GSA Schedule: Contractor Offers Non-Schedule Items, Gets Order Anyway

When an agency orders goods or services using the GSA Schedule, the ordered items generally must be on the awardee’s Schedule contract as of the date of the order–but need not be on the Schedule contract at an earlier date.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that an agency had properly awarded a GSA Schedule order even though the awardee did not have the ordered services on its Schedule contract at the time of its offer, because the awardee’s GSA Schedule contract was modified to include those services by the date of the order.

The GAO’s decision in AmeriGuard Security Services, Inc., B-411513.2 (Oct. 2, 2015) involved a HHS RFQ for security guard services.  HHS issued the RFQ using the GSA’s eBuy portal to all qualified firms holding GSA Schedule contract 84, Special Item Number 246-54 (Protective Service Occupations).  Initial quotations were due by March 19, 2015.

Paragon Systems, Inc. submitted a quotation.  At the time it submitted its quotation, Paragon’s GSA Schedule contract did not include all of the services and locations being procured under the RFQ.  However, after submitting its quotation, Paragon submitted a request to modify its GSA Schedule contract to include those services and locations.

The GSA granted Paragon’s requests and modified Paragon’s GSA Schedule contract to include the required services and locations.  The modification was effective April 30, 2015.  HHS awarded the order to Paragon the same day.

An unsuccessful competitor, AmeriGuard Security Services, Inc., filed a GAO bid protest.  AmeriGuard contended, in part, that the award to Paragon was improper because Paragon did not have all of the required services and locations on its GSA Schedule contract at the time it submitted its quotation.

The GAO wrote that “non-FSS products and services–frequently termed ‘open market’–may not be purchased using FSS procedures; their purchase requires compliance with otherwise applicable procurement laws and regulations, including those requiring the use of full competitive procedures.”  Thus, except in the case of micro-purchases, “where an agency announces its intention to order from an existing FSS, all items quoted and ordered are required to be on the vendor’s schedule contract as a precondition to its receiving the order.”

In this case, although Paragon did not have the items on its Schedule contract at the time of its quotation, “the order was proper because Paragon’s schedule contract had been modified to include the required labor categories/locations by April 30, the date of the order.”  The GAO held that the order was not improper, and denied AmeriGuard’s protest.

It may seem strange that a Schedule contractor could submit a quotation for items outside its Schedule contract, but still receive the order.  But as the AmeriGuard Security Services case demonstrates, there is nothing improper about such an award–so long as the awardee’s Schedule contract contains the ordered items as of the date of the order.

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