USFCR Blog

Video: How the GSA Program Works

Feb 4, 2020 3:40:00 PM / by Hayden Johnson posted in General Services Administration (GSA), GSAP Registration, Videos

USFCR's GSA Program was created to streamline the application process for a GSA schedule. This makes getting onto a schedule both relatively fast and simple. Unlike our competitors, USFCR uses a pay-as-completed model to make sure our service is cost effective for your business. Learn more about how it works in the video below. 

Read More

GSA Schedules The Contractor's Guide to the GSA in 2020

Jan 2, 2020 3:02:00 PM / by Hayden Johnson posted in General Services Administration (GSA)

Government contracting is often seen as the holy grail for business, a reliable partner with a never-ending requirement and funding source. According to USA Spending, the federal government spent over $500 billion in the 2018 fiscal year, a steady increase without signs of decline. With such a large market, it is no surprise that businesses want a piece of the pie. But is the pie right for you?

Read More

Podcast Ep 11: The Government Buys on a Schedule

Oct 29, 2019 1:33:00 PM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), Podcast

The General Services Administration (GSA) has a big part in the process of government contracting. Some people have a bad impression of the GSA because they are so interconnected into the process. This podcast episode explains it all leaves you feeling like you understand how to use the GSA's resources to make money for your business.

Read More

GSA Schedules: What's Closed and How to Get On One or More of Them

Apr 28, 2016 9:00:35 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), GSAP Registration

As of April 2016, the only U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule closed is Schedule 75: Office Solutions - Supplies and Services. This Schedule includes office products, office services, restroom products (e.g., toilet tissue, paper towels and their dispensers, toilet seat covers, facial tissues, soaps), and new products/technology. This schedule can include furniture and food items, but only if the vendor primarily offers office products.
The GSA periodically closes schedules to new contractors if the schedule is determined to be "oversaturated." Oversaturated schedules are schedules that the GSA determines have little to no room for innovation and program growth. Schedules can become oversaturated as well due to duplications. Many vendors offer the same products on different schedules.
The GSA closes schedules for a period of one year. After one year, the GSA re-examines the schedule to see if changes in the marketplace make re-opening the schedule a viable option for contractors and federal buyers.
GSA Schedule Contracts, also known as GSA Schedules or Federal Supply Schedules, are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), long-term contracts under the General Services Administration’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. GSA Schedule Contracts were developed to assist federal employees in purchasing products and services; they contain pre-negotiated prices, delivery terms, warranties, and other terms and conditions which streamline the buying process.
There is no law that requires a contractor to hold a GSA Schedule in order to conduct business with the federal government. However, many agencies will only place orders through GSA Schedule Contracts. As a result, companies that conduct significant business with the federal government ultimately find it necessary to obtain a Schedule Contract.
Acquisitions through GSA Schedules are issued using full and open competition. Prices have already been deemed fair and reasonable, and Contracts are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, reducing evaluation cycles. Purchases can be made directly from a contractor’s GSA Schedule Contract, eliminating time-consuming responses to complex RFP’s and lengthy negotiations.

Read More

The IT Schedule 70 Springboard and Its Role in the MAS

Apr 25, 2016 9:20:22 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), GSAP Registration, News

Earlier this month, GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth launched a series of new initiatives Making It Easier (MIE) for customer agencies and industry partners to accomplish their missions. These new programs go hand in hand with Administrator Roth’s key vision for GSA: to be a more proactive federal partner and a catalyst for economic development in communities across the country. The new IT Schedule 70 Springboard, which offers new and smaller businesses an easier and faster way to get a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract.

Read More

GSA Simplifies Doing Business with the Government

Apr 8, 2016 9:24:35 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA)

The U.S. General Services Administration on Thursday, April 6, 2016, launched what it is affectionally calling its "Making It Easier (MIE)" program.
The MIE program, according to GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth, makes working with the government easier for new and innovative companies, provides small businesses with tools and support they need to do work with the government, and includes an IT Schedule 70 Plain Language Roadmap that explains the Schedule 70 offer process for new vendors in clear and simple terms.  The program also makes available a standard welcome packet to companies after they are awarded their first Schedule contract. This packet, said Roth, "will put an end to new vendors receiving inconsistent and outdated guidance."
According to Roth, tens of billions of dollars go through GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules each year, and as these contract dollars increase, so do complaints about how difficult getting a Schedule contract is, how long the process takes, and how difficult changing the contract is.
"MIE has answers to both those issues," said Roth, unveiling the GSA's new FASt Lane and IT Schedule 70 Springboard.
FASt Lane, according to Roth, cuts the time it takes to get specific new innovative IT suppliers on Schedule 70 … from 110 to 45 days. And the time it takes for changes to be made to a current contract has been cut down to one or two business days …much quicker than before. The IT Schedule 70 Startup Springboard gives highly qualified businesses an alternative to the current 2-year professional experience requirement. This means we can get startup companies offering emerging technologies onto Schedules and into the hands of customer agencies faster.
GSA also recently launched a Forecast Tool giving small businesses a new way to search for upcoming contracting opportunities – another piece of GSA’s growing environment of innovation and progress.
Watch Roth talk more about the program here.
US Federal Contractor Registration, the world's largest third-party government registration firm, helps businesses qualify to get on the GSA and become eligible to be awarded a GSA Contract. If you're interested in this or other contracting opportunities, call us at 877-252-2700, ext. 1.

