A BPA, or Blanket Purchase Agreement, is a “funnel” to narrow competition to a few GSA Schedule (or VA FSS) Contractors. Per the Federal Acquisition Regulation 8.405-3 it is designed to fill the Government’s recurring needs for a Government contractor’s specific goods or services. The contractor benefits from limited competition and the Government benefits from additional discounts and less administrative effort. Government buyers need not spend time searching for appropriate sources and the streamlined competitive nature means faster turnaround times. If you look at the historical performance of GSA Schedule holders, you will note that some of the most lucrative GSA contracts rely heavily on BPA purchases.
Where to Find BPAs
If you are a GSA Schedule holder, you will see BPA competitions listed on GSA eBuy and anyone holding the relevant SIN can bid on them. But out of many BPA submissions, the Government will award to only a few, usually 3-5; the FAR stipulates at least three and “the minimum amount practicable.” These companies in turn will compete against each other for individual task orders (hint: the Government will seek still additional discounts or concessions in the evaluation of task orders). The competition on task orders is open to all vendors awarded under the BPA.
How to Win a Blanket Purchase Agreement
The selection of the contractors for award of a BPA is largely based upon price, but such factors as past performance, “special features of the supply or service required for effective program performance, trade-in considerations, probably life of the item selected as compared with that of a comparable item, warranty considerations, maintenance availability, environmental and energy efficiency considerations, and delivery terms.” But price is first and foremost. To win on a competed BPA, one should expect to discount from GSA Schedule pricing and discount even further when competing on a BPA task order.
To win the coveted spot on a BPA, watch eBuy if you are a GSA Schedule holder and FedBizOpps/SAM if you are a VA FSS Schedule holder. For more than 20 years, Coley GCS has worked with companies holding GSA Schedules and BPAs. If you see an opportunity to bid on a BPA and require further assistance, reach out to coley directly at 210-402-6766 or by email at [email protected].
Published author with 30 years’ experience working with Federal agencies and contractors, including proposal development and project delivery.