The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) allows agencies to establish blanket purchase agreements (BPA) under the General Services Administration's (GSA) Schedules Program, where contracts are awarded to multiple vendors for commercial goods and services and made available for agency use. BPAs are agreements between agencies and vendors with terms in place for future use; funds are obligated when orders are placed. When establishing BPAs under schedule contracts, agencies must follow procedures regarding the number of vendors considered, request discounts, and conduct annual reviews in accordance with requirements. This report assesses selected agencies' use of schedule BPAs and evaluates whether they considered more than one vendor when establishing BPAs and placing orders under them, took opportunities for savings, and conducted annual reviews. To conduct this work, GAO reviewed a sample of 336 schedule BPAs and 352 fiscal year 2007 orders and met with officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Federal Procurement Policy||To ensure that federal agencies take greater advantage of the opportunities that competition provides under schedule BPAs, the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy should take steps to amend the FAR to clarify when establishing a schedule BPA using the limited source justifications of the FAR, including when to only one vendor, is or is not appropriate.|
|Office of Federal Procurement Policy||To improve compliance with the FAR requirement to conduct annual reviews of schedule BPAs, increasing opportunities for additional savings and avoiding violations of competition rules, the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy should take steps to require federal agencies to put procedures in place to ensure that annual reviews are conducted.|
|General Services Administration||To assist federal agencies in requesting and obtaining discounts when establishing schedule BPAs, the GSA Administrator should include in the guidance on GSA's Web site specific language which agencies can use in their requests for quotation to clearly request discounted pricing when establishing schedule BPAs.|
|Office of Federal Procurement Policy||To ensure that federal agencies take greater advantage of the opportunities that competition provides under schedule BPAs, the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy should consider including in the pending proposed FAR rule that implements the provisions of section 863 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2009 an amendment to FAR 8.4 specifying that the requirement to place on a competitive basis any order above the simplified acquisition threshold (generally $100,000) under multiple award contracts also applies to orders under single and multiple award BPAs.|