Read More

GSA Administrator Speaks at Women Build America Conference

Apr 6, 2016 9:24:24 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), News

Earlier this week, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Denise Turner Roth spoke at Women Build America, which brings together leaders in construction and is hosted by Women Construction Owners & Executives (WCOE). Roth discussed the agency’s commitment to be an economic catalyst and stimulate job growth in communities across the nation. GSA is changing agency policy and engaging communities to ensure the outcomes of projects are complementary to community planning efforts. Roth also stressed the importance of public-private partnerships which leads to better success in projects nationwide.
“At the GSA, nearly 10 percent of our federal contracts - worth approximately $350 million - were awarded to women-owned small businesses in fiscal year 2015 — surpassing the federal 5 percent goal. These contracts will help women take their small businesses to the next level and create the jobs America needs. GSA is constantly seeking new ways to improve communication and transparency to allow vendors, especially small businesses, a better chance for success in doing business with the government,” said Roth.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the U.S. government whose mission is to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people. The agency’s Public Buildings Service is one of the largest and most diversified public real estate organizations in the world. Its portfolio consists of 376.9 million rentable square feet in 8,721 active assets across the United States, in all 50 states, 6 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
Federal agencies are legally required to set aside 23 percent of all contracts for small businesses. These agencies are also required to set aside a specific number of contracts for business owners who meet specific socioeconomic criteria:

Read More

GSA Launches Forecast of Contracting Opportunities Tool

Mar 24, 2016 9:21:24 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), News

U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Denise Turner Roth announced on March 15, 2016 the launch of a Forecast of Contracting Opportunities tool, a new GSA-engineered product that will make it easier for small businesses to find potential contracting opportunities with the federal government.
This innovative tool is a key element of Administrator Roth’s focus on strengthening GSA’s role as a catalyst for economic development in communities wherever the federal government is present. Small enterprises are the engines of local economic prosperity, and, said Roth, empowering them to more easily identify opportunities to do business with government is integral to the agency’s mission.
The dashboard is the beta version of a worldwide database of upcoming potential federal contracting opportunities. With the tool, small businesses can now easily filter the contracting opportunity data by:

Read More

GSA Holds Open House, Training Conference in Washington, D.C.

Mar 18, 2016 9:03:04 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), News

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), on March 10, held a small business training conference in Washington, D.C. to bring together policy and contracting professionals with small business to discuss federal contracting opportunities.
The training conference highlighted Women’s History Month with a training focused on this small business category. The event also included five training session on varied topics and four roundtables that focused on important issues in federal procurement. One-on-one counseling was also available from the Small Business Administration (SBA), Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), GSA procurement staff, and the GSA Ombudsman.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and are essential to creating the jobs our country needs," said GSA Office of Small Business Utilization Associate Administrator Jerome Fletcher. "[The GSA is] committed to make it easier for all businesses — especially small businesses — to contract with the federal government."
GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth was also on-hand at the conference. During her remarks, she touched on the GSA schedule.
 
“This year we are focused on increasing the volume of businesses getting on schedule and making it easier for them to do business with the government,” said Roth. “We are constantly looking for smarter ways to encourage increased involvement of small businesses in service to government and the American people."
The training conference highlighted Women’s History Month with a training focused on this small business category. The event also included five training session on varied topics and four roundtables that focused on important issues in federal procurement. One-on-one counseling was also available from the Small Business Administration (SBA), Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), GSA procurement staff, and the GSA Ombudsman.
In 2015, GSA also exceeded all prime small business goals awarding $1.6 billion in contract awards.
"Contracting with small businesses is a win-win for both the federal government and the small business community," said Fletcher. "The government receives great service at great value, while small businesses gain opportunities to grow their businesses and create jobs."
If you were unable to attend the event, US Federal Contractor Registration is available to help your business qualify to contract with the federal government and also learn more about the GSA schedule and how getting on the schedule simplifies efforts to get your products and/or services in front of procurement officers.
For more information, call US Federal Contractor Registration at 877-252-2700.

