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Office of Acquisition and Logistics (OAL)

Getting on Schedule

 
Tel: (708) 786-7737 Fax: (708) 786-5828 fss.help@va.gov Contacts Survey
 

Now that you’ve decided that a VA FSS contract is in your firm’s best interest you are ready to prepare an offer in response to a VA Schedules solicitation.  This page will walk you through what to expect when submitting an offer.

Completing the Solicitation Package

Once you have selected the appropriate Schedule program for your products/services, it is important that you read through the entire solicitation package and understand all of the solicitation requirements.  Note that you can download a complete zip file of all the required documentation for each solicitation package from FedBizOpps.

Incomplete or incorrect submissions will be returned to you, which will greatly lengthen the processing time of your proposal.

While not all firms are awarded VA FSS contracts, the VA FSS program, in accordance with statutory authority, is open to all responsible offerors.  To be considered for contract award, you must demonstrate that your firm is responsible and is able to meet all Schedule program requirements, including price.

Completing the Solicitation

Some basic guidelines for submitting a successful proposal include:

  • Thoroughly review the “Read Me First” and solicitation documents and follow all instructions.  Not sure how to complete the Vendor Response forms?  Take a look at our Schedule Contract Overview Library for detailed instructions on how to fill out each field!

  • Submit the requested information on required forms and in a readable format (typed proposals are preferred).

  • Submit a signed Standard Form 1449 (SF-1449).  Only an authorized signatory of the company should sign the form.

  • Submit a complete Commercial Sales Practice Format (CSP-1), including detailed responses and justifications where necessary.

  • Submit two dated copies of the commercial pricelist(s), or other pricing documentation.

Proposed Pricing

All proposed products and services must be within the scope of the solicitation.  Be sure that your pricing is competitive with other similar products/services already on Schedule and be prepared to negotiate your best offer for the Government.

Elements of a Successful Offer

Ensuring these key elements are included in your proposal may expedite the review and award process:

  • Scope.  Are the supplies/services within the scope of the Schedule?
  • Past Performance.  Does your firm meet its commitments?
  • Financial Capability.  Is your firm financially sound?
  • Pricing.  Is your proposed pricing competitive with current market conditions?  Is your firm ready to negotiate its best offer for the Government?
  • Subcontracting Plan.  Required if your firm is considered “other than a small business” and the estimated value of the contract exceeds $650,000.  See the Business Size Determination page for more information.
  • Other Regulatory Compliance.  Is your firm debarred?  Are all registration requirements complete?  Are your proposed items manufactured in a Designated Country?  See the Compliance Requirements page for a complete list of all required registrations.
  • Pricing Analysis & Review of Terms.  Are your proposed prices fair and reasonable?  Did you submit data that supports and explains your pricing practices?

Proposal Assistance

Contact the FSS Help Desk for additional information on submitting a proposal or on the VA FSS review and award process!

You can also contact your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).  The PTAC offers a wide range of assistance — most free of charge — through one-on-one counseling, classes, seminars, and matchmaking events.

Proposal Review & Award Process

Review Process

The goal of this review process is to ensure the vendor is responsible, the Government is receiving a fair and reasonable price, and that any potential contract award is in the best interest of the Government.

1. Proposal Received; 2. Proposal Assignment; 3. Cursory Review & Request for Information; 4. Full Proposal Evaluation & Price Analysis; 5. Negotiations & Final Proposal Revision Request; 6. Final Review & Notification of Award

Review Process Time

The VA FSS review process usually takes 180 calendar days, but may take more depending on the completeness and complexity of the offer.  A complete and accurate offer will help speed the process — many offers are returned to the vendor for correction or clarification.  To further discuss the review process or estimated review time, please contact your assigned contract specialist or the FSS Help Desk.

Generally, the review time for proposals that must be reviewed by the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) exceeds 180 days.  Visit the OIG Threshold page to see if your proposal meets the requirements for an OIG review.

Negotiation & Contract Award

Once the assigned contract specialist completes their review of the offer, if necessary, they will schedule a meeting with you to discuss terms and negotiate pricing.  The Government’s negotiation objective is to establish pricing, terms, and conditions that are equal to or better than those received by your Most Favored Customer (MFC).  The MFC is the customer(s), or class of customer(s), that receive(s) the best discount and/or price agreement on a given item from a supplier, regardless of terms and conditions; it is a required disclosure.

After negotiations, the CS will request your Final Proposal Revision (FPR) and prepare a final version of your offer for review.  This final version will include all negotiated pricing discounts, terms, and conditions.

Proposal Rejection

If an offer fails to meet the evaluation criteria, or the CS determines the pricing, terms, and/or conditions are not fair and reasonable, it may be rejected.  If an offer is rejected, you will receive notice from the CS identifying the deficiencies.  Depending upon the circumstances for the rejection, you may alter and re-submit your offer based on the feedback received in this notice.

Proposal Acceptance

If the offer is accepted, you will receive a VA Schedule contract and will be eligible to start doing business with the Government through the Schedules program.

Manage and Market

Being awarded a VA Schedule contract can bring great opportunity for company growth and expansion; however, this does not come without important contract obligations and responsibilities as well as a concerted effort to market your business to the federal marketplace.  Newly awarded contractors are encouraged to learn more by visiting the Managing Your VA FSS Contract and Marketing to the Federal Government pages.

Questions?

Contact the VA FSS Help Desk to for additional information on the proposal submission process or the proposal review/award processes!