Intro to the GSA MAS Contract: Benefits, Eligibility, & Proposal Process Learn More

GSA vs VA Schedule Contract Comparison

GSA vs VA Schedule Contract

GSA & VA Explained

GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contracts and VA Schedule Contracts are both government contracts under the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Program. The FSS program was developed to help the federal government leverage its buying power, negotiate pricing, and simplify the process of buying commercial products and services.

GSA and VA Schedule Contracts establish pre-negotiated pricing, terms, and conditions. When a federal buyer places an order for products or services under a GSA or VA Schedule, they follow a special set of streamlined ordering procedures. This is enticing to federal buyers because the traditional federal procurement process can be long and complicated. In comparison, purchases through GSA and VA Schedule Contracts can be completed in a fraction of the time of open market procurements.

GSAVA

Which Contract is Right for Your Company?

The General Services Administration (GSA) oversees the Federal Supply Schedule program. However, GSA handed over administration of medical related products and services to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Whether you pursue a GSA or VA Schedule Contract depends on the type of products or services you offer. Most non-medical related products and services fall under the GSA MAS Contract, while medical and dental related offerings typically fall under a VA Schedule Contract.

GSA and VA Schedules are both governed by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 8.4. These two contracts share more similarities than differences. That said, there are variances in the contract structure, terms, proposal process, and post-award contract management.

Knowing these differences can help you select a contract if you offer a product that could potentially fall under a GSA or VA Schedule. It is also important to understand how these two contracts differ if your company holds or is pursuing both a GSA and VA Schedule Contract.

Below is a review of differences between the GSA and VA Schedule Contract. Please keep in mind, this is a high-level overview and not a comprehensive list.

Contract Structure

GSA MAS Contract

The GSA Schedule Program consists of one GSA Multiple Award Schedule that is broken down into:

  • 12 Large Categories,
  • 80+ Subcategories, and
  • 300+ Special Item Numbers

VA Schedule Contract

The VA Schedules Program consists of nine individual VA Schedule Contracts that are each broken down into Special Item Numbers (SINs). The number of SINs under a VA Schedule will vary depending on the VA Schedule. While some VA Schedules have roughly ten or less SINs, the VA Medical Equipment and Supplies Schedule has 155 SINs.

General Contract Terms

GSA MAS ContractVA Schedule Contract
Administering AgencyGeneral Services AdministrationDepartment of Veterans Affairs
Contract TypeIndefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ), Multiple AwardIndefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ), Multiple Award
StructureOne Contract Broken into Large Categories, Subcategories and Special Item Numbers (SINs)Nine VA Schedule Contracts Broken into SINs
Term5-Year Contract with Three 5-Year OptionsVA Pharmaceutical Schedule is a 5-Year Contract
All Other VA Schedules are a 5-Year Contract with One 5-Year Option
Eligible BuyersAll Federal Agencies
State & Local in Cases of Disaster Recovery
State & Local Under Specific IT & Security Related SINs
All Federal Agencies
State & Local in Cases of Disaster Recovery

Pre-Award

As you review the comparison charts, you may notice that GSA has specialized online platforms for accepting and reviewing GSA MAS Contract proposal submissions or modifications requests. On the VA’s side, this work is conducted via email.

A significant difference that impacts companies both pre- and post-award is Transactional Data Reporting (TDR). TDR is an optional program that is currently available under select GSA MAS Contract SINs. TDR helps support the federal Category Management initiative, while relieving contractors of the requirement to disclose commercial sales practices and track pricing relationships across customer types. While there are plans to expand TDR to all GSA MAS Contract SINs, there are not currently plans to extend the program to VA Schedule Contracts. Learn more about TDR.

