California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS) allow California’s state agencies and local governments to streamline their purchasing. CMAS also assures agencies they are paying a fair and reasonable price for goods and services.

Besides State Agencies, Who can use CMAS?
  • Any city, county or district
  • California State University and University of California systems
  • K-12 public schools
  • Community colleges that spend public funds

Breaking Down California Multiple Award Schedules

CMAS is not a competitive bid process like the California government contract solicitations published regularly in the California State Contractors Register (CSCR). Instead, as a CMAS contractor, you must offer a good or service to California based on what the state or even the Federal government has paid for a similar item. The prices for products or services offered on CMAS must have been previously bid and awarded on a Federal General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule.

The GSA is a Federal agency that aids other Federal agencies with purchasing. The GSA establishes long-term government-wide contracts with companies to provide access to millions of commercial products and services at volume discount pricing. It’s bulk buying in a sense: Buy more, pay less.

The principles of CMAS is based on the GSA Schedule but on the state level. The State of California purchases enough goods and services to set up its own schedules program. In 2015, CMAS’s total sales topped $282 million.

Becoming a CMAS Contractor in 3 Easy Steps

CMAS’s streamlined, best value purchasing contracts encompass a range of commodities, professional services and technology products and services. It’s open to state agencies as well as local governments. It is important for you to join CMAS because agencies will choose to avoid the complex procurement process to purchase routine commonplace items. Here’s 3 easy steps to becoming a CMAS contractor:


Find a base Federal GSA schedule

First, you must identify a base Federal GSA schedule that matches or is similar to what you plan to provide. The pricing for CMAS’s goods and services is based on the GSA Schedules. GSA has already pre-negotiated prices, set delivery terms, warranties and other terms and conditions. Those prices and details must be posted in the GSA eLibrary. Based on that information, a CMAS contractor can bid the same maximum price or lower compared to a GSA Schedule.


Complete the CMAS contract application

Next, complete the CMAS application. The application asks for details about your company, contacts for contract-related questions, various licenses and company status. The application requires a separate CMAS contract application for each base GSA schedule you will offer to California.


Submit your CMAS Contract Application

Mail your application to:

California Department of General Services
Procurement Division – CMAS Unit
Attention – Application Processing
PO Box 989052, MS #2-202
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9052

Or hand deliver it to:

California Department of General Services
Procurement Division – CMAS Unit
Attention – Application Processing
707 Third Street, 2nd Floor, MS # 2-202
West Sacramento, CA 95605-2811

Typically, it takes 10 days to process the CMAS application.

There is no fee to become a CMAS contractor, although there may be an administrative fee for some purchases. There is no fee for your company for a CMAS sale to a state agency. However, for sales to local governments, your company will pay a 1% incentive fee to the California Department of General Services based on the total value of the purchase order. As a bonus all fees are waived to small businesses and DVBEs.

When in the pool of CMAS contractors, a state agency or local government will view you as a viable option for meeting its needs. Not being a part of CMAS seriously limits your potential contracts in the Golden State.

Ready to get started on winning government contracts with the government in California? Currently selling regionally and looking to broaden your horizons and expand into new territories? Request a complimentary copy of “How to Do Business with the Government in California: A Step-by-Step Guide to Government Contracting with the Golden State” at the link below:

Request California Government Contracting Guide