AbilityOneSupplies and Services
The AbilityOne Program provides many supplies and services to federal customers under its mandatory source authority. AbilityOne Program sources supplies manufactured or services performed by people who are blind or who have other severe disabilities. Before making any purchase from a Schedule contractor, buyers should determine if there is a comparable AbilityOne supply or service. Buyers should contact an AbilityOne representative to determine if there is an appropriate supply manufactured or service performed by people who are blind or have other severe disabilities.
UNICOR Supplies and Services
UNICOR (Federal Prison Industries) is a mandatory source of supply for certain items similar to those on GSA Schedules. Buyers are encouraged to purchase UNICOR supplies and services to the maximum extent practicable.
In accordance with FAR 8.6, if a UNICOR supply item meets the buyer's requirement, before purchasing the item from UNICOR, the buyers should conduct market research to determine whether the UNICOR item is comparable to supplies available from the private sector that best meet the government's needs in terms of price, quality, and time of delivery.
If the UNICOR item is comparable, the buyer should follow UNICOR's ordering procedures and purchase the item from UNICOR, unless UNICOR grants a waiver (FAR 8.604), or one of the circumstances in FAR 8.605 applies. View a list of UNICOR supplies and services.
Note: FAR 8.002 specifies the order of priority when acquiring supplies or services. Although UNICOR has priority over the GSA Schedule for supplies, the GSA Schedule has priority over UNICOR for services.
To help customers comply with the environmental laws and Executive Orders (considering price, availability, and performance requirements), Schedule contractors have been requested (where possible and/or feasible) to identify items that:
Note: Buyers should review contractor literature and contact the seller directly to obtain complete information regarding environmental claims. Applicable guidance can be found in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23, Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Part 223, and on the Green Procurement Compilation (GPC) Products website.
As a government buyer, before you lease equipment, you must determine whether it is more advantageous to lease or purchase the equipment. To make this determination, you should compare the leasing terms offered from the third-party leasing companies on Schedule to those offered by the Schedule equipment sellers. OMB Circular A-94 [PDF] describes the economic analysis to determine the economic impact of leasing vs. purchasing.
For example, most Information Technology (IT) leases, other than Lease to Ownership Plans (LTOP), require the buyer and the leasing contractor to determine, as part of the initial lease agreement, the market value of the equipment at the end of the lease term; i.e., its residual value.
Once you understand all the options and you determine leasing is in the best interest of the government, you will select the best leasing terms offered. Leasing requires the agency to commit to all the lease terms and conditions for the full term of the lease. If your agency has annual appropriations requiring issuance of supplemental funding documents, the agency's procurement and accounting systems must be capable of producing these required documents. Customers must also submit "renewal delivery orders" in a timely manner to ensure that leases do not expire.
Cancelling a lease for lack of funds should only be done when the organization is no longer funded. Court decisions have held that termination for convenience should only be employed when the agency no longer requires the equipment.
Reminder, customers need to submit their renewal delivery orders in a timely manner to ensure that their leases do not expire.
General Services Administration Acquisition Manual (GSAM) Clause 552.211-73, Marking incorporates general requirements that address delivery to civilian and military activities.
General requirements—Interior packages, if any, and exterior shipping containers must be marked as specified elsewhere in the contract. Other marking requirements may be specified on delivery orders issued under the contract. If not otherwise specified, interior packages and exterior shipping containers must be marked according to the standards outlined in the GSAM.
Each Schedule contract has a maximum order threshold (MOT), or maximum order limit, which varies by Special Item Number (SIN). The maximum order limit does NOT limit the value of any task order or contract awarded against the SIN. The maximum order threshold simply represents the point where, given the dollar value of the potential order, the Schedule contractor can decline the order. See 52.216-19 ORDER LIMITATIONS (OCT 1995) for further information on maximum order limitations.
Trade-ins (exchanges) will be considered against the purchase of new equipment and will be used in determining the "best value" purchase at the lowest overall cost; i.e., the price of the item plus administrative costs. If equipment was traded in as part of the purchase arrangement, the file should show the type, brand, and value of the equipment exchanged. Trade-ins should comply with provisions of the Federal Management Regulation (FMR) Part 102-39.