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What Is a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)?

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Federal agencies don’t submit separate purchase orders for every recurring purchase. From ballpoint pens and office supplies to computers and database management software, government buyers can submit recurring orders from federal contractors using a blanket purchase agreement (BPA). Learn more about these agreements under the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule to see if a BPA is right for your firm. Connect with Rafael Marrero & Company to see if you qualify for any BPA set asides or other contracting opportunities.

The Purpose of a Blanket Purchase Agreement

A blanket purchase agreement is set up to allow contractors to fill repetitive orders for supplies and/or services. As a qualified contractor, you may win a BPA if you can provide a varying amount and schedule of products and/or services to a particular federal department.

Just like other purchase agreements, there are strict requirements federal departments must follow when awarding BPAs to contractors. Here are some factors they may consider when determining which contractor offers the best value for the purchase agreement:

  • Price
  • Past performance
  • Delivery terms
  • Special features
  • Warranty considerations
  • Trade-in considerations
  • Probable life of item vs. comparable items
  • Maintenance availability
  • Environmental considerations

When BPAs Are Typically Used

GSA is responsible for several key BPAs that provide ongoing supplies and services to all federal agencies. These agreements help streamline the purchasing process for repeatable items across different agencies. Here are some examples of BPAs established by the GSA:

  • Maintenance, repair, and operations
  • Sanitation and janitorial supplies
  • Software agreements
  • Identity protection services
  • Long-term lodging
  • Emergency lodging

Schedule BPAs vs. Traditional BPAs

The GSA Schedules Program offers Schedule BPAs, which offer a few distinct characteristics compared to traditional BPAs. The primary difference is that Schedule BPAs are only subject to FAR 13.303-2(c), while traditional blanket purchase agreements are subject to all of FAR Part 13. What this means for federal agencies is that a GSA Schedule BPA can save time, administrative costs and effort, and offer flexibility.

Limitations of a BPA

There are a few limitations to be aware of when considering a blanket purchase agreement as a federal contractor. While these purchase agreements are designed for recurring costs, a single-award BPA can’t exceed one year in length and a multiple-award BPA shouldn’t exceed five years in duration.

These agreements may also be set aside for certified types of small businesses. At the discretion of the federal agency, there may be specific BPAs set aside for these types of small businesses:

Benefits of Winning a BPA As a Federal Contractor

Simplify the process of working with the U.S. government by leveraging the convenience of BPAs. As a federal contractor, you can enjoy the following benefits when choosing to work under a BPA:

  • Less paperwork: Sign the paperwork for one order and continue to fill that order in an ongoing manner with a BPA to cut down on the paperwork.
  • Volume sales: Fulfilling a BPA can require bulk materials or services. This gives you the opportunity to increase your revenue through volume sales.
  • Ongoing order: Enjoy more consistency from an order with the U.S. government thanks to the ongoing nature of a BPA.

Navigate the Purchase Agreement Process With Rafael Marrero & Company

A blanket purchase agreement is just one avenue you can take as a federal contractor. Contact us to see how Rafael Marrero & Company can help you navigate the process of doing business with the U.S. government.

Dr. Rafael Marrero

A nationally recognized expert in federal contracting, small business entrepreneurship, vendor, and project/program management. A graduate of the prestigious Stanford and Cornell Universities, Dr. Rafael Marrero is a former Fortune 500 procurement executive, two-time Inc. 500 honoree, network news commentator, and Amazon best-selling author.

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