GSA Schedules: The Grandfather of IDIQ Contracts

Imagine the pressure on federal buyers, those tasked with the responsibility of procuring the goods and services needed to keep the federal government up and running. The demands on the system are forcing contracting officials to increasingly use Indefinite Duration Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts to procure the needed materials or services and this trend will continue. IDIQs will soon become the predominant purchasing mechanism in federal contracting, if they haven't already. 

GSA schedules are the grandfather of all IDIQs.  All schedule contracts share the following characteristics:

  1. They are open to small businesses.
  2. A services company can be virtually assured of obtaining a GSA contract if it can demonstrate its capabilities, has solid financial statements and is willing to negotiate prices.
  3. GSA schedules are usually 20-year contracts; an initial five-year contract followed by three five-year options.
  4. GSA schedules are almost always open to offers. Other IDIQs are opened for bids during a set window of 30 to 60 days and then close. The winners then hold their contracts for 3 - 10 years and are the only companies that can do business under the IDIQ.
  5. Federal buyers like to purchase from GSA schedule holders because buys can be made quickly with a minimum of paperwork.
  6. GSA schedule buys do not require a public bid because full and open competition is deemed to have taken place at the time your GSA prices were negotiated. Schedule contracts are a sales person's dream; they are a way to close a deal with your targeted buyer quickly with very limited competition from competitors.

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