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VA Open Market Waiver Request Process

This requirement only applies to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ordering activities placing a delivery order or establishing a BPA under the FSC 65/66 mandatory use Schedules.

When to Submit a Waiver Request

In accordance with VHA Directive 7408.1 Requesting Waivers from the Requirement to use VA FSS Schedules, VA ordering activities are required to submit a request for waiver in order to waive the requirement to purchase goods and services from mandatory use Schedule programs (FSC 65 and Cost-Per-Test in FSC 66) if it has been determined that…

  • The items available through current VA Schedule contracts will not meet the specific needs of the ordering activity; and
  • A like or similar item available from another (non-contract) source will meet the specific clinical needs of the ordering activity.

Like or Similar Items:  An item that performs the same basic function as the specified item.

Clinical Need:  A need that highlights a specific clinical exception (e.g. a specific patient with special needs, allergies, etc.)

Single facility staff preference and/or the appearance of lower cost to the facility are not sufficient justification for requesting a waiver from the requirement to use VA Schedule contracts.

How to Submit a Waiver Request

Using VA Form 0573A, the requestor must follow locally established procedures for processing waiver requests.  At a minimum local procedures must:

  • Include review and approval at a level no lower than the field Chief of Staff
  • Ensure reviews are evidence-based and timely

Local procedures may be established by individual medical facilities or by the VISN on behalf of the medical facilities.  Network directors are encouraged to establish local field review and approval procedures deemed appropriate for sound oversight.

The National Acquisition Center will review and inform the requestor of the approval decision.  All requests must be submitted via email at nac@va.gov.

Waiver requests will be approved when compelling clinical circumstances can be demonstrated and when there is appropriate clinical rationale and technical need.

Emergency Waiver Requests

Emergency waiver requests will be considered to ensure appropriate patient care; however, except in rare circumstances, failure to submit a request in a timely manner will not result in the issuance of an emergency waiver.

Waivers granted on an emergency basis will be limited to the initial purchase and only in the quantity needed to meet the immediate needs of the patient.  These requests will be reviewed every six (6) months to determine whether the waiver is still necessary or if comparable items are available via a Schedule contract or BPA.

 

VA Form 0573A Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Request for Waiver

The completed VA Form 0573A shall include:

  • A complete description of the required items, including descriptive literature (illustrations, drawings, brochures, etc.).  Include the corresponding Schedule part number for comparison.
     
  • A comparison of prices and the technical differences between the requested item and the Schedule item.  At a minimum this should include a7n explanation of the inadequacies of the Schedule item to perform the required functions and the technical, economic, or other advantages of the requested item.
     
  • Required quantity.
     
  • Estimated annual usage or a statement that the requirement is non-recurrent or unpredictable.
     
  • Comments and signatures from the facility Chief Logistics Officer, Chief of Staff, and VHA Chief Procurement & Logistics Officer.

Email helpdesk.ammhinfss@va.gov for a copy of VA Form 0573A!

 

 

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