403.6 - Blanket Purchase Agreements
OPR: Admin/Procurement and Contracts
1. Purpose. This chapter contains policy and procedures for establishment, utilization and administration of Blanket Purchase Agreements.
A. FAR Subpart 13.2, Blanket Purchase Agreements.
B. DIAR Subpart 1413.2, Blanket Purchase Agreements.
3. Definition. A Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is a method of acquiring a variety of items within a broad category of goods without issuing individual purchase documents. A BPA is an agreement between the Government and a vendor that allows individuals authorized to use the BPA to place orders by telephone or in person with simplified documentation. A BPA does not obligate the Government to place any orders, nor does it obligate the vendor to accept any orders. Once an order against a BPA is given by the Government and accepted by the vendor, an enforceable contract is created. A BPA benefits both the Government and the vendor by minimizing the administrative time and cost of purchasing and payment.
A. BPA Versus Other Acquisition Methods. When evaluating the various purchasing methods, a BPA should be selected if it is determined the most administratively efficient in terms of cost of processing, invoice handling, and necessary procurement safeguards.
B. BPA Vendors. It is the policy of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish BPA's with qualified commercial vendors, other Federal agencies or Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contractors (if permissible under the terms of the FSS contract). Whenever possible, a small business should be utilized for BPA needs. A BPA with a commercial vendor other than a small business may be established only after the Contracting Officer (CO) determines that a small business source for the item(s)/ service(s) to be ordered is not reasonably available. This determination must be in writing and included in the BPA file. If numerous purchases are expected, BPA's for items of the same type should be established with more than one vendor.
C. Separation of Duties. Completing a BPA transaction requires three steps: (1) initiating the requirement, (2) placing the BPA call, and (3) certifying receipt of goods/services satisfying the requirement. To avoid potential abuses, these three steps must be divided between at least 2 individuals.
D. Qualifying Conditions. A BPA should be established when one or more of the following conditions exist:
(1) A requirement for a variety of items in a broad class of goods, e.g., books, or electrical or plumbing supplies, for which the exact items, quantities, and delivery requirements are not known in advance and may vary considerably.
(2) A requirement to provide commercial sources of supply to one or more offices or projects in a given area that do not otherwise need authority to purchase.
(3) A non-BPA vendor has received a minimum of 15 purchase orders in the preceding fiscal year and is expected to continue to receive orders at that rate.
(4) A supplier agrees to accept orders by telephone, in person, or by letter in place of official purchase orders.
E. Exclusions. A BPA cannot be used for the following:
(1) To replace mandatory sources of supply or planned supply and material needs.
(2) Procurement of controlled property.
(3) Acquisition of items exceeding the small purchase limitation. Requirements will not be divided to avoid the small purchase limitation or an authorized caller's monetary limitation per call. (See 403.6.6B(2)(c) below.)
(4) Acquisition of services exceeding $2,500.
(5) Purchase of the following items (except by a warranted CO):
(a) Office equipment and furniture.
(b) Office supplies and desk items.
(c) Protective clothing or equipment requiring a signed certification. (See SM 403.30.)
(d) Supplies or services available through UNICOR (Federal Prison Industries) or Workshops for the Blind and other Severely Handicapped Persons.
(e) Items available through FEDSTRIP, General Services Administration (GSA) Customer Supply Centers, or GSA and Department of the Interior Credit Card Stores.
(f) Items carried in USGS stock rooms.
(g) Non-controlled field equipment. (See SM 408.10.)
(h) Automated Data Processing (ADP) products, including:
(i) ADP services such as programming or professional/consultant, excluding maintenance services.
(ii) ADP and telecommunications equipment requiring prior Information Systems Division (ISD) approval.
(iii) ADP software (initial purchase) and software upgrades exceeding $500.
(i) Any other items that require special approval or certification.
A. Administrative Officers (AO's) are responsible for:
(1) Administering the list of authorized BPA callers for their respective division according to the procedures set forth in this chapter.
