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The GSA Multiple Award Schedule program is the federal government’s premier contracting program for commercial products and services. Through the MAS program, GSA establishes long-term, governmentwide contracts with negotiated ceiling prices between commercial suppliers and the federal government (and in some cases state and local entities).
While the MAS program offers no guaranteed sales for individual contractors, it opens the door to federal contracting opportunities exceeding $40 billion annually.
If you are deciding whether or not GSA MAS is a good fit for your company, it is important to understand the basics.
GSA uses evaluation criteria based on the MAS solicitation to determine if a prospective contractor is eligible to hold a MAS contract. Some of the major factors include:
Every MAS offer includes three important parts: an administrative proposal, a technical proposal and a price proposal. Make sure you are using the most current version of any GSA template submitted with your offer. For more detailed instructions, refer to “SCP-FSS-001 Instructions Applicable to All Offerors” within the MAS solicitation
In the administrative proposal, you must provide financials from the previous two years (balance sheet and income statement) unless you are submitting under the Startup Springboard program.
The following information must be included in your technical proposal:
Past performance: This must be three distinct contracts or orders that are ongoing or completed within three years of the date of offer submission. For ongoing contracts with a base year and option years, at a minimum, the base year must have been completed; for multi-year task orders, at a minimum, the first year must have been completed. Acceptable documentation includes the following three options:
Relevant project experience: This depends upon the SIN(s) you are offering. Relevant project experience must either be ongoing or completed within two years of offer submission.
Offerors that are newly formed entities (less than two years old) that cannot show two years of past performance or corporate experience may use the previous professional experience of company executives and key personnel as a substitute for as many of the past performance and customer references as needed. This professional experience may also substitute for the required two years of corporate experience under the Startup Springboard program.
Within the price proposal, you must provide a completed Price Proposal Template, which is found on the MAS scope and templates website.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation specifies that the government may not buy or obtain certain hardware, software, or services from specific Russian and Chinese companies, their subsidiaries, or affiliates (see FAR provisions 52.204-23 and 52.204-25).
Further, the government may not enter into a contract with an entity using equipment, systems, or services that include prohibited Chinese telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system (see FAR clause 52.204-25). An offeror that represents they provide or use prohibited equipment must provide additional disclosures (see FAR provision 52.204-24) and are subject to a secondary proposal review.
Research the federal procurement marketplace to target federal agencies and departments that have historically purchased your product and/or service. Agencies are required to report all contract actions with estimated value in excess of the $10,000 into the Federal Procurement Data System. FPDS helps you identify:
Questions to consider during market research include:
The GSA Schedule can be a powerful tool for suppliers; however, you do not need a Schedule contract to do business with the government. To gain federal experience, you can pursue subcontracting opportunities and open market opportunities through SAM.gov. If your company is new or does not have experience working with the federal government, consider gaining that experience first.
For contractors who are looking for ways to reach the government market beyond the MAS Program, the Commercial Platforms program provides an option to partner individually or collectively with three commercial e-marketplace platforms (Amazon Business, Fisher Scientific, or Overstock Government). Full details and links to each site are available on the Commercial Platforms site.
The award of a GSA MAS contract does not guarantee future sales. However, contractors are required to achieve sales under the contract of at least $25,000 during the first 24 months and $25,000 annually thereafter.
Each Schedule contractor must market their products and services to prospective customers who are authorized to purchase through the MAS Program.