Digital Certificates: Don’t let this delay your success!
All GSA Schedule holders and new offerors who wish to do business with the GSA Federal Supply Schedule program must have a digital certificate to access various GSA systems that are essential for continued success. These systems include the eOffer system (used to submit new offers to GSA), eMod (submitting contract modifications), and the new FAS Sales Reporting system used to submit your monthly FSS sales.
As consultants, we are equipped with the appropriate certificates that are used to access GSA systems on your behalf, however GSA does require that at least 1 individual (who is also an authorized negotiator on the contract) that is a direct employee of your organization have this certificate as well.
If you think you’re fine and have a certificate installed, are you also tracking the expiration date? Digital certificates have a 2 year shelf life and a new application must be processed with the appropriate vendor. Also keep in mind that this process will take at least a couple of weeks and tracking the expiration date of your existing certificate will help avoid any possible interruption of access.
For new offerors that have decided to submit an offer under the GSA Federal Supply Schedule program, or if you need a new certificate, please follow the instruction provided by GSA.
If you are an existing FSS contractor and not sure if you have access to GSA’s system, use this time to see if you have access in order to mitigate any possible delays in the future. Here’s how to check:
- Find the computer and browser in which your digital certificate was installed
- Go to https://eoffer.gsa.gov/
- Click ‘Sign In’ under ‘Contract Offers or Contract Modifications.
After the click, and if you’re certificate was found, a prompt will pop up and show you the certificates installed on the machine. If you see an ACES certificate with your name listed, you now know that the certificate has been installed properly and you know what browser you should be using moving forward (Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc.). Below is my digital certificate after clicking the appropriate sign in button.
IF IT DOES NOT POP UP: No pop up means that there was no digital certificate found on either that machine and/or browser. Keep trying until you find it, and if no certificate can be ultimately be found, click here to find out how to apply for a new digital certificate and follow instructions from the provider.
IF IT DOES POP UP: Select the appropriate certificate and click ‘OK’ to go to the next screen. Congratulations, you have a digital certificate installed! At this point, you need to find out if you are authorized to access your contract via eMod.
- After clicking ‘OK’, enter your DUNS and click ‘Submit’.
- Ensure that the contract number is selected and click ‘Select Contract’
The next screen will let you know if you an Authorized Negotiator or not and the next screen will surely let you know. If you see the eMod main screen, you’re good to go with no further actions! Remember, track the expiration date so that you know when to submit for a new certificate.
If the next screen looks similar to the screenshot below, you are either 1) not an Authorized Negotiator who is authorized to access the contract, or 2) you are an Authorized Negotiator, however your certificate is not syncing with GSA’s systems.
If this is the case:
- Fill in all information with the * and click ‘Submit Request’. DO NOT CHANGE any pre-populated information such as the name an email address. These fields are what allows your digital certificate to sync with GSA’s systems.
- Continue to follow the on screen instructions until the Authorized Negotiator modification is submitted. Be prepared to upload two documents prior to submission: a signed cover letter requesting to be added to the contract AND a screenshot of your digital certificate.
Julio is a Senior Consultant with Coley GCS, LLC, a Government Contracts Consulting, Coaching and Training company. Julio has over 10 years’ experience helping companies succeed with their GSA schedules.