(2) Coordinating reviews of division office BPA usage according to the procedures set forth in this chapter.
B. Small Purchases Chiefs are responsible for:
(1) Establishing, utilizing and administering BPA's at their respective headquarters or regional procurement office according to the procedures set forth in this chapter.
(2) Conducting annual reviews of division office BPA usage according to the procedures set forth in this chapter.
C. Warranted CO's located at field offices are responsible for:
(1) Establishing, utilizing and administering BPA's at their respective field office according to the procedures set forth in this chapter.
(2) Conducting annual reviews of field office BPA usage according to the procedures set forth in this chapter.
D. Authorized callers are responsible for utilizing BPA's according to the procedures set forth in this chapter.
A. Prerequisites. Before establishing a BPA, the warranted CO shall insure that the following agreements between the vendor and the USGS are reached:
(1) That purchasers/vendor agree to place/ accept orders against the BPA by telephone, in person, and/or by letter.
(2) That vendor/purchasers agree to generate/accept invoices prepared according to the instructions entered in the BPA. (Vendor Invoicing Methods are provided in Figure 2.) Advise vendors that improper or incomplete invoices will be returned unpaid.
(3) That the vendor will create a "sales slip" (i.e., receipt or delivery ticket) at the time of delivery.
B. Preparing a BPA. Figure 1 illustrates a BPA, Forms 9-1134 and 9-1134-B, showing required information and leaving blanks where specifics are to be inserted. Verbatim use of pages 2-4 of Figure 1 is not required; however, the information provided there and in 403.6.6B(2) through (4) below must be included in each BPA. The BPA number and vendor name must appear at the top of each page of the BPA. Prepare BPA's as follows:
(1) The first page of a BPA is Form 9-1134, Order for Supplies or Services, marked with text common to all BPA's. Follow these additional instructions when preparing the Form 9-1134:
(a) Insert information unique to the BPA such as issuing office, BPA number, vendor name and address, shipping address, discount terms, underlined items in the body of the form, and the name of the CO establishing the BPA. In the "CONTRACT NO." block at the top of the form, enter the type of BPA; i.e., "Open Market", "Intragovernmental", or the Federal Supply Schedule contract number. (See paragraph 403.6.4B, above.)
(b) Leave blank the columns entitled, "ITEM NO.", "QUANTITY ORDERED", "UNIT", "UNIT PRICE", and "AMOUNT" on the Form 9-1134.
(c) Warrant Level Required to Sign a BPA. The CO signing the Form 9-1134 must have procurement authority equal to at least the total of expenditures anticipated on the BPA in any fiscal year.
(d) Invoicing Instructions. Mark out the instructions entered after "SEND INVOICE TO:" on the lower left corner of the Form 9-1134, and insert "Consignee" (as shown in Fig. 1). Instructions for submitting invoices are included on page 3 of the BPA.
(2) Page 2 of the sample BPA (Fig. 1, Form 9-1134-B, Order for Supplies or Services (Continuation Sheet)) includes standard notifications to the vendor. Fill in blanks for BPA-unique information such as the vendor name and BPA number (top), the maximum order limit, and the table showing the names and order limits of individuals authorized to place calls under the BPA (further instructions provided below). If the list of authorized callers is lengthy, it may be incorporated by inserting a reference in page 2 where the list would normally appear.
(a) Setting the Maximum Order Limit. The maximum order limit is the greatest dollar value permitted for each order to be placed under the BPA. The maximum order limit should be equal to the highest ordering limit from the authorized caller list. (See paragraph 403.6.6B(2)(c) below.) The maximum order limit cannot exceed the small purchase limitation.
(b) Selecting BPA Callers. Choose only individuals who (1) have a bona fide need to use the BPA; and (2) will exercise their authority to place orders properly. The list of BPA callers is subject to periodic review and update. (See paragraphs 403.6.6G(1) and (2) below.)
