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Establishment of BPAs

BPAs under the GSA Schedules Program are established using GSA Schedule ordering procedures.These are ordering procedures for Supplies, and Services Not Requiring a Statement of Work (SOW) (Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.405-1), or the Ordering Procedures for Services Requiring a Statement of Work (SOW) (FAR 8.405-2). This sample format [Word, 27K] provides guidelines for what should be considered in establishing a BPA.

Ordering activities must justify their actions in accordance with FAR 8.405-6, Limited Sources Justification and Approval when establishing BPAs that:

  • Restrict consideration of the number of contractors to fewer than those required by the Schedule ordering procedures in FAR 8.405-1 or 8.405-2; or
  • Restrict consideration to an item specific to one manufacturer ('brand name' restriction).

The FAR 8.405-6 requirement for written justifications applies when establishing "sole source" BPAs, since such BPAs restrict the number of contractors to fewer than those prescribed by the Schedules ordering procedures.

Ordering activities should request price reductions when establishing any BPA, based on the total estimated volume of the BPA orders, regardless of the size of individual orders. When the total estimated value of all BPAs exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold, ordering activities MUST request additional discounts as part of the solicitation. GSA recommends that the following language be included in Requests for Quotations (RFQs) when establishing BPAs:

Based on the anticipated volume of orders to be issued under the BPA, contractors are strongly encouraged to provide additional discounts, and price reductions from their GSA Schedule contract prices.

At the discretion of the ordering activity contracting officer, BPAs may be set aside for the following types of small businesses: 

  • Small businesses;
  • 8(a) firms;
  • HUBZone small businesses;
  • Service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses;
  • Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses; and
  • Women-owned small businesses eligible under the Women-Owned Small Business Program.

For BPA set asides, the procedures in 8.405-3 must be followed.  Market research will provide information on whether three or more Schedule holders within one of the stated categories of small businesses can provide the required products and/or services.  The appropriate clauses from the list below must also be included in the RFQ:

  • 52.219-13 Notice of Set-Aside of Orders (NOV 2011);
  • 52.219-3 Notice of Total HUBZone Set-Aside or Sole Source Award (NOV 2011);
  • 52.219-6 Notice of Total Small Business Set-Aside (NOV 2011);
  • 52.219-14 Limitations on Subcontracting (NOV 2011);
  • 52.219-27 Notice of Total Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Set-Aside (NOV 2011);
  • 52.219-29 Notice of Total Set-Aside for Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) Concerns (NOV 2011); and
  • 52.219-30 Notice of Total Set-Aside for Women-Owned Small Business Concerns Eligible Under the Women-Owned Small Business Program (NOV 2011).

Alternatively, ordering activities may consider socioeconomic status when identifying contractors for consideration or competition for award of an order or BPA. 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 (FAR 8.405-5). GSA Advantage!® and GSA eLibrary (formerly Schedules e-Library) contain information on small business representations of Schedule contractors.

Single or Multiple BPAs

BPAs may be established with one or more Schedule contractors in accordance with FAR 8.405-3. To encourage and facilitate competition when placing orders under BPAs, the FAR establishes a preference for multiple-award BPAs rather than single-award BPAs. The number of BPAs to be established is within the discretion of the ordering activity establishing the BPAs, and should be based on a strategy that is expected to maximize the effectiveness of the BPA(s). The ordering activity must consider several factors, including the benefits of on-going competition, when deciding how many BPAs are appropriate, and document the decision in the acquisition plan or BPA file. 

In determining how many multiple-award BPAs to establish, or that a single-award BPA is appropriate, the contracting officer should consider the following factors and document the decision in the acquisition plan and BPA file:

  • The scope and complexity of the requirement(s);
  • The benefits of on-going competition and the need to periodically compare multiple technical approaches or prices;
  • The administrative costs of BPAs; and
  • The technical qualifications of the Schedule contractors.

No single award-BPA with an estimated value exceeding $103 million (including any options), may be awarded unless the head of the agency determines in writing that:

  • The orders expected under the BPA are so integrally related that only a single source can reasonably perform the work;
  • The BPA provides only for firm fixed priced orders for:
    • Products with unit prices;
    • Services with prices established in the BPA for specific tasks to be performed;
  • Only one source is qualified and capable of performing the work at a reasonable price to the Government; or
  • It is necessary in the public interest to award the BPA to a single source for exceptional circumstances.

If limiting the potential sources that will be considered for award of a single-award BPA, the above requirement for a determination to establish a single-award BPA greater than $103 million is in addition to the requirement of FAR 8.405-6 for a limited-source justification. However, the two documents may be combined into one document, which must then be approved by the agency head.

BPAs must address the frequency of ordering, invoicing, discounts, requirements (e.g., estimated quantities, work to be performed), delivery locations and time. When establishing multiple BPAs, the ordering activity must also specify the procedures for placing orders under the BPAs.

Duration of BPAs

A multiple-award Schedule BPA should not exceed five years in length, but may do so to meet program requirements (FAR 8.405-3(d)(1)). A single-award Schedule BPA must not exceed one year in duration and may have up to four one-year options (FAR 8.405-3(d)(2)). 

A Schedule contractor may be awarded a BPA that extends beyond the current term of its GSA Schedule contract, as long as there are option periods in the GSA Schedule contract that, if exercised, will cover the BPA's period of performance.

Annual Review of BPAs

An ordering activity that establishes a BPA must conduct an annual review to determine whether:

  • The underlying Schedule contract is still in effect;
  • The BPA still represents the best value; and
  • Estimated quantities/amounts have been exceeded and additional price reductions can be obtained.

The ordering activity must document the results of its review (FAR 8.405-3(e)).

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