Section 9: Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs)

A Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) is an arrangement between two or more Schedule contractors to work together to meet agency requirements. The CTA document is a written agreement between team members detailing the responsibilities of each team member. The CTA allows the contractor to meet the government agency needs by providing a total solution that combines the supplies and/or services from the team members’ separate Schedule contracts. It permits contractors to complement each other’s capabilities in order to compete for orders for which they may not independently qualify. A customer benefits from a CTA by buying a solution rather than making separate buys from various contractors.

Important Interim Guidance for Ordering Activities on Use of Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs):

1. Interim Guidance: Ordering activities are responsible for accurately achieving and reporting on their small business goals, including accurate reporting to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). Under CTAs, each contractor has privity of contract with the ordering activity. When a MAS order is awarded with a CTA, small business achievement in contractual terms is based upon the dollar amount of the work the small business contractors perform under the order. FPDS currently will only accept information relating to one contractor per order. The ordering activity must determine which CTA member is realizing the preponderance of the revenue on an order and report that contractor's information to FPDS.

2. Future Guidance: GSA is working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide further clarity around the use of CTAs and anticipates issuing final guidance in the future.

Benefits of CTAs

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NUTS AND BOLTS TIP
Do not confuse Schedule Contractor Team Arrangements with the definition of contractor teaming arrangements found in FAR 9.6. None of the definitions (the partnership/joint venture, or the prime/sub relationship) outlined in FAR 9.6 apply to Schedule CTAs.

In prime/sub arrangements, the relationship is defined and controlled by the prime contractor, whereas in CTAs, the roles and responsibilities are defined by the team, as accepted by the government ordering activity. A Schedule CTA member may utilize a subcontractor. The following chart summarizes key differences.

Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)
Prime/Sub Arrangement

Each team member must have a Schedule contract.

Only the prime contractor must have a Schedule contract.

Each team member is responsible for duties addressed in the CTA document. These duties fall within the scope of their individual Schedule contracts.

The prime contractor cannot delegate responsibility for performance to subcontractors. The prime contractor can provide only what is on its Schedule contract; it cannot subcontract to offer items/services for which it does not hold a Schedule contract.

Each team member has privity of contract with the government and can interact directly with the government.

Only the prime contractor has privity of contract with the government and can interact with the government. The prime contractor is responsible for its subcontracting activities (ordering activities are permitted to specify in the RFQ that the use of subcontractors requires prior approval by the ordering activities).

The ordering activity is invoiced at each team member’s unit prices or hourly rates as agreed in the task or delivery order or Schedule BPA.

The ordering activity is invoiced in accordance with the prime contractor’s Schedule contract.

A contractor holding multiple Schedule contracts may offer a solution that crosses those contracts. Such a solution would not be considered a CTA because there is only one contractor.

To ensure that the responses received from Requests for Quotations (RFQs) are, in fact, CTAs, GSA strongly recommends that an ordering activity’s RFQ indicate that all CTAs must be specifically identified as such and that the CTA document be submitted to the government as part of the quotation in response to the RFQ. Do not be confused, for example, by a “Team ABC” response; the response should clearly identify that the Schedule contractors are proposing a “Contractor Team Arrangement as evidenced by the CTA document.” The CTA document should designate all team members, their corresponding Schedule contract numbers, and describe the tasks to be performed by each team member, along with the associated proposed prices (e.g., unit prices, labor categories and hourly rates). If applicable, the team lead should also be identified, as should the individual team members responsible for delivery, warranty and other issues. The ordering activity should then be able to verify that any proposed unit prices or hourly rates do not exceed the prices awarded under each team member’s Schedule contract and avoid any misunderstandings regarding each team member’s responsibilities and prices.

Schedule contractors may establish a CTA in advance of any known requirement or after requirements are defined and the RFQ is issued. Having an on-the-shelf team arrangement for non-complex buys will allow the contractors to respond quickly and easily when requirements emerge. For highly complex buys, a customized CTA may be required. In either case, the CTA document should include the names of the team members, their respective Schedule contract numbers, and a description of the responsibilities of each team member. Agencies should review CTA documents to ensure that the documents clearly delineate team member responsibilities and provide for coordination and cooperation between team members, thus diminishing the risk for all parties involved.

In providing a total solution to an agency’s requirement under a CTA, the supplies and services (for services, the labor categories under each Schedule contract need to be segregated) proposed should be identified under each team member’s Schedule contract. Any proposed supplies and services that are not part of a Schedule contract (e.g., open market items) may be included only after all applicable acquisition regulations have been followed (refer to FAR 8.402(f)) and must be clearly labeled as such. GSA does not approve the CTA document. CTA documents are developed by the team members themselves and will vary from one CTA document to another. While not all-inclusive, GSA has developed elements of a Contractor Team Arrangement Document (www.gsa.gov/cta), which identifies areas that are typically of interest to the government. GSA strongly encourages the submission of the CTA document in response to an RFQ.

The CTA is solely between the team members and cannot conflict with the underlying terms and conditions of each team member’s Schedule contract. As part of the ordering agency’s review of quotations, however, ordering activities may identify deficiencies in the CTA in order to enhance the probability of successful performance. While the government is not a party to the CTA, it is a beneficiary of the arrangement and has a vested interest in the successful performance of the CTA.