Section 8: Schedule Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs)

A Schedule BPA is established by an ordering activity with a Schedule contract to fill repetitive needs for supplies or services (refer to FAR 8.405-3). BPAs leverage an ordering activity’s buying power in taking advantage of quantity discounts, saving administrative time and reducing paperwork. BPAs may be established with one or more Schedule contractors. However, consistent with FAR 8.405-3, ordering activities must give preference to establishing multiple-award BPAs rather than awarding a single BPA.

BPAs are considered to be issued using full and open competition when using the procedures in FAR Subpart 8.4 (refer to FAR 6.102(d)(3)) at Ordering activities shall not seek competition outside of the Schedules or synopsize the requirement.

BPAs are an excellent method for an ordering activity to fulfill recurring requirements, including establishing a BPA rather than an agency IDIQ contract. BPAs can be used for simple recurring requirements or complex services requirements, such as buying systems engineering support. Schedule BPAs have been used for complex service requirements exceeding $1 billion annually.

MAS Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) Basics

A Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is a vehicle or acquisition strategy that an ordering activity can use to simplify the acquisition of recurring needs for Schedule services or supplies. The benefits of using BPAs include leveraging buying power, saving administrative time, and reducing paperwork. Ordering activities that have a continuing need for identical or similar items available on a GSA Schedule can establish a Schedule BPA. BPAs simplify the ordering process and should be used for negotiating better pricing for large, recurring requirements. BPAs specify the frequency of orders, invoices, discounts, requirements (e.g., estimated quantities, work to be performed), delivery locations, time, and procedures for placing orders under the BPA.

Both “traditional” BPAs and MAS (or “Schedule”) BPAs can be used to fill anticipated repetitive needs for supplies and services. While traditional BPAs are subject to the requirements of FAR Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures, FAR Part 13 does not apply to GSA Schedule BPAs.

IAW FAR 6.102(d)(3), use of the MAS BPA is considered a “competitive procedure” under the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) when the GSA Schedule ordering procedures are followed. FAR 8.405-3 clarifies the conditions under which BPAs may be established with one or more Schedule contractors. The ordering activity should, to the maximum extent practicable, give preference to establishing multiple-award BPAs, rather than establishing a single-award BPA. However, the number of BPAs to be established is under the discretion of the ordering activity establishing the BPAs and should utilize a strategy that is expected to maximize the effectiveness of the BPA(s).

GSA has established that the prices contained within the contractor’s Schedule price list are fair and reasonable. However, the ordering activity is responsible for considering the level of effort and mix of labor proposed to perform the required work and for making a determination that the price specific to the task order is fair and reasonable.

There is no monetary limitation on a BPA unless an ordering office implements a limitation. The FAR requires the government to provide a good faith estimate. The same ordering procedures outlined in FAR 8.405 apply to the establishment of a GSA Schedule BPA (see FAR 8.405-3(b)). Based on the potential volume of all orders under the BPA, ordering activities may be able to obtain greater discounts, regardless of the size of individual orders.

Ordering activities can order against the BPA for the duration of the BPA’s corresponding Schedule contract, which is typically not more than five years. A Schedule contractor may be awarded a BPA that extends beyond the current term of its GSA Schedule contract as long as there are option periods in the GSA Schedule contract that, if exercised, will cover the BPA’s period of performance. All terms and conditions of the Schedule contract apply to the BPA.

Agencies may join together to create a multi-agency MAS BPA if the multi-agency BPA identifies the participating agencies and their estimated requirements at the time the BPA is established.

Each year, the ordering activity must document the review of the GSA Schedule BPA to determine:

The same acquisition procedures that DOD requires for Schedule orders apply to Schedule BPAs purchased either by or on behalf of DOD organizations.