Read More

Eligibility Requirements for GSA Contracts

Feb 24, 2016 9:12:16 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), GSAP Registration, Guides

We've recently had a flurry of questions about how our clients can qualify to receive contracts from the General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA requires any entity that submits an offer to it to meet several qualifications and guidelines. We include below a few mandatory requirements, though please keep in mind that you may be required to submit additional documents and information, depending on the schedule under which you're submitting your offer. The requirements below apply to all schedules.

Read More

GSA Launches Tool To Track Small-Business Spending

Feb 11, 2016 10:11:24 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), News

gsa-logo-smallLooking for more data on your agency’s office supplies purchases? Need to know how much your agency is spending in certain cities and states, or how much of the agency’s spending is going to small business? A new tool from GSA’s Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative For Office Supplies Third Generation (FSSI OS3) team has your answers.
FSSI OS3 helps federal customers achieve significant savings on their purchases through strategic sourcing, leveraging the purchasing power of the entire federal government, reducing prices of goods and services and increasing the quality of service for customers.
With an eye toward transparency, data integrity, and demonstrating its commitment to serving as an Economic Catalyst and Proactive Federal Partner, the FSSI OS3 Team has launched the FSSI OS3 Savings and Spend Dashboard. Interactive and more robust than its OS2 predecessor, this new, easy to use tool provides federal agencies with monthly on-demand spend and savings data. This dynamic and analytical dashboard gives agencies the ability to gain insights and conduct a deeper dive into their spending behavior patterns and savings.
By running a simple query, agencies can get a handle on agency spend performance from a summary level or more drilled down view, including metrics and insights like:

Read More

Understanding GSA Schedules

Feb 3, 2016 10:08:50 AM / by USFCR posted in General Services Administration (GSA), GSAP Registration

Understanding GSA Schedules

The GSA Schedules program is the premier acquisition vehicle in government, with approximately $50 Billion a year in spending or 10 percent (10%) of overall federal procurement spending.

Read More

FAR Changes Highlighted in New GSA Video Series

Feb 2, 2016 9:33:17 AM / by USFCR posted in General Services Administration (GSA), News

FAR Changes Highlighted in New GSA Video Series

The General Services Administration (GSA) this month launched a video series in which it outlines changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and how these changes affect government contractors.

Read More

FAR Changes Highlighted in New GSA Video Series

Feb 2, 2016 9:26:26 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA)

gsa-logo-small

The General Services Administration (GSA) this month launched a video series in which it outlines changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and how these changes affect government contractors.

Read More

The GSA Donates Computers to Atlanta Middle School

Jan 19, 2016 9:40:56 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), News

gsa-logo-smallU.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Denise Turner Roth unveiled on Friday, January 15, 2016, that the GSA donated $51,000 in gently used laptops to Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School through the agency’s Computers for Learning Program.  The unveiling ceremony –  which took place on what would have been Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 87th birthday – included surplus equipment previously used by GSA staff stationed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building. In the past three years, Georgia schools and organizations have received surplus property valued at more than $20M* from GSA.
Roth presented the equipment to Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Board Member Leslie Grant, APS Executive Director for Instructional Technology Dr. Aleigha Henderson-Rosser, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School Vice Principal Barbara Shea, and the school’s 8th grade class.  PowerMyLearning – a digital justice nonprofit helping teachers, students and parents in high-poverty school communities harness the power of digital learning improve student achievement – installed education-based software onto the laptops and participated in the ceremony.
“GSA’s Computers for Learning program offers students access to technology to help them effectively compete in the 21st Century," said Turner. "It is fitting that we would make this donation on Dr. King’s birthday, at a school named in his honor, and for the purpose of helping students gain equal access to opportunity.  Computers for Learning is one of many community investments GSA makes every day that expands the breadth of opportunity for the American people.”
Through Computers for Learning, GSA transfers excess computer equipment from federal agencies to schools and related nonprofits, placing computers in classrooms throughout the country. The program helps maximize taxpayers’ investments, while reducing landfill disposals of electronic waste.  By some estimates, re-using just one computer prevents 30 pounds of hazardous waste and 77 pounds of solid waste from entering landfills, and prevents over 17 gallons of water and 32 tons of air from being polluted.
Kwame Johnson, PowerMyLearning Greater Atlanta Region Executive Director, said: “We are honored to expand our long-standing partnership with Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School to include participation in GSA’s Computers for Learning program.  Our founder established the Computers for Learning program as a White House fellow and it is great to see her efforts come full circle.  This partnership represents our full commitment to transforming traditional classrooms into 21st century learning environments.”
“As our students prepare for the online Georgia Milestones exam, these computers will ensure that every 8th grader at King Middle has the requisite access," said Barbara Shae, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School Vice Principal. "I’m energized and excited about the future.”
This computer donation is part of a broader GSA initiative to underscore the agency’s role as a catalyst for economic development in communities across the country. Schools and educational non-profit organizations interested in learning more about the Computers for Learning program can visit www.computersforlearning.gov.