(c) Selecting Caller Ordering Limits. BPA caller limits are established by SM 205.4.3E, Delegations of Procurement Authority, as amended by USGS Instructional Memorandum OPC-91-001 dated May 31, 1991. Caller limits are dependent upon whether the authorized caller holds a CO's warrant:
(i) Authorized callers who do not hold a CO's warrant may place individual calls of up to $2,500.
(ii) Authorized callers who are warranted CO's may place calls of up to the limit of their procurement authority or the small purchase limitation, whichever is lower.
(3) Page 3 (Fig. 1) contains standard instructions to the vendor and a space where the billing method is to be inserted. Billing methods are addressed in Figure 2. Include the following to insure correct preparation of invoices by the vendor:
(a) The correct USGS billing address, which should be the address of the USGS office placing orders against the BPA; usually the SHIP TO/Consignee address on the Form 9-1134 (Fig. 1).
(b) A requirement that the vendor submit an original invoice and one copy to the billing address referenced above, not to the Office of Financial Management (OFM) (Fig. 1).
(c) The text from Figure 2 for the invoicing method selected.
(4) Page 4 (Fig. 1) includes FAR provisions common to all BPA's and required certifications to be completed by the vendor.
C. Executing the BPA. The BPA will become effective once the following steps are completed:
(1) Distribution and Signature. Send two copies of the BPA to the vendor for certification and signature. The vendor must return both copies to the CO. The CO then signs both copies of the Form 9-1134, enters the date signed in the "Date" block and in the "DATE OF ORDER" block (top), returns one copy of the BPA to the vendor and retains the other in the BPA file.
(2) Prepare the BPA File. The file for each BPA will include a justification of non-availability of a small business (if applicable; see paragraph 403.6.4B above), a copy of the BPA and a BPA Log (see paragraph 403.6.6E(1) below and Figure 3, Form 9-3035, BPA Log) of orders placed against that BPA only. Copies of invoices, competition worksheets and requisitions, if used, will also be placed in the BPA file as orders accumulate. (See paragraph 403.6.6E(2) below.)
D. Placing Orders.
(1) Who May Place Orders. Only those individuals included in a BPA's list of authorized callers may place orders through that BPA. A BPA call cannot be placed by an authorized caller who (1) initiated the requirement, and (2) will certify receipt of the goods/services fulfilling that requirement. (See paragraph 403.6.4C above.) Anyone not included on the list of authorized callers may not place orders until they are added to the list using the procedures in paragraph 403.6.6G(2) below.
(2) Order Limits. Authorized callers may place individual orders up to their limit of authority stated in the BPA. (See paragraph 403.6.6B(2)(c) above.)
(3) Information Exchange Between Caller and Vendor. To insure that delivery, billing and payment is proper and timely, authorized callers must provide vendors complete ordering and delivery information. Authorized callers and vendors shall identify and include on invoices any discounts that are available.
E. Documenting Orders.
(1) Logging BPA Calls. Authorized callers must keep a written record of each call placed against a BPA by completing all items in that BPA's Log (Figure 3). Authorized callers should assign the next call number in sequence, and record a detailed description of items ordered on the BPA log. A serial, stock or part number alone is not a sufficient item description. If additional space is required, the description may be continued in the blank description blocks below.
(2) Documenting Competition. Orders exceeding $2,500 require a written record of competitive quotes solicited or, if unavailable, a record of unsuccessful efforts to locate competitive quotes. USGS Form 9-3009, Small Purchase Competition Worksheet, or another approved competition worksheet must be used for this purpose. Attach the Form 9-3009 or competition worksheet to the BPA log in the BPA file.
