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Open Market Items

Are you aware how the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) addresses the policy on handling open market items on Federal Supply Schedues (FSS) contracts? Open market items are also known as incidental items, noncontract items, non-Schedule items, and items not on a GSA Schedule contract.

In accordance with FAR 8.402(f), for administrative convenience, an ordering activity contracting officer may add items not on the GSA Schedule (Multiple Award Schedule) contract — i.e., open market items — to a GSA Schedule Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) or an individual task or delivery order only if:

  • All applicable acquisition regulations pertaining to the purchase of the items not on the GSA Schedule contract have been followed (e.g., publicizing (FAR Part 5), competition requirements (FAR Part 6), acquisition of commercial items (FAR Part 12), contracting methods (FAR Parts 13, 14, and 15), and small business programs (FAR Part 19));
  • The ordering activity contracting officer has determined the prices for the items not on the GSA Schedule contract are fair and reasonable;
  • The items are clearly labeled on the order as items not on the GSA Schedule contract; and
  • All clauses applicable to items not on the GSA Schedule contract are included in the order.
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<p>There is no limit on the dollar value of open market items on Schedule orders.&nbsp; However, <a href="https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/Subpart%208_4.html#wp1089488"><u>FAR 8.402(f)</u></a> states that open market items can be added to Schedules orders only if &quot;all applicable acquisition regulations pertaining to the purchase of the items not on the Federal Supply Schedule have been followed (<em>e.g.,&nbsp;</em>publicizing (<a href="https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/FARTOCP05.html#wp290921"><u>Part&nbsp;5</u></a>), competition requirements (<a href="https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/FARTOCP06.html#wp280339"><u>Part&nbsp;6</u></a>), acquisition of commercial items (<a href="https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/FARTOCP12.html#wp1033864"><u>Part&nbsp;12</u></a>), contracting methods (<a href="https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/FARTOCP13.html#wp271421"><u>Parts&nbsp;13</u></a>, <a href="https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/FARTOCP14.html#wp301185"><u>14</u></a>, and <a href="https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/FARTOCP15.html#wp246607"><u>15</u></a>), and small business programs (<a href="https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/FARTOCP19.html#wp223561"><u>Part&nbsp;19</u></a>).&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Because of this regulatory requirement, which essentially mandates a whole other procurement for these items, many ordering activities do not allow open market items above the micro-purchase threshold (e.g. $3,000) on Schedule orders. The ordering procedures for items under the micro-purchase threshold are much more streamlined than&nbsp;procedures above the threshold.</p><p>Other solutions to acquiring open market items on GSA Schedule include <a href="http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/100647"><u>Contractor Team Arrangements</u></a> and <a href="http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/224689"><u>FAR Part 51 Deviation-Contractor Use of Schedules</u></a>. Also, the Federal Acquisition Service is implementing standardized Ancillary Supplies and/or Services SIN(s) and providing additional flexibilities to enable customers to more readily acquire, and industry partners to provide, total solutions off of Federal Supply Schedules.</p><p><object classid="clsid:05D96F71-87C6-11D3-9BE4-00902742D6E0" codebase="https://gsaworkspaces.gsa.gov/qp2.cab#Version=8,2,0,0007" height="0" id="Test_UploadControl" title="Upload control" width="0"></object></p>
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