Read More

2016 GSA Per Diem Rates

Jan 18, 2016 10:20:54 AM / by USFCR posted in General Services Administration (GSA)

2016 GSA Per Diem Rates

GSA PER DIEM RATES 2016

Read More

2016 GSA Per Diem Rates

Jan 18, 2016 10:17:53 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA)

gsa-logo-smallGSA PER DIEM RATES 2016
Per diem rates are a daily allowance for lodging and meals that the GSA (Government Services Administration) sets. The U.S. Department of State sets the per diem rates for foreign travel and for all government-wide rates for military personnel being assigned on TDY orders outside of the continental United States including Hawaii, Alaska, and all official US Territories are set by the DTMO (Defense Travel Management Office) under the auspices of the Department of Defense.
The federal per diem rates reset every fiscal year on October 1, and rates either increase, decrease, or stay the same. GSA per diem rates for 2016 increased and decreased in some areas, but, for the most part, remained flat.
The GSA government travel rates include rates for lodging and for meals and incidentals. The two per diem rate categories: Lodging & M&IE (Meals & Incidentals Expense) have a combined maximum per diem rate for each specific location. On the first and last travel day, federal employees and contractors are only eligible for 75 percent of the total M&IE rate for their temporary duty travel location (not the official duty station location).
For federal employees and contractors, the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) does not make a provision for “mixing and matching” reimbursement rates. The lodging per diem rates are a maximum amount; the traveler only receives actual lodging costs up to that maximum rate. Therefore, there is no “extra” lodging per diem to add to the M&IE rate. Likewise, the M&IE per diem cannot be given up or transferred to lodging costs.
For any official temporary travel destination, receipts must be provided to substantiate claimed travel expenses for lodging and for any authorized expenses incurred costing over $75, or a reason acceptable to the applicable agency explaining why receipts are not available.
Some contracts cap how much per diem expenses a contractor can claim. This information is usually provided in the contract. Contractors with questions about FY16 GSA per diem rates should contract the contracting officer(s).
FY16 GSA Per Diem: Maximum Lodging Rates
Lodging is paid up to the maximum rate allowed (generally excluding taxes, which are reimbursed as an additional expense), but the contractor or federal employee cannot “make money” with this rate. For example, if the per diem lodging rate is $100/night and a traveler spends $75/night, the government will reimburse the traveler at $75/night. Hotels are not required to honor the federal per diem rates. It is each property’s business decision whether or not to offer the rate. Hotels also may choose to extend the rate to federal employees but not to contractors.
FY16 GSA Per Diem: Per Diem Meals & Incidentals
The per diem meals allowance is generally reimbursed at a flat daily rate, regardless of what the contractor or federal employee spends. For example, if a government traveler is at a location where the per diem meals rate is $50/day and the traveler spends $20/day for meals, the traveler is reimbursed at the meals rate of $50/day and can “make money” by pocketing the difference. The meals and incidental expense (M&IE) rate does include taxes and tips in the rate, so travelers will not be reimbursed separately for those items. Other incidental expenses include fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships. According to the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), travelers are entitled to 75% of the prescribed meals and incidental expenses for one day travel away, if the federal employee or contractor will be gone for longer than 12 hours.
FY16 GSA Per Diem: Mileage Rate
Contractors and federal employees also receive a per diem mileage rate reimbursement for operating a POV (Privately Owned Vehicle) or a POC (Privately Owned Conveyance), such as a motorcycle.
GSA FY16: Lodging Per Diem Rates
The Standard Rate for locations without specific rates is $89.
Each state also has city- and county-specific rates, for certain cities and counties. The GSA breaks down this information here.
GSA FY16: Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) Per Diem Rates
The table lists the six M&IE tiers in the lower 48 continental United States (currently ranging from $51 to $74). These rates will be spelled out in a contractor’s contract, or, if the contract does not include this information, the contracting officer can let you know.

