A Complete Guide To Know About GSA Along With Its Contracts & Program

A Complete Guide To Know About GSA Along With Its Contracts & Program

By: BOB STEGER | Date: 2022-08-05

To improve the federal government’s purchasing and administrative processes President Harry Truman established the General Service Administration in 1949. The GSA has developed since the 1940s and now it is the only source in the United States entirely dedicated to procuring products and services for the federal government.

GSA Schedules are one of the most widely used contracting drivers by the federal, state, and local government entities to procure goods and services from the federal contractors or companies that are involved in government contracting.

In this web blog, we are going to discuss each and every aspect of the General Service Administration along with the GSA schedule contracts and GSA schedule program. It will help the readers to understand an overall concept that they can utilize to get into the program and obtain contracts.

What does GSA Schedule stand for?

You have already got to know that the GSA stands for the General Service Administration of the United States. This General Service Administration is a government agency that was established in the year 1949. Over the period of time, the agency has evolved to a great extent and nowadays it is tasked with managing government buildings and real estate, providing support for procuring products and services, and developing policies and regulations.

For the development of GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contracts the GSA is widely known in the United States. It is also referred to as the Federal Supply Schedule Contracts or GSA Schedules Program. The GSA schedule program has been developed to leverage the purchasing power of the federal government within the process. The program also streamlines government purchasing of commercial products and services. 

Know about the General Service Administration of the United States

By now you have already got an outline regarding the GSA of the United States, now it is time to know about it precisely.

The General Service Administration of the United States is an autonomous body that provides assistance in managing and supporting the basic operations of government agencies. The General Service Administration provides the following facilities and services.

  • GSA offers goods and services as supplies for the government offices in the United States.
  • GSA offers transportation facilities.
  • GSA offers office space for government employees
  • GSA creates cost-cutting strategies
  • GSA also performs other management activities for the entire government of the United States.

A wide array of products and services are available from GSA to give assistance to the federal agencies in serving the general public of the country. The GSA schedule program allows faster lead times and better transparency for government agencies and federal contractors.

The Federal Acquisition Service ensures that the goods and services that are procured by the government agencies are of the highest quality. The taxpayers’ money is used wisely by the U.S. government to purchase such high-quality goods and services.

The vendors offer the government depending on the products and services that are in demand. A proposal that complies with the GSA solicitation must be filed for a GSA Multiple Award Schedule or MAS contract.

Know about GSA Schedule contracts  

The GSA Schedule contracts are known as Federal Supply Schedules or GSA Schedules. These contracts are Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) which are long-term government contracts under the Multiple Award Schedule program of the General Service Administration.

There are two main purposes for developing GSA Schedule contracts and these are…

  1. To assist federal employees in purchasing products and services.
  2. To help federal contractors in selling products and services easily by obtaining contracts.

Benefits that the government agencies get for procuring products and services through the GSA Schedule contracts are mentioned below:

  • A less complicated process for procuring goods and services.
  • Less time-consuming process for procuring goods and services.
  • Pre-negotiated prices are placed to purchase goods and services from the contractors.
  • Definite delivery terms.
  • Warranties on products and services are given.
  • Other terms and conditions streamline the buying process.

Understand the GSA Schedule policy & procedures

The GSA MAS program is guided by two primary controlling regulatory papers.

  1. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
  2. General Services Acquisition Manual (GSAM).

Let’s discuss these primary controlling regulatory papers in detail.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

The fundamental rules and regulations that govern the purchasing process of the government agencies get contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). It gives assurance that the purchasing methods are uniform and comprehensive across GSA contractors. So even if the disparities are in large categories, there is a common referral document. In many GSA contract clauses and provisions, the Federal Acquisition Regulation gets mentioned.

The federal agencies must follow the procurement plan for procuring commodities and services. This procurement plan is established by FAR 8.002. This plan is crucial for the GSA schedule contractors because it states that if a purchase can go through a Federal Supply Schedule, it must get accomplished before the government agencies look for other market suppliers to make the purchase of the products or services.

General Service Administration Manual (GSAM)

The GSAM is a set of guidelines for only purchasing general services. From the manual, the federal contractors can get an overview of the objectives of GSA along with the definitions of the important concepts and phrases that are commonly used in the field. The manual also provides a plan for rivalry and acquisitions.

The FAR gets utilized for all the federal procurement and the GSAM is particularly applicable to GSA contractors. It will answer most of the questions regarding the GSA, including the types of social programs and contracts that are available to the federal contractors.

Identify the buyers in the federal market

Identifying the federal buyers helps contractors to understand the characteristics of the government agencies. The government market is vast so that is why there are broad chances to sell to a wide range of federal agencies and groups both within and outside the U.S. government.

It will help federal contractors to identify who buys through a GSA-approved schedule. There are six types of major buyers and the list is given below:

  1. Civilian and military agencies of the federal government.
  2. Approved non-profit organizations.
  3. Government corporations with mixed ownerships.
  4. State, local and tribal governments.
  5. Educational institutes.
  6. Government contractors with FAR 51 authorization.

Now let’s know the benefits that the government receives when an agency buys through GSA Schedules.

  • FAR compliance.
  • Compliance with the competition of the federal market in Contracting Act.
  • On each order, negotiated contract ceiling price increases with potential discounts.
  • Fewer requirements for contract administration.
  • Socio-economic credits are received by small businesses and other socioeconomic groups.
  • Access to small entities that help people achieve certain socio-economic objectives.
  • Government contractors with proven track records, service skills, and supplies that get pre-approved.

Who are the sellers in the federal market?

People of the United States who are federal contractors with companies are considered the sellers in the federal market. In simple words, government contracting companies are known as sellers. These sellers are specialized in a particular set of products and services. The products and services that can be sold to the government agencies in the federal market are divided into 12 major categories. So let’s know the categories…

  1. Office management
  2. Facilities
  3. Furniture & furnishing
  4. Human capital
  5. Industrial products & services
  6. Miscellaneous
  7. Information Technology
  8. Professional services
  9. Scientific management & solutions
  10. Security & protection
  11. Transportation & logistics services
  12. Travel

Just like the government agencies are benefitted from procuring goods and services through GSA Schedule contracts, federal contractors also get advantages in selling to the government agencies. The list of advantages of federal contractors is given below:

  • Certifications and pre-approvals from a reputable source, proving a company’s capabilities to deliver products and services on time within a budget.
  • Determining bids and proposals becomes easier for the federal contractors due to pre-negotiated prices.
  • There is less competition for the GSA-approved federal contractors or companies.
  • For selling, the professionals use schedules to conduct market research.
  • There are more chances for federal contractors to get their names and products in front of the government agencies which will lead to more prospects.
  • The government agencies allocate a specific percentage of contracts and awards to contractors with specific socio-economic categories.
  • Government contracts can last up to 20 years if all options for renewal are fulfilled.


You should consider obtaining a GSA certification to get into the program and acquire GSA Schedule contracts. It will open a wide range of government contracting opportunities for your business. So, therefore, if you want to get preference from the government agencies to obtain government contracts then you should sell your products and services through GSA Schedule contracts.

In this web blog we have covered the following topics:

  • GSA Schedule terminology.
  • General Service Administration (GSA).
  • GSA Schedule contracts.
  • GSA Schedule policy and procedures.
  • Identification of buyers in the federal market with the benefits.
  • Identification of sellers in the federal market with the benefits.

Now it is your time to take a step forward in government contracting!

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