This month, GSA rolled out a much anticipated policy for joint ventures (JVs) pursuing a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contract (also referred to as the GSA Schedule).
Historically, joint ventures have had a difficult time obtaining a GSA Schedule due to the two-year business requirement. Technically, a joint venture is not intended to last more than two years and would never meet the requirement to get a GSA Schedule. That is, until GSA introduced the Startup Springboard program, which provides an exception to the two-year business requirement. The program was originally only available to IT companies. However, last May, GSA expanded the Startup Springboard program to all industries under the GSA MAS Contract.
While the Startup Springboard provided joint ventures a path to getting a GSA Schedule, GSA still lacked an official policy to address these unique entities. That changed with the release of Refresh 16. Refresh 16 updated the GSA MAS solicitation to include specific instructions and policies for joint ventures.
Does Your JV Qualify for a GSA Schedule?
Below are the high-level requirements for joint ventures to qualify for a GSA Schedule.
- The joint venture is registered in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) as an entity with its own Unique Entity ID (UEI).
- The joint venture does not already hold a GSA Schedule or have an offer pending. A JV can only hold one GSA Schedule.
- The same partners that make up the JV do not hold a GSA Schedule or have an offer pending under a different JV. For example, if Company A and Company B are partners together under two separate JVs, only one of those JV’s can get a GSA Schedule.
- Each JV partner has no more than three total GSA Schedule joint venture offers and/or currently awarded GSA Schedule joint venture contracts with a different partner(s). For example, Company A and Company B establish a joint venture named AB-JV. Company A is part of two other JVs that hold a GSA Schedule and Company B is part of three other JVs that hold a GSA Schedule. In this scenario, AB-JV will not be allowed to obtain a GSA Schedule because Company B has reached the maximum allowable JV contracts under the GSA Schedule Program.
- Small business joint ventures must meet additional size standard requirements and have a JV agreement in place that addresses performance under the proposed GSA Schedule JV Contract.
- Mentor-Protégé joint ventures must have a mentor-protégé agreement approved by SBA and included on SBA’s active mentor-protégé agreement list.
How Can a Joint Venture Get a GSA Schedule?
Whether you are pursuing a GSA Schedule as a JV or an individual company, the general process is the same. You’ll submit a proposal via GSA’s eOffer system in response to the standing GSA MAS solicitation. Your offer will then be assigned to a GSA Contracting Officer for review. If your proposal meets the solicitation requirements, you’ll negotiate pricing and receive your GSA Multiple Award Schedule Contract award.
The difference between getting a GSA Schedule as a joint venture as opposed to an individual company is mainly in the information required. As a JV, you’ll have to provide additional supporting documentation and meet specialized requirements. You may also be required to provide the following for each member/partner:
- Financial statements
- Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) and/or surveys
- Project experience
GSA Schedule Restrictions for JVs
If you are successful in obtaining a GSA MAS Contract as a joint venture, you and your JV partner(s) are not allowed to submit competing quotes for any GSA MAS order or BPA. That means if your JV submits a quote in response to an RFQ, you cannot also submit a quote using your company’s individual GSA MAS Contract or any other GSA MAS Contract you hold under a separate JV.
Get Help to Get a GSA Schedule for Your JV
Obtaining a GSA Schedule can be complicated under normal circumstances. As a JV, you have additional requirements and restrictions. Our team has extensive experience navigating joint ventures through the GSA Schedule proposal process. Contact us today to discuss how we can help!