Read More

GSA Expanding AAAP Use

Jan 11, 2016 9:19:42 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), News

getMediaData_826700522098025152_1450124255145GSA's Automated Advanced Acquisition Program (AAAP) is an online procurement platform that the federal government uses to lease office space across the country.  AAAP allows building owners the opportunity to electronically offer their vacant space for lease to the federal government.
The AAAP helps the private sector interact more efficiently and effectively with the government, providing one-stop access to information and enabling online lease offer submission. The AAAP process relies on the same basic forms and contracting methods as the traditional lease process.  The system currently handles office space requirements ranging from 500 square up to $2.85 million net annual rent.
This is a paperless system incorporating electronic signature technology that allows building owners to submit, update, and modify their offers in real time.  Building owners can continuously modify their available inventory of vacant space within the AAAP system so the government can quickly and efficiently award leases when a new requirement becomes available.
In FY15, the Mid-Atlantic Region successfully used the Automated Advanced Acquisition Program (AAAP) to award three leases for space in Cherry Hill and Mt. Laurel, NJ, and Philadelphia for the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and National Park Service, respectively.  The web-based multiple-award platform not only allowed our Lease Contracting Officers to significantly reduce lease cycle time but also provided significant cost savings to our tenant agencies.  The three awarded leases totaling 53,862 rentable square feet were measured at 18%, 36%, and 41% below market.
In order to build on this success, a new Mid-Atlantic Region-wide Request for Lease Proposal will allow the Region to expand the use of AAAP beyond a few major markets to all of our Regional territories.  Our Region plans to continue the successes reached in FY15 as we target significantly more lease awards in AAAP for FY16.
Feedback on the AAAP process has been positive from both our client and lessor perspective.  "During my 13 years working with AAP/AAAP, I have been very impressed with the timeliness and effectiveness of the AAAP in identifying and offering office space meeting the requirements of GSA leasing, WHS [DoD Washington Headquarters Services] and the client agency,” says Bruce A. Thompson, DoD.
The AAAP procurement process accelerates the solicitation phase of a lease project while still addressing all of the due diligence procedures to ensure the GSA delivers quality space to its client agencies.  Projects eligible for AAAP typically include non-prospectus projects that utilize lowest cost technically acceptable Source Selection procedures.  Awards are made through the AAAP to the lowest-priced building that can accommodate the government’s needs in terms of square footage, agency specific requirements, length of lease term, and delineated area.
AAAP’s accelerated process allows the Government to procure space more efficiently and quickly than ever before while saving taxpayer dollars through lower rental rates driven by enhanced competition.

Read More

Approval Requirements and General Information for Freight TSPs 

Jan 8, 2016 9:32:09 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA)

logoHow to Become a GSA approved Freight Transportation Service Provider (TSP)

New GSA Open Season Requirement 
Any TSPs interested in becoming approved to move cargo under the GSA Freight Management program will be approved and on-boarded during GSA’s new open season taking place January 1, 2016, to January 31, 2016.
Download the new form to register Copy of GSA TSP Agreement.
Fill out the form on your computer using Adobe Acrobat, print the last page, sign the bottom, scan, and email only the last page to Frttsp.approvals@gsa.gov.
Please allow two weeks for your request to be processed.
*Any TSPs interested in filing rates for FY 2017 bid cycle, please watch for emails around June 2016, with detailed instructions.
For further information, email TSP Approvals at Frttsp.approvals@gsa.gov.

Read More

GSA.gov Refreshed with Eye Toward Mobile Users

Nov 19, 2015 8:57:49 AM / by David Rockwell posted in General Services Administration (GSA), News

logoThe GSA unveiled a refreshed GSA.gov website on November 16 with a more crisp design layout, improved usability, and features geared more toward mobile users.
“Our ultimate goal for the refresh was to continue our work to get important government information into the hands of users–no matter how or where they’re accessing the information,” said Sarah Bryant, Director of GSA’s Enterprise Web Management Team within the Office of Communications and Marketing. “With the focus on mobile users, the refreshed GSA.gov is another step toward anticipating the future needs of our customer agencies to make smarter, more strategic decisions that provide better value to our stakeholders.”
The website refresh is also using resources from the U.S. Web Design Standards, which were released by U.S. Digital Service and 18F earlier this fall. The U.S. Web Design Standards are designed to create better online experiences for the American people. The standards include typography and color scheme recommendations that are 508 compliant, flexible, and designed for ease of readability in addition to interface elements and the code that powers them. By using these standards, the GSA says it is ensuring that the individuals visiting gsa.gov will have a better digital experience.
In addition to a section highlighting the most requested GSA services and information, the revamped GSA.gov also showcases a host of user engagement platforms including upcoming events, news, and customer support.
Other features of the refreshed gsa.gov include:

Read More

    Subscribe to Our Blog

    Recent Posts