F. Processing Invoices. Vendors will submit invoices to the consignee, as stated in the BPA. The Prompt Payment Act requires consignees to insure that invoices (1) are proper; i.e, prepared in accordance with the BPA invoicing instructions, (2) are properly certified, and (3) arrive at the payment office (OFM) within 5 days of receipt. For this reason, consignees must complete the following steps in the most expeditious manner possible upon receipt of an invoice:
(1) Determine Acceptability. Immediately upon receipt, insure the invoice is prepared according to the invoicing instructions stated in the BPA. If the invoice is improper or incomplete, return it to the vendor with a brief note explaining the reasons for return.
(2) Record Date of Receipt on the Invoice. The receipt date may be handwritten or stamped. The Prompt Payment Act requires that vendor invoices be paid within 30 days of receipt. If the receipt date is missing, the Prompt Payment Act assigns the date the vendor issued the invoice as the beginning of the 30-day payment "window". If payment has not been made by the 30th day, late payment interest penalties are added to the invoice amount. Late payment interest is deducted from program funds, thereby reducing the amount available for future purchases.
(3) Affix the Certification. Apply the following certification to the original only:
I CERTIFY THAT ALL ORDERS STATED ON THIS INVOICE WERE PLACED BY AN AUTHORIZED BPA CALLER; THAT NO PURCHASE ORDER HAS BEEN ISSUED; AND THAT THE GOODS/SERVICES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AND ACCEPTED.
DATE INVOICE RECEIVED: _________________
PHONE NUMBER: ___________________________
ACCOUNT #: ________________________________
OBJECT CLASS: _____________________________
AMOUNT CERTIFIED FOR
INDICATE IF ON 9-803: _____________________
(Form 9-803, Accrued Expenditure Report)
(4) Complete the Certification. All items in the certification must be completed and signed in original; otherwise the invoice cannot be accepted for payment by OFM. Figure 4 provides an example of a properly certified invoice. Avoid these common mistakes when certifying an invoice:
(a) Improper Signatory. To avoid potential abuses, an individual who initiated the requirement and placed the BPA call cannot certify the invoice for goods/services received from that call. (See paragraph 403.6.4C above.)
(b) Unauthorized Purchases. Do not certify invoices for improper purchases. Invoices received by OFM for items not authorized for purchase using BPA's will be returned to the submitting office. Such transactions must be processed according to agency procedures for ratification of unauthorized purchases.
(c) Duplicate Certifications/Invoices. Do not certify any document submitted by the vendor other than an original invoice. When an invoice is received, check it against invoice distribution dates in the BPA log to insure the invoice just received is not a duplicate. Also, check your most recent Report 268, Monthly Status of Funds, and the Federal Financial System (FFS) to ascertain if the invoice was previously received and/or paid by OFM. If the BPA called for submission of summary or itemized invoices (field offices only), do not submit individual invoices or delivery tickets to OFM for payment.
(5) Distribute the Invoice.
(a) After steps 403.6.6F(1) through (4) above have been completed, use whatever delivery mode is appropriate to insure the invoice reaches OFM by the 5th day after receipt. According to the Prompt Payment Act, invoices received by OFM that are not original, proper, and properly certified cannot be accepted for payment.
(b) File one copy of each invoice with the BPA log sheet containing the corresponding order.
(c) Enter the date each invoice was distributed in the appropriate block on the BPA log.
G. Administration of BPA's. Once a BPA has been established, follow steps 403.6.6G(1) through (6) below to insure proper usage and maintenance of the BPA.
(1) Review of Authorized BPA Caller Lists. Updated BPA caller lists are to be issued upon completion of the following reviews, or upon request:
(a) Reston, Virginia; Denver, Colorado; and Menlo Park, California: Updates will be issued semiannually. Each division AO located in Reston, Denver, and Menlo Park shall submit a list of BPA callers to its respective Administrative Division procurement office by November 5 and May 5 of each year. Both the AO and the cognizant procurement office should insure that BPA caller lists do not include individuals who have abused their calling authority. After approving the lists, the procurement offices will provide copies to BPA vendors.
