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Federal Supply Schedule vs Commercial vs Simplified

Federal Supply Schedules vs Commercial Items vs Simplified Acquisitions

 

Federal Supply Schedules
FAR Part 8.4
Commercial Items
FAR Part 12
Simplified Acquisitions
FAR Part 13
Description
Agencies can place Task Orders or Delivery Orders under GSA Federal Supply Schedule for required products or services.  Additionally, agencies can establish Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) for the acquisition of recurring needs for services or products that are on federal supply schedules. Supplies and services that meet the definition of a commercial item at FAR 2.1 may be acquired using the streamlined procedures set forth in FAR 12. Non-Developmental Item (NDI) and Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) are considered subsets of commercial items The procedures in FAR 13 provide streamlined processes to acquire supplies and services, including construction, research and development, and commercial items, for which the aggregate amount does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.
Common Applications
  • Commercial products and services
  • Information Technology (IT) product and services
  • Health IT services and solutions
  • Cyber services and solutions
  • Cloud services and solutions
  • Software licenses
  • Telecommunications and wireless services
  • Mobile solutions
  • COTS Defense Business Systems
  • COTS solutions and technologies
  • Commercial products and services
  • IT product and services
  • Health IT services and solutions
  • Cyber services and solutions
  • Cloud services and solutions
  • Software licenses
  • Telecommunications and wireless services
  • Mobile solutions
  • All types of supplies and services, to include construction
  • Unique software licenses
  • Research and development (R&D)
  • GPC purchases for low-dollar mission supplies and services
Pros
  • GSA streamlined procedures reduces administrative burden and procurement lead time
  • Ability to negotiate further price discounts from established schedule rates increases cost avoidance
  • Pre-negotiated prices determined fair and reasonable reduces procurement lead time
  • Ability to customize terms and conditions increases flexibility to procure supplies and services
  • Access to pre-vetted, qualified contractors reduces performance risk in execution
  • GSA streamlined procedures provides opportunity to quickly meet socioeconomic goals
  • Ability to establish BPAs with multiple vendors maintains competition and reduces cost, schedule, and performance risk associated with a single vendor source
  • Availability of commercial market pricing data reduces administrative cost and procurement lead time
  • Ability to use streamlined procedures for commercial technologies provides opportunity for acquisition programs to deliver capability quickly
  • Streamlined commercial procedures and terms and conditions reduces procurement lead time
  • Streamlined procedures reduces procurement lead time to award and administrative costs
  • Opportunity to combine repetitive purchase orders under a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) reduces procurement lead time and administrative costs
  • Ability to establish BPAs with multiple vendors maintains competition and reduces cost, schedule, and performance risk associated with a single vendor source
  • Ability to establish unique terms and conditions, to include contract types, increases flexibility in acquiring services and products
  • Offers no limitations on types of products or services increasing flexibility to meet unique agency needs
  • Government Purchase Card program increases flexibility and rapid delivery of low-dollar mission-related supplies and services
Cons
  • Limitation of firm-fixed-price (FFP) or time and materials (T&M) pricing arrangements may not be appropriate or suitable for complex requirements
  • GSA Schedule offering of only commercial services and products reduces flexibility in acquiring capabilities
  • Standard schedule commercial rights and licenses increases burden on Government to ensure specialized rights are explicit
  • Inability to tailor to unique government requirements (e.g. product customization) reduces flexibility for complex acquisitions
  • Limitation of firm-fixed-price (FFP) or time and materials (T&M) pricing arrangements may not be appropriate or suitable for complex requirements
  • Standard commercial rights and licenses increases burden on Government to ensure specialized rights are explicit
  • May require integration of commercial technologies into the larger program technical baseline
  • Simplified acquisition threshold order limitation reduces flexibility to acquire large scale orders
Restrictions
  • Cannot use cost-type contracts
  • Requires best approach determination and finding for actions that meet threshold
  • Commercial item determination required
  • Requirement must not be met through FAR 8
  • Must meet SAT
Statute References

FAR 8.404 (a) 
FAR 8.405-3

FAR 38

 

FAR 12.203 FAR 13.303