GSA MAS ContractVA Schedule Contract
RequirementsGSA requires companies to be in business for at least two years and provide financials (companies that do not meet this requirement may qualify under the Startup Springboard program.The VA does not require two years in business or the submission of corporate financials. However, the VA will run a Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) report, which requires companies to have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number.
DUNS NumberNot applicableRequired
Transactional Data ReportingOptional under select SINs https://gsa.federalschedules.com/resources/tdr-how-contractors-can-avoid-the-gsa-price-reduction-clause/#tdrsinsNot applicable
Submitting Your ProposalSubmit online through GSA’s eOffer website.Submit via email.
Estimated Proposal Review TimeApproximately 3-12 months depending on the GSA CategoryApproximately 1-2 Years
Pre-Award AuditNot applicableMay be requested if:
– Estimated value of an offer is expected to exceed $5,000,000 annually for VA Schedule 65 I B or $3,000,000 annually for any other VA Schedule.

– Estimated value of $500,000 or more is received from a reseller who does not have significant commercial sales and who will be representing their manufacturer’s information.

Resellers/DistributorsMust provide Letter of Supply documentation, unless authorized by the manufacturer within the Verified Products Portal (VPP).Must provide Letter of Supply documentation, and Certificate of Insurance from the manufacturer if reselling medical equipment.

Post-Award

The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Catalog Platform (FCP) may prove to be a game-changing application for contract modifications. FCP is designed to streamline the process for submitting, modifying, reviewing, and approving GSA Contract modifications. It also provides the benefit of eliminating the need to conduct a GSA Advantage upload after modification approvals. GSA is in the middle of what will likely be a multi-year process of transitioning contractors to FCP. For now, VA Schedule Contracts are excluded. However, there are plans to extend FCP to VA Schedules in the long-term future. Learn more about FCP.

GSA MAS ContractVA Schedule Contract
Sales RequirementsAt least $100,000 within the first five years and at least $125,000 for each following 5-year period.At least $25,000 within the first two years and at least $25,000 annually for each following year.
Industrial Funding Fee (IFF).75%1% for Services VA Schedules: 621 I and 621 II
.5% for Product VA Schedules: 65 II A, 65 II C, 65 VII, 65 I B, 65 V A
Sales ReportingSubmitted online through the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Sales Reporting Portal (SRP) https://srp.fas.gsa.gov/Starting January 1, 2024, Submitted Online through the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Sales Reporting Portal (SRP) https://srp.fas.gsa.gov/
Insurance RequirementsNot applicableRequired for VA Schedules 66 II, 621 I, and 621 II. https://www.va.gov/opal/nac/fss/recurringRequirements.asp#five
GSA AdvantageRequired. Catalogs may be uploaded via Schedule Input Program (SIP), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), or automatically if participating in Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Catalog Platform (FCP).Required. Catalogs may be uploaded via Schedule Input Program (SIP) or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
FAS Catalog Platform (FCP)Currently available to some GSA MAS Contract product vendors with plans to extend to all GSA MAS Contractors in the future.Currently not available. May become available to VA Schedule contractors in the future.
National Acquisition Center (NAC) Contract Catalog Search Tool (CCST)Not applicableRequired. Submission of approved product and pricing information is sent via email within a specific Excel file.
ModificationsSubmitted online through GSA eMod.Submitted via email.
Mass ModificationsOccur when a change is made to the GSA MAS Contract, which is released as a “Refresh” to the solicitation.

Issued and accepted by the contractor online at https://mcm.fas.gsa.gov/.

Occur when a change is made to a VA Schedule, which is released as an “Amendment” to the solicitation.

Posted online at https://www.va.gov/opal/nac/fss/massMods.asp and accepted by the contractor via email with the VA Contracting Officer.

OIG AuditsMay be initiated for cause, sales volume, or at random selection.May be initiated if:
– Estimated value of an offer is expected to exceed $5,000,000 annually for VA Schedule 65 I B or $3,000,000 annually for any other VA Schedule.

– Estimated value of $500,000 or more is received from a reseller who does not have significant commercial sales and who will be representing their manufacturer’s information.

– Contractor submits a product addition or price increase modification, and the estimated value of the request is expected to exceed the previously identified thresholds.

– The estimated value of a contract extension is expected to exceed the previously identified thresholds.

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