(b) Field Offices: Updates will be issued as required. CO's located at field offices may update caller lists as changes occur or when a significant number of changes has accumulated. CO's should insure that BPA caller lists do not include individuals who have abused their calling authority. After approving the lists, CO's will provide copies to BPA vendors.
(2) Adding/Deleting BPA Callers. Interim changes to the list of authorized callers will become necessary due to employee turnover, abuse of BPA ordering authority, or other events. BPA callers may be added or deleted as follows:
(a) Reston, Denver and Menlo Park: Division AO's at these locations shall request additions or deletions to BPA caller lists by memorandum to their respective Administrative Division procurement office as they occur. The procurement office shall amend BPA caller lists as requested. Upon request, procurement offices will advise vendors of callers added or deleted since the last BPA caller list update.
(b) Field Offices: CO's located at field offices will add/delete callers to their BPA caller lists as changes occur. Upon request, CO's will advise vendors of callers added or deleted since the last BPA caller list update.
(3) Changing BPA Terms and Conditions. If changes to the BPA become necessary, such as addition/deletion of clauses or changing the invoicing method, the CO may incorporate the new method by (1) preparing a Form 9-1134A, Order for Supplies or Services (Amendment), or a Form 9-1134 marked "AMENDMENT" at the top, or (2) canceling the BPA according to 403.6.6G(6) below, and reissuing it using current procedures for establishing BPA's. A change will become effective only after an amendment has been signed by the vendor and the contracting officer.
(4) Review of the BPA Document. BPA documents should be reviewed occasionally by the issuing office. If significant deviations from the provisions of this chapter are noted, such as outdated clauses or terms and conditions, BPA's should be amended according to 403.6.6G(3) above, or canceled according to 403.6.6G(6) below and reissued using current procedures for establishing BPA's.
(5) BPA File Maintenance. Documents retained in the BPA file, excluding the BPA document itself, may be removed from the file and destroyed 3 years after final payment. Documents which may be removed include log sheets, invoices, competition worksheets, and noncompetitive justifications.
(6) Canceling BPA's. The issuing office may cancel a BPA by preparing a letter to the vendor announcing the cancellation and requesting the vendor's acknowledgement. Send one copy of the letter to OFM. Place a copy of the letter in the BPA file along with the vendor's acknowledgement, if received. The BPA file may be destroyed 3 years after final payment of any unpaid invoices.
H. Review of BPA Calls. Reviews must be conducted at least once each year to insure that BPA's are used properly. Reviews may be scheduled more often if necessary. BPA call reviews will be conducted as follows:
(1) Assignment of Reviewer/Preparation for Reviews.
(a) Reston, Denver and Menlo Park: The Small Purchases offices at Reston, Denver and Menlo Park will review BPA calls at their respective division offices. The reviewing office will notify division AO's, in advance, of the dates division office reviews are scheduled. Division AO's will ensure that offices being reviewed have their BPA log sheets and invoices readily accessible for the reviewer(s) the day their review begins.
(b) Field Offices: CO's will conduct reviews of BPA calls within their respective field offices.
(2) Scope of Review. Reviewers will insure that all calls made against BPA's comply with the following:
(a) Calls placed against a BPA are made only by authorized callers listed in the BPA document.
(b) Calls are made for authorized purchases only. If a review discloses misuse of BPA's by an authorized caller, that individual's authority may be withdrawn using the procedures in paragraph 403.6.6G(2) above.
(c) Each call is fully documented in the BPA log according to paragraph 403.6.6E above.
(d) The dollar value of each call does not exceed the caller's authority.
(e) Requirements are not split to stay within the small purchase limitation, the authorized caller's limitation, or the competition threshold.
(f) Items available from mandatory sources are not ordered on open market BPA's.
(g) That at least 15 calls/orders are placed against each BPA per year. Those having fewer than 15 transactions per year should be canceled according to paragraph 403.6.6G(6) above. If only one BPA is found for a particular class of goods/services, and the review discloses an excessive number of transactions on that BPA, additional BPA's should be established.