FAR 51 Deviation
FAR Subpart 51.1, Contractor Use of Government Supply Sources, prescribes policies and procedures under which contractors may use government supply sources. Currently, Contracting Officers may authorize contractors to use GSA sources of supply in the performance of cost-reimbursement contracts and under other limited scenarios when determined to be in the best interest of the Government.
In order to better meet the needs of GSA’s customer agencies, a deviation to FAR Subpart 51.1 has been approved to expand the authority of contractors to use GSA sources of supply. Specifically, Federal Government Contracting Officers are now authorized to give all GSA contractors access to the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) and GSA Global Supply™ programs when deemed appropriate for fulfillment of their agency requirements. Please note that the FSS Program is inclusive of those Schedules managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This authority is limited to contracts/orders:
- Placed on a Time and Materials (T&M)/Labor Hour (LH) basis — a contract awarded or an order placed by the Federal Government to the buying contractor can be partially fixed price, but the portion of the contract/order for the items to be procured using the FAR 51 deviation must be T&M/LH;
- For ancillary supplies/services that are in support of the overall contract/order such that the items are not the primary purpose of the work ordered, but are an integral part of the total solution offered;
- Issued in accordance with the procedures in FAR 8.405-1, Ordering Procedures for supplies, and services not requiring a statement of work (applicable only to orders placed against Schedule contracts);
- Placed by the Federal Government. The authorization is NOT available to state and local governments.
The ability for GSA contractors to purchase from the FSS and GSA Global Supply™ programs benefits our customers and contractor community in the following ways.
- Allows GSA contractors to provide a total contract solution to meet customers' needs.
- Expands upon existing benefits of GSA vehicles, such as streamlining of procurements, ease of ordering, leveraged pricing, time savings, and responsible contractors.
- Meets customer needs expeditiously because the ancillary supplies and services are readily available from the FSS Program or GSA Global Supply™ programs.
- Reduces agency procurement and contract administration costs.
- Provides agencies opportunities to increase utilization of small businesses.
- Reduces the necessity for government furnished equipment (GFE), which is labor intensive to administer properly.
- Simplifies market research via existing GSA eTools.
- Encourages competition among contractors to seek the best solution, resulting in cost savings to the Government.
- Enables use of supply funds by contractors, which is the preferred payment method for some agencies.
- Federal Government: The eligible user of the FAR Part 51 deviation.
- Buying Contractor: The contractor who receives the primary contract/order from the Federal Government and subsequently acts as the Federal Government’s agent when placing an order to the selling Schedule contractor or GSA Global Supply™. The buying contractor can be any GSA contractor (Schedule contractors, Global Supply™ vendors, PBS contractors, etc.).
- Selling Contractor: The contractor who receives the secondary order placed under the FAR Part 51 deviation authority from the buying contractor. The selling contractor must be a Schedule contractor or GSA Global Supply™.
- Authorization: Written approval from the Federal Government for a contractor to use a Government supply source.