"Ordering activity" is an activity that is authorized to place orders or establish Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) against the GSA Multiple Award Schedule contracts.

GSA has streamlined ordering procedures, allowing an ordering activity to direct its focus on the requirement rather than on a lengthy acquisition process. The ordering procedures described below are applicable to all agencies throughout the Federal Government. Pursuant to Sect. 863 of the fiscal year 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, both DOD and Civilian agency COs must now all follow the same procedures that have been required of DOD COs under DFARS 208.405-70.

The FAR provides the primary regulatory guidance for the GSA Schedules program. FAR Subpart 8.4, Federal Supply Schedules, prescribes procedures that ordering activities must follow when issuing orders against Schedules. By placing an order against a Schedule contract, the ordering activity has concluded that the order represents the best value (as defined in FAR 2.101, Definitions) and results in the lowest overall cost alternative to meet the government’s need. FAR Subpart 8.4.

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When agency requirements are to be satisfied using Schedule contracts, the following Parts of the FAR do not apply:
  • Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures (except 13.303-2(c)(3))
  • Part 14, Sealed Bidding
  • Part 15, Contracting by Negotiation
  • Part 19, Small Business Programs (except 19.202-1(e)(1)(iii))

Orders placed against a Schedule contract:

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Supplies and services may be combined on a single task or delivery order.

NOTE: The information contained in the table below is not all-inclusive. For more information, refer to FAR 8.404 and 8.405.

Ordering Procedures
SUPPLIES AND SERVICES WITHOUT AN SOW
SERVICES THAT REQUIRE AN SOW
Orders at or below the micro-purchase threshold:

Place the order directly with any GSA Schedule contractor that can meet the ordering activity’s needs.

Orders at or below the micro-purchase threshold:

Place the order directly with any GSA Schedule contractor that can meet the ordering activity’s needs.

Orders that exceed the micro-purchase threshold, but not the simplified acquisition threshold:

Consider reasonably available information about the supply or service offered on the GSA Advantage!® online shopping service, review at least three Schedule contractors' price lists, or obtain quotations from at least three GSA Schedule contractors. Evaluate, then make a “Best Value” determination (refer to Section 3).

For orders exceeding the micro-purchase threshold, ordering activities should give preference to the items of small business concerns when two or more items at the same delivered price will satisfy the requirement.

Orders that exceed the micro-purchase threshold, but not the simplified acquisition threshold:

Prepare an SOW or a PWS in accordance with
FAR 8.405-2(b).

  • Send the RFQ (including the SOW and evaluation criteria) to at least three GSA Schedule contractors.

NOTE: The ordering activity should request GSA
Schedule contractors to submit firm-fixed prices to perform the services identified in the SOW, to the maximum extent possible. The ordering activity must document when awarding an order that is other than firm fixed price, i.e., time and materials or labor hour.

Evaluate, then make a “Best Value” determination.

Orders that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold or when establishing a BPA:

Prepare an RFQ and post on e-Buy to afford all Schedule contractors the opportunity to respond, or provide the RFQ to as many Schedule contractors as practicable, consistent with market research, to reasonably ensure that quotes are received from at least three contractors.

At a minimum, ordering activities should consider, if available, at least one small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, women-owned small business, or small disadvantaged business Schedule contractor(s).

Seek price reductions. Evaluate all responses and place the order, or establish the BPA with the GSA Schedule contractor that represents the best value (refer to FAR 8.405-2(d)).

Orders that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold or when establishing a BPA:

Prepare an SOW or PWS in accordance with FAR 8.405-2(b).

Prepare the RFQ (including the SOW and evaluation criteria) and post on e-Buy to afford all Schedule contractors the opportunity to respond, or provide the RFQ to as many Schedule contractors as practicable, consistent with market research, to reasonably ensure that quotes are received from at least three contractors.

At a minimum, ordering activities should consider, if available, at least one small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, women-owned small business, or small disadvantaged business Schedule contractor(s).

NOTE: The ordering activity should request GSA Schedule contractors to submit firm-fixed prices to perform the services identified in the SOW, to the maximum extent possible. The ordering activity must document when awarding an order that is other than firm fixed price, i.e., time and materials or labor hour.

Seek price reductions. Evaluate all responses and place the order, or establish the BPA with the GSA Schedule contractor that represents the best value (refer to FAR 8.405-2(d)).


Documentation

The ordering activity must, at a minimum, include the following documentation:
Name of the GSA Schedule contractor from which the supply or service was purchased; a description of the supply or service, the purchase price; if applicable, the circumstances and rationale for restricting consideration of GSA Schedule contractors to fewer than required (refer to FAR 8.405-1).

NOTE: Additional documentation is necessary when the requirement is for a particular brand name, product or a feature of a product peculiar to one manufacturer. The ordering activity shall include an explanation in the file as to why the particular brand name, product or feature is essential to satisfy the ordering activity’s needs.

When fewer than three quotes are received, all Schedule contractors are not provided the opportunity to respond, and the value exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold, the Contracting Officer must prepare a written justification explaining the steps taken to identify additional contractors even though reasonable efforts were taken to do so.

In addition to the information shown on the left side of this table, when acquiring services using the procedures in FAR 8.405-2, the ordering activity must also document: evaluation methodology used, trade-off rationale, price reasonableness.

Rationale for other than Firm Fixed Price order or performance-based order:

NOTE: If other than a Firm Fixed Priced order is placed, include the basis for the determination to use a Labor Hour or Time and Materials order. (FAR 8.405-2(e)(7)(i) in addition to the differing D&F requirements at FAR 12.207(b) and 16.601(d).)

For ordering activity requirements that exceed the micro-purchase threshold, document the evaluation of the GSA Schedule contractors' quotations that formed the basis for the selection of the contractor receiving the order. Document the rationale for any trade-offs made in the selection.

When fewer than three quotes are received, all Schedule contractors are not provided the opportunity to respond, and the value exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold, the Contracting Officer must prepare a written justification explaining the steps taken to identify additional contractors even though reasonable efforts were taken to do so.


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At the discretion of the ordering activity Contracting Officer, orders and BPAs based on GSA Schedule contracts can be set-aside for the types of small businesses listed in FAR 19.000(a)(3). The competitive processes in FAR 8.405-1, -2, and -3 must be followed.