A Blank Purchase Agreement (BPA) is a simplified method to supply a federal agency’s anticipated repetitive needs for products and/or services by establishing an account with a qualified source of supply. BPAs are normally established with General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contracts. The BPA is an approved mechanism for ordering any item on the Federal Supply Schedule including information technology products and services. The purpose of the BPA is to decrease costs, reduce paperwork and save time by eliminating the need for repetitive, individual purchases from the schedule contract. A BPA does not obligate the federal government to place orders. A BPA does not guarantee revenue to the supplier. A BPA may be used in conjunction with a negotiated, fixed-price or cost-reimbursement contract. Federal agencies are no longer restricted by dollar limitations when placing orders under a BPA. Orders may exceed the $100,000 maximum order limitation. BPA's eliminate contracting and open market costs such as: searching for sources, developing technical documents, solicitations, and evaluating bids and offers. While a BPA supplies an agency’s recurring/repetitive needs, the agency takes advantage of quantity discounts, saving time and reducing paperwork. In the past, individual orders under a BPA could not exceed the maximum order limitation. GSA empowers and encourages federal agencies to seek price reductions beyond Federal Supply Schedules for large orders. Federal agencies may order sufficient quantities to meet annual ordering requirements. Agencies may use the BPA as an ordering device for field offices, allowing them to place orders directly with the supplier. In doing so, the entire agency reaps the benefits of additional negotiated discounts. Finally, the agency will reduce the administrative burden of submitting numerous purchase orders.
Summarizing, no better tool is available to federal agencies for purchasing products and services than a Federal Supply Schedule BPA. The BPA creates a purchasing mechanism for the federal government that works better and costs less. Some of the many benefits of BPAs follow:
- Very competitive pricing
- Unsurpassed delivery
- Complete product/service lines
- Ease of ordering procedures