When establishing your business development strategy, it is best to consider all contracting avenues. So let’s discuss today’s topic of Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs). BPAs is for buying supplies or services on a routine basis. The contracts are short in nature and usually for one year. The contracting officer can issue another BPA after the first BPA has expired if needed. The Federal Acquisition Regulation states that best value is a need on BPAs. See FAR 13.303 for more information.
How to Determine Best Value?
Price is not the only consideration in government contracting. The government will also look at the following
1. Review the Past Performance of the vendor.
2. Does the product or service need special features to meet the expected performance?
3. Will the vendor consider Trade-in?
4. Is the product comparable?
5. Does the product come with a warranty?
6. Can the product be easily maintained?
7. Does the product meet the Environmental and energy efficiency considerations?
8. Delivery terms.
Now that we understand how best value is determined, we can decide if this contracting avenue is for us and add it to our business development strategy.
Can a Contracting Officer award a single BPA if there is an existing multiple-award BPA in place?
Generally, if there is an existing multiple-award BPA in place, the government cannot issue a single-award BPA. Also, a single-award BPA may not exceed $112 Million, including any options unless the head of the agency determines in writing that:
- The orders expected are so integrally related that only a single source can reasonably perform the work;
- The BPA has to be firm-fixed-price orders for products that have their unit prices within the BPA or Services have costs specified per the task completed.
- Only one source is capable and qualified to complete the work at a reasonable price; or
- It is necessary for the public interest to award the BPA to a single source for exceptional circumstances.
Differences Between Blanket Purchase Agreements and GSA Schedules
Individual agencies negotiate the BPA, and only those associated with the specific agency can place orders against the BPA. Whereas GSA Schedules, are arranged by GSA, and as a result, every agency may place orders with them. When an Agency other than GSA issues a BPA, they cannot exceed the simplified acquisition threshold of $250,000. Whereas GSA Schedule orders can exceed this threshold.
The one advantage of an Agency BPA over a GSA Schedule is that a buyer can acquire multiple services under this one BPA. Whereas on a GSA Schedule would require purchasing under various schedules.
Now that we understand the BPA process and have made a determination that it fits our business model it is time to add it to our business development strategy.