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  • Question

    Is it illegal or improper to issue a call order with the solicitation for the BPA?


    Answer

    I could not find anything in the FAR that prohibits issuing a call when the BPA is placed. You should check the current GSA schedule for the types of orders permitted under the schedule and specific requirements for issuing orders for that particular schedule.  When establishing single or multiple GSA Schedule BPAs, an ordering activity must follow the procedures outlined in FAR 8.405-3. The end result of following these procedures is that the ordering activity generally solicits a minimum of, but often more than, three sources and seeks price reductions prior to establishing a GSA Schedule BPA.
     
    The ordering officer must first determine the chosen contractor represents the best value for the supply or service being ordered.  The Ordering officer has broad discretion in tailoring the best value analysis to specific requirements but should follow the guidance in FAR 8.404(b).  As long as a best value analysis is done for the initial call when the BPA is issued, there should not be an issue with placing the call almost simultaneously or immediately after the BPA is issued.  One option might be to use a model call order in the solicitation as part of the overall best value determination.  For instance, the solicitation could require contractors to price a model call order, which would be attached with the solicitation, and state that the ordering activity intends to place an initial call based on the overall best value including price and delivery terms proposed for the model call order.  It’s important that the solicitation is detailed and specific enough and based on well-defined requirements in order to lessen the amount of analysis required for the initial and subsequent calls.  Also, using clear and objective evaluation criteria, such as lowest price or advantageous delivery terms, should help facilitate the process of placing calls against the BPA. 
       
    Finally, consult with the responsible GSA contracting officer and your legal advisor, and have your legal advisor review the solicitation and evaluation decision.
     

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