Cooperative Purchasing FAQs
40 U.S.C § 502 (c) offers the following definition of state or local government: "The term, "State or local government" includes any State, local, regional, or tribal government, or any instrumentality thereof (including any local educational agency or institution of higher education)."
The term does not include contractors or grantees of state or local governments. If there is a question on whether or not an entity falls under this definition, the entity may submit an eligibility request to GSA. Instructions for eligibility requests can be found here. GSA will issue a formal determination on behalf of the requesting entity that clearly outlines the entity’s access to GSA sources of supply. Entities that clearly fall under the definition of state and local government do NOT need to request an eligibility determination.
GSA does not issue eligibility letters to entities that clearly fall under the legal definition of state or local government. If the entity clearly falls under the legal definition of state or local government, then they are automatically authorized to place orders under these programs.
If there is a question about eligibility, either from the purchasing entity or the GSA vendor, the purchasing entity may submit an eligibility request to GSA, as directed above.
Schedule 70 includes automated data processing equipment (including firmware), software, supplies, support equipment, and services.
Schedule 84 includes alarm and signal systems, facility management systems, firefighting and rescue equipment, law enforcement and security equipment, marine craft and related equipment, special purpose clothing, and related services.
Each Schedule contract price includes an industrial funding fee (IFF) (.75%), which reimburses GSA for the procurement and administrative costs incurred to operate the GSA Schedules program.
It’s represented in the prices paid by ordering activities and passed on to GSA by Schedule contractors. Schedule vendors send the IFF to GSA every quarter.
No. Schedule contractors have the option of accepting orders placed by state and local government buyers. Schedule contractors decide their level of participation at two levels;
First, at the Schedule contract level, contractors decide whether or not to participate in the program. Schedule contractors will then either enter into a mutual agreement with GSA to modify the existing Schedule contract, or indicate, before contract award, their intent to offer their Schedule products and services under Cooperative Purchasing.
Second, even after an existing contract is modified or a new contract awarded, a Schedule contractor will retain the right to decline orders received from state and local government entities on a case-by-case basis. Schedule contractors may decline an order, for any reason, within a five-day period after receipt of the order. However, credit card orders must be declined within 24 hours (GSAM 552.232-79).
State and local governments must follow their own state and local acquisition regulations to meet competition thresholds and requirements when buying through Schedule. To incorporate GSA terms and conditions, list the GSA Schedule contract number on the order.
Entities are encouraged, but not required, to use GSA's Schedule Ordering Procedures to ensure competition and to receive the best value from GSA Schedule contractors.
Ordering Procedures for Supplies, and Services Not Requiring a Statement of Work (Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR 8.405-1)), or the Ordering Procedures for Services Requiring a Statement of Work (FAR 8.405-2) is a best practices.
Contractor acceptance of an order under Cooperative Purchasing means forming a new contract between the non-federal ordering activity and the Schedule contractor. The ordering activity's contracting officer is responsible for all contract administration under the new contract.
While most of the terms and conditions of the Schedule contract are incorporated by reference into the Cooperative Purchasing order (see question 16 and 17, for exceptions), the federal government is not liable for the contractor's performance or non-performance.
Disputes that cannot be resolved by the parties may be litigated in any state or federal court with jurisdiction, using the principles of federal procurement law and the uniform commercial code, as applicable and appropriate.
State and local government entities may submit information concerning a contractor's performance to the GSA contracting officer for consideration when evaluating the contractor's overall performance under the GSA Schedule contract.
Yes. The following contract terms and conditions are not incorporated by reference into Cooperative Purchasing orders:
- Disputes Clause;
- Patent Indemnity Clause; and
- Certain Commercial Item Contract Terms and Conditions. Portions of the commercial item contract terms and conditions that specify compliance with laws unique to federal government contracts are not applicable to Cooperative Purchasing orders.
Yes. GSAM 552.232-81, Payments by Non-Federal Ordering Activities, allows for the terms and conditions of a state's prompt payment law to apply to orders placed by eligible non-federal ordering activities.
However, if the ordering activity is not otherwise subject to a state prompt payment law, the activity is covered by the federal prompt payment act in the same manner as federal ordering activities.
Yes. Schedule contractors may accept any state and local government-issued credit cards for orders placed under Cooperative Purchasing.
Contractors are required to accept credit cards for orders up to the micro-purchase threshold. Contractors may voluntarily accept credit cards for orders exceeding the micro-purchase threshold.
Under the Cooperative Purchasing program, state and local government entities, as defined in GSA Acquisition Manual (GSAM) 538.7001, receiving federal grant dollars, are eligible to purchase products and services from approved GSA Schedules.
Federal grantees that fall outside the definition of state and local government, are not authorized to buy under the Cooperative Purchasing program.
Orders placed through GSA Advantage!® will be transmitted directly to GSA Schedule contractors. Schedule contractors will, in turn, ship the products and/or perform the services before billing the customer's credit card. GSA does not ship merchandise or bill the customer's credit card. All order/billing problems and/or discrepancies must be addressed directly with Schedule contractors.
Payments for state and local government purchases on GSA Advantage!® are limited to credit card payments using a state or local government-issued credit card. No other form of payment will be accepted at this time.
State and local government customers must register and obtain the necessary approvals from a supervisor or approving official as part of the registration process.
State and local government ordering activities are responsible for ensuring that only authorized representatives of their governments place orders, and that the products and services purchased will only be used for governmental purposes.