Contracting Officer Guidance - Schedule Ordering Procedures

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.4, outlines streamlined ordering procedures for Schedules so you can focus on the unique requirements of your buy.

These ordering procedures apply to all federal agencies. In addition to ordering guidelines, GSA offers additional information related to Schedules' unique features and flexibilities and electronic buying tools.

Ordering Specifics

Orders placed against a Schedule contract:

  • Must follow the procedures set forth in FAR 8.4.
  • May be set aside for small business at the ordering Contracting Officer’s discretion.

Orders against Schedule contracts are not exempt from:

  • Acquisition planning as required by FAR Part 7
  • Agency specific supplements
  • An IT acquisition strategy as required by FAR Part 39
  • The bundled contracts requirements when the order meets the definition of “bundled contract” (refer to FAR 2.101 and 13.303-2(c)(3))

Use the GSA Schedule Order: Contract File Checklist [PDF - 368 KB] to award task or delivery orders against Schedules and to establish Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) against Schedule contracts.

Step 1: Best Procurement Approach Determination

Before placing an order with a value greater than $550,000, FAR 17.502-1(a)(2) requires the buying office to determine that using GSA Schedule contracts constitutes the best procurement approach that fulfills the buyer’s needs.

This determination, at a minimum, must include an analysis using the following factors (FAR 17.502-1(a)(2)):

  1. The suitability of a GSA Schedule as the contract vehicle;
  2. The value of using the contract vehicle, including:
    1. The administrative cost savings from using an already existing contract;
    2. Lower prices, greater number of vendors, and reasonable vehicle access fees; and
  3. The expertise of the requesting agency to place orders and administer them against the selected contract vehicle throughout the acquisition lifecycle.

If the requiring agency will place the order, this determination should be made as a part of the procurement planning process, before any public announcements of the requirement such as eBuy posting.

If you are using the services of another agency to conduct the acquisition, make the determination before requesting the ordering agency’s help. Both the requiring agency and the ordering agency must keep and file copies of the requiring agency’s determination.

Step 2: Ordering Procedure

FAR 8.405-1: Ordering Procedures Without a Statement of Work (SOW):

Ordering of supplies or fixed-price services without a SOW

FAR 8.405-2: Ordering Procedures When an SOW Is Required

Image of the process contracting officers review for placing orders for services that require an SOW

Step 3: Order Placement

Before placing an order, you must ensure that you have complied with agency and local regulatory and statutory requirements.

Orders must include the following elements, in addition to any information required by the Schedule contract:

  • Complete shipping and billing addresses
  • Contract number, agency order number, and date
  • F.O.B. delivery points, e.g., origin or destination
  • Discount terms
  • Delivery time or Period of Performance
  • Special Item Number (SIN) or National Stock Number (NSN)
  • SOW, when required, or a brief, complete description of each item
  • Quantity
  • Number of units
  • Unit price
  • Total price of order
  • Points of inspection and acceptance
  • Other pertinent data, e.g., delivery instructions or receiving hours and size-of-truck limitation
  • Marking requirements
  • Level of preservation, packaging, and packing

Options on Schedule Orders

In accordance with the requirements of FAR 17.207, Exercise of Options, Options may be included on orders placed against Schedule contracts, provided that the options are clearly stated in the requirement and are evaluated as part of the ordering activity’s “best value” determination.

You can exercise such options on Schedule contract orders, provided that:

  • Funds are available
  • The requirement covered by the option fulfills an existing government need
  • Before exercising an option, you ensure that it is still in the government’s best interest, i.e., the option is the most advantageous method of fulfilling the government’s need, with price and other factors considered
  • The term for each order placed under the Schedule contract is specified in the order. Under no circumstances may an order be placed under the Schedule contract if the Schedule contract has expired or if the government has terminated or cancelled it.
  • Pricing on an order, including options, does not exceed pricing on the Schedule contract. Pricing for any order, including options, must be in place before the award of any order including those extending beyond the Schedule contract ordering period
  • Options on orders are not exercised beyond the ordering period of the Schedule contract, including Schedule contract option year periods, unless the Schedule contracts includes clause 52.216-22 (Oct 1995), which provides in the fill-in for orders to extend up to 60 months beyond contract expiration

Before placing an order, verify that the FSS Schedule contract has FAR 52.216-22 (Oct 1995) to allow for the exercise of options on orders beyond the contract period. However, no orders or options on orders may extend more than 60 months after the expiration of the FSS Schedule contract

Consider the length of the order and the risk to the buying agency as part of the overall evaluation of best value.

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