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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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
Review Process Time
Refer to the Contractor - Workload Expectations; Procurement Action Lead Time (PALT) and Priorities Frequently Asked Questions page. Requests under the 65 I B program will be processed within 30 calendar days of receipt and assignment to your contract specialist of record. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Contact the VA FSS Help Desk to for additional information on the proposal submission process or the proposal review/award processes!