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Contractor Team Arrangements FAQs

FAQ "Contractor Team Arrangements"

A GSA Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) is an arrangement between two or more GSA 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 GSA Schedule contracts. It permits contractors to complement each other's capabilities 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.

  • Satisfies the customer with a single solution; 
  • Increases competitive edge; 
  • Increases market share; Increases visibility; 
  • Focuses on core capabilities; 
  • Obtains complementary capabilities; 
  • Integrates different skills; 
  • Offers additional opportunities with customers; 
  • Builds direct relationships with customers; 
  • Maximizes use of one or more GSA Schedule solutions; 
  • Shares risks and rewards; 
  • Allows more opportunities for small and small disadvantaged businesses; and 
  • Reduces the number of items Schedule contractors need to carry on their Schedule contracts, thus reducing inventory and tracking costs.

In prime/sub arrangements, the relationship is very tightly defined and controlled by the prime contractor; whereas, in CTAs, the roles and responsibilities are defined by the team, as accepted by the government. The following chart summarizes key differences: 

Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) Prime Contractor/Subcontractor Arrangement
Each team member must have a GSA Schedule contract. Only the prime contractor must have a GSA Schedule contract.
Each team member is responsible for duties addressed in the CTA document. The prime contractor cannot delegate responsibility for performance to subcontractors.
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 encouraged to specify in the Request for Quotation (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 GSA Schedule BPA. The ordering activity is invoiced in accordance with the prime contractor's GSA Schedule contract, including any applicable price reductions.
Total solutions, otherwise impossible under individual GSA Schedule contracts, can be put together quickly and easily. The prime contractor is limited to the supplies and/or services awarded on its GSA Schedule contract.


GSA strongly recommends that an ordering activity's RFQ indicates 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 GSA Schedule contractors are proposing a "Contractor Team Arrangement." 

The CTA should designate all team members, their corresponding GSA 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 GSA Schedule contract and avoid any misunderstandings regarding each team member's responsibilities and prices.

Visit GSA eLibrary (formerly Schedules e-Library) to find GSA Schedule contractors who match the supply or service criteria.
A contractor holding multiple GSA Schedule contracts can offer a solution that crosses those contracts. Such a solution would not be considered a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA).

GSA Schedule contractors can establish a CTA in advance of any known requirement or after requirements are defined and the Request for Quotation (RFQ) 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 should include the names of the team members, their respective GSA Schedule contract numbers, and a description of the responsibilities of each team member. 

Agencies should review CTAs to ensure that the CTAs clearly delineate team member responsibilities and provide for coordination and cooperation between team members, thus diminishing the risk for all parties involved.

GSA Schedule contractors are responsible for crafting the CTA document. The government is not involved in this process. When submitting a response to an RFQ, submitting the defined CTA document as part of the response is a best practice aiding both contractors and agency customers.
No. The CTA is solely between the team members and cannot conflict with the underlying terms and conditions of each team member's GSA Schedule contract. As part of the review of quotations, however, ordering activities can identify deficiencies in the CTA in order to enhance the probability of successful performance.

No. 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 (CTA) Document, which identifies areas that are typically of interest to the government. 

GSA strongly encourages the submission of the CTA document in response to a Request for Quotation (RFQ), so that an ordering activity can gain an understanding of how the arrangement will work, and can identify any areas of responsibility that may require clarification.

The CTA document should designate who is responsible for invoicing and payment. While the team lead can submit an invoice on behalf of all team members, GSA recommends that payment be made to each team member. 

GSA recognizes, however, that there could be instances where it is advantageous to craft the CTA document so that payment is made to the team lead who, in turn, pays each team member. Under such circumstances, the CTA document should clearly indicate that all team members agree to this payment arrangement. 

The CTA document should also acknowledge that any dispute involving the distribution of payment between the team lead and the team members will be resolved by the team members, without any involvement by the government.

Each GSA Schedule contractor is responsible for reporting its GSA Schedule contract sales and remitting the appropriate IFF.
In providing a total solution to an agency's requirement under a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA), the supplies and services proposed should be identified under each team member's GSA Schedule contract. Any proposed supplies and services that are not part of a GSA Schedule contract (i.e., open market items) can be included only after all applicable acquisition regulations have been followed (see Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.402(f)) and must be clearly labeled as such.

Since each team member in a GSA Schedule Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) has a GSA Schedule contract, each team member is held accountable under the terms and conditions of its contract for any problems such as warranty or performance issues. The CTA document should spell out which team member is responsible, at each phase of the project. 

When conducting past performance evaluations, the ordering activity contracting officer should evaluate each team member accordingly.

The CTA document should spell out any costs associated with the arrangement and how they will be allocated among team members. Each team member should consider such costs and compensate accordingly when the team develops its price quotation. The benefits of a CTA may more than compensate for a contractor's costs by expanding the firm's capabilities and broadening its customer base. 

Please keep in mind that each team member is governed by its own GSA Schedule contract, and that its price quotation cannot exceed the awarded unit prices or hourly rates under the GSA Schedule contract.

No. Each team member's work should be priced in accordance with its own GSA Schedule contract.
Points of contact should be spelled out in the CTA document for the team lead and for each team member.
Team members can still use subcontractors as allowed by their GSA Schedule contracts and be addressed in the CTA. Those subcontractors, however, would not be considered members of the "team," and the responsibility for the subcontractors would rest with the applicable team member who employs them.
If the prime contractor is a large business, the award is reported under the name of the prime. Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) cannot collect subcontracting data.
  1. Interim Guidance: Ordering activities are responsible for accurately achieving and reporting on their small business goals, including accurate reporting to the FPDS. Under CTAs, each contractor has privity of contract with the ordering activity. When an MAS order is awarded with 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 gaining most 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.
All members of the CTA must be small (or whatever sub-set the order is set-aside for) for the CTA to be eligible for that order. It is important to note, that for an MAS CTA, all team members must hold a Schedule contract, they each are responsible for their portion of the work, and each member maintains privity of contract. These rules apply in both an order and BPA environment against Federal Supply Schedules.
Under an MAS CTA the Team must perform 50 percent of the value of the work in the aggregate. For example, on a team consisting of three contractors, the Team Leader could perform 30 percent of the work and each Team Member could perform 10 percent of the work to meet the 50 percent requirement. The remaining 50 percent of the work may be performed by subcontractors working under any of the team members Schedule contracts. Socioeconomic restrictions do not apply to subcontractors; i.e., they may be large business.
Yes, all members of a CTA must contribute items of value from their GSA Schedule contract to the customer agency's solution.

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