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Federal Supply Schedule

Prior to initiating acquisitions (purchases) from commercial sources, the Contracting Officer must determine whether or not the required supplies or services are available from a Federal Supply Schedule established by the General Services Administration (GSA) or as a common stock item at a GSA supply depot.  Federal regulations require government agencies to use the consolidated purchasing performed by the GSA for certain common-use items.

GSA organizes the routine or bulk purchases in one of two ways. The first option is for GSA to procure, store, and then distribute common use items throughout the federal government. The individual agencies then order the items they need from a GSA depot. The second option is for GSA to award Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts to specific companies for specific items. The GSA then permits agencies to order those items directly from the pre-approved suppliers without additional solicitation.

GSA buys and stocks for resale to Government offices such items as office supplies, equipment, furniture, books, hardware, and office machines.  It also leases and purchases for Federal agencies such items and services as telecommunications terminals for teletype, data, and facsimile transmission; guard, janitorial, dry cleaning, and utility services, to name only a few examples.

GSA purchases the above types of goods and services as well as many others by use of Federal Supply Schedules (FSS), which are indefinite delivery contracts that permit agencies to place orders directly with suppliers.  Most of these FSS awards are competitively let by GSA for specified periods of time.

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