Q = Question; A = Answer
We recently learned that these items are available from the GSA schedule. I received the GSA contract. We did a cost/price analysis and determined that it would be to our benefit to purchase these brand name items from the GSA contract versus going out for bid (brand name or approved equal). Does FTA allow procurements from GSA contract?
A. FTA does not restrict procurements by grantees from GSA schedule contracts. However, Congress has not opened all of the GSA supply schedules to grantees. At the present time, State and local governments are authorized to purchase from GSA’s Schedule 70 - Information Technology contracts. Therefore, State and local government grantees are authorized to purchase IT equipment directly from the vendors on GSA Schedule 70, without having to conduct a separate competitive procurement.
In addition, Congress has authorized State and local government entities to use any GSA Federal Supply Schedule to acquire property and services in advance of a major disaster declared by the President of the United States, as well as in the aftermath of an emergency event. The State or local government is then responsible for ensuring that the property or services acquired will be used for recovery. More information about major disaster and emergency recovery acquisition is available at GSA’s Web site. (Revised: July 9, 2009)
A. We would agree with you that the best possible outcome in choosing a contractor would be through a competitive RFP process, rather than selecting a contractor that is the only one on the GSA schedule, and thus excluding other capable firms that might very well offer you a better value outcome considering both technical capabilities and price. There is nothing in the FTA Best Practices Procurement Manual that addresses the scenario you describe. (Posted: August, 2013)
A. The requirements related to Buy America and DBE would apply to any contracts above $100,000 awarded by a FTA grantee through the Federal GSA schedules. The use of a GSA schedule as a procurement method would not affect other applicable laws and regulations. (Posted: November, 2014)
A. FTA Circular 4220.1F, Chapter V paragraph 6 discusses the use of GSA Supply Schedules by grantees. It specifically authorizes the acquisition of IT technology, but no other type of acquisition is authorized. Thus the grantee cannot acquire furniture from the GSA schedules, and will have to conduct a new competitive (advertised) procurement for the furniture. Paragraph 6. d. also requires grantees to seek offers from at least three sources on the GSA IT Schedule in order to fulfill FTA competition requirements. (Posted: December, 2014)