Awarding a GSA Schedule Contract

Step 1. Acquisition Planning

GSA conducts market research and electronically posts pre-solicitation notices and synopses at the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. Also, pre-solicitation conferences are held with industry and eligible ordering activities to assist GSA in accurately identifying and describing potential future requirements. Additionally, for each Schedule solicitation, small business set-aside determinations are made.

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The set-aside requirements of FAR Part 19 apply at the acquisition planning stage of the GSA Schedule solicitations and also apply to orders and BPAs placed against resulting Schedule contracts (refer to FAR Subparts 8.404(a), 8.405-5, 19.502-1(b), 19.502-4, 19.508, and 38.101(e)).

Step 2. Standing Solicitations and Offers

Standing solicitations are posted on FBO (, and offers are solicited and accepted from prospective businesses at any time. Solicitations are continuously refreshed and updated as contract terms and conditions evolve. After the solicitations are updated, existing Schedule contracts are modified to ensure they contain the latest terms and conditions.

Step 3. Evaluation

After offers are received, each individual offer is evaluated on its own merit. Offerors are provided opportunities to clarify deficiencies and are allowed to submit supplemental information.

During the evaluation process, contracting office personnel work closely with the small business technical advisor to evaluate small business subcontracting goals for large business offerors.

Prior to award, a “determination of responsibility” is made that may include the following:

Since GSA has completed a determination of responsibility at the Schedules contract level, ordering agencies are not required to conduct it at the order level. A determination of responsibility focuses on a Schedule contractor’s financial resources, integrity, operational controls, technical skills, production control procedures, quality assurance measures, property control systems, technical equipment, facilities, and past performance (refer to FAR 9.104). Other requirements and clearances may include:

GSA evaluates the Schedule offerings in accordance with procedures in FAR Part 12 and the General Services Administration Acquisition Manual (GSAM). Prior to the award of a Schedule contract, the GSA Contracting Officer confirms that the prices of fixed-price services, supplies and hourly rates for services are fair and reasonable. The prices or discounts offered to GSA are compared with the prices or discounts offered by the company to its own commercial customers.

In addition, the offeror’s discount practices are examined, evaluated and used to identify the offeror’s “Most Favored Customer” (MFC) pricing. A price analysis is then performed and negotiation strategies are developed based on historical sales data and other market research techniques.

NOTE: Contracts awarded under the GSA Schedules program are in compliance with Public Law (P.L.) 95-507, Section 211, Subcontracting: Agency Coordination with the Small Business Administration Resident Procurement Center Representatives.

Prospective offerors — representing themselves as large firms and whose anticipated contract value (including option periods) is $650,000 or more — must submit a subcontracting plan to GSA that identifies percentage goals for subcontracts with small business firms and describes how the planned goals will be achieved. In turn, GSA reviews, negotiates and approves the proposed subcontracting goals. Based upon subcontracting plans, agreed percentages enable Federal Government business to “flow down” to small business concerns. The GSA Contracting Officer complies with the EEO clearance procedures of FAR 22.805. As a result, a separate EEO clearance is not required at the order level.

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Ordering Agencies need NOT establish or review subcontracting plans at the Task Order level.

Step 4. Negotiations

At the conclusion of contract negotiations, the prospective Schedule contractor submits final proposal revisions. Upon receipt, the Contracting Officer will either reject unacceptable offers or determine that prices are fair and reasonable. When the offeror is a small business concern and a non-responsibility determination has been made, a Certificate of Competency (COC) is requested from the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA is authorized by Congress to certify a small company’s “capability, competency, credit, integrity, perseverance and tenacity” for performing a specific government contract (refer to FAR 19.6).

Step 5. Contract Award

Award is made to acceptable offerors considering price and other factors.

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Most GSA Schedule contracts have a base period of five years, with the potential opportunity of three additional five-year option periods. Options are exercised in accordance with FAR 17.207.

Step 6. Award Notification & Posting

Schedule contract information, including pricing and terms and conditions of the contract, is available via GSA eLibrary at New awardees have six (6) months to place their pricing data onto GSA Advantage!® (

Economic Price Adjustments (EPA)

GSA Schedule contractors are allowed to renegotiate or modify prices in accordance with their commercial practices.

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Schedule contractors are required to publish an “Authorized Federal Supply Schedule Price List” to provide to ordering activities upon request. The price list contains all supplies and services offered by the Schedule contractor as well as the terms and conditions pertaining to each Special Item Number (SIN) for the Schedule contract. Schedule contractors are required to provide one copy of their price list to any ordering activity upon request.