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Addtional Certifications Attached to GSA Order

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I received a GSA order from an agency, and the agency is requiring to me to sign various additional certifications. Is there a reference or cite that I can provide to the ordering agency that clarifies to them that no additional information is required from the vendor for them to place an order under a GSA contract?

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I received a GSA order from an agency, and the agency is requiring to me to sign various additional certifications. Is there a reference or cite that I can provide to the ordering agency that clarifies to them that no additional information is required from the vendor for them to place an order under a GSA contract?

It depends on what the various certifications require. While this doesn't directly answer your question, it addresses agency specific clarifying clauses and special requirements. It's from the FAQ section of the GSA website. I would think certifications about conflict for interest falls into this category

"When establishing a GSA Schedule BPA, can an ordering activity add or modify terms and conditions of the GSA Schedule contract? For example, if the GSA Schedule contract has a delivery time of 60 days from receipt of order, but the ordering activity needs delivery in 30 days, can the ordering activity require a 30 day time frame for delivery?

Generally, the alteration or tailoring of GSA Schedule contract terms and conditions to meet the needs of individual procurements is not permitted. In the case of delivery times, however, GSA Schedule contracts provide for various expedited delivery terms. An ordering activity may find that the GSA Schedule contracts already contain the expedited delivery it requires, or the ordering activity may contact GSA Schedule contractors to request the desired delivery time.

Clarifying clauses and special requirements can be added to BPAs, provided that such additions do not conflict with the terms and conditions of the GSA Schedule contract. Provisions and clauses commonly added address such topics as organizational conflicts of interest and approval of subcontractors or key personnel. When there is a question as to whether additional GSA Schedule BPA terms conflict with the GSA Schedule contract, the ordering activity should contact the assigned GSA contracting officer"

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Thanks. I saw that on the GSA site.

Anything more direct and on point? Such as, the GSA response includes the statement "Generally, the alteration or tailoring of GSA Schedule contract terms and conditions to meet the needs of individual procurements is not permitted". Where is what is "not permitted" explained in more detail?

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I'm not sure if this is still on the GSA site or not. But GSA said agencies are free to add clauses, terms and conditions to meet specific agency needs providing they did not conflict with the GSA Schedule contract. They cited such things as security including background checks, agency operating hours, environmental considerations, contractor employee identification, etc.

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I just finished soliciting a large value RFQ on GSA E-Buy. The GSA master contract contracting officer permitted us to add any FAR, DFAR, AFAR or local clauses that applied to the requirement not already in the master contract. We determined proposal submission instructions and evaluation criteria much like a solicitation issued under FedBizOps.

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Guest carl r culham

There is a key point I have picked up in reading this thread. Solicitation requirements versus a stipulation in a proposed award of a contract (in this case a order under a GSA contract) that was unknown until award. It would be my opinion if the stipulations were not known prior to award that the contractor would have good reason to reject the contract as not being what was agreed to unless the Government was open to negotiating the impacts that the stipulations present to the contractor.

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Whynot,

Hopefully you are not being asked to resubmit reps & certs under FAR 52.212-5, but other certifications, such as those found in an ordering activity's agency supplement, may be completely appropriate to add to an FSS RFQ. Formerfed's example of Conflict of Interest certifications is something our agency supplement requires regardless of the acquisition procedures used, and I read FAR 8.404b as authority to add such requirements (though I think others may disagree).

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I would be one that disagrees. I assume that you take the words "the procuring CO is responsible for applying the regulatory and statutory requirements" to mean that the procuring CO can unilaterally add requirements to orders under the GSA contract. I see how the CO is responsible but that is it.

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No COs can't unilaterally adds requirements to orders. The requirements should be part of the RFQ or whatever your quote was based on.

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I assume that you take the words "the procuring CO is responsible for applying the regulatory and statutory requirements" to mean that the procuring CO can unilaterally add requirements to orders under the GSA contract. I see how the CO is responsible but that is it.

You assume wrong. I don't believe that a CO can unilaterally add provisions and clauses to an FSS order to which the contractor must fulfill. In fact it may be impossible for a contractor to fulfill some such provisions and make any order useless. For example, many agencies have EnergyStar compliance clauses that must be added to procurements when the agency buys electronics. However, if a schedule contractor does not offer products that are EnergyStar compliant, a CO who unilaterally includes that clause in an order to that contractor is not ordering within the terms of the contractor's stated schedule contract.

But that doesn't mean that the CO can go against her own agency supplement and not include the EnergyStar requirement. She must be able to reach schedule contractors that DO offer EnergyStar compliant products. So whether by "copy 'n pasting" the clause text into the requirements document/SOW or (more simply) by adding the clause as part of the RFQ, a CO should be able to add agency supplement provisions and clauses to a schedule order, but only if accepted by the contractor. And as I stated before, I read FAR 8.404b as authority to add such requirements.

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I found 552.238-79 Use of Federal Supply Schedule Contracts by Certain Entities?Cooperative Purchasing allows State and Local entities to add terms and conditions that do not conflict. There does not appear to be anything similar for Federal agencies - and nothing in writing on the GSA website to allow it. 8.406-1 order Placement states that "The ordering activity shall place an order directly with the contractor in accordance with the terms and conditions of the pricelists." Why allow the flexibility for State and Local and not for Federal?

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I suggest that the appropriate question from the ordering activity is NOT: "Where does the FAR or Schedule contract give me permission to add non-conflicting provisions/clauses from my agency's FAR Supplement or local clauses to my Schedule order RFQ?"

but instead: [per FAR 1.102(d) and FAR 1.102-4(e)]

"Where (if anywhere) does the FAR or the Schedule contract prohibit me from adding non-conflicting provisions/clauses from my agency's FAR Supplement or local clauses/provisions to my Schedule order RFQ?"

Answer: There is no such prohibition in the FAR or in the Schedule contract.

In fact, because the Schedule contracts are written for use by all federal agencies, the Schedule contracts don't include any provisions/clauses from your agency's FAR Supplement. For example, DoD Ordering Officers won't find a single DFARS clause/provision in the GSA Schedule contracts. Does that mean they are prohibited from adding necessary (but non-conflicting) DFARS clauses/provisions to their Schedule order RFQ? Of course not. Maybe you even need a FAR clause on Government Furnished Property for your Schedule task order. You won't find that clause in the Schedule contracts. So add it to your Task Order RFQ. FAR 1.602-1(:D says that the Contracting Officer (meaing the person signing the FSS taks order) must ensure "that all requirements of law, executive order, regulations, and all other applicable procedures, including clearances and approvals, have been met." The GSA Schedule contract CO doesn't know the laws and regulations applicable to your agency or your type of requirement and cannot put all that (and for every ordering activity!) into the Schedule contracts.

I think the best discussion on clauses/provisions on FSS orders is posted at a GSA blog on this issue. Send me an e-mail (navycontracting@yahoo.com) and I will send you the link.

navycontracting@yahoo.com

(Proud "FAR Bootcamp" Graduate)

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