A Blanket Purchase Agreement is a pre-arranged agreement with an agency that's signed before any business is conducted. Awards can be made based upon a negotiated set of terms. In order to take part in a blanket purchase agreement, you must first be a part of the BPA program.

You can tell if a government solicitation was issued under the Blanket Purchase Agreement system because it will have letter "Z" in the ninth position of the solicitation number. In contract award data, a BPA solicitation will have either an AA or AB in the ninth position of the award agreement number.

What is Typical of a Blanket Purchase Agreement?

As a vendor, you would compete for solicitations with delivery orders issued against the terms of the BPA. Here are some features of Blanket Purchase Agreements that you should know about:

  • Some specifics of the order aren't known in advance. Exact items, quantities, and delivery requirements may vary considerably.
  • Existing contracts aren't in place for the required supply or service, so the agency isn't obligated to pay for the purchase of any goods or services.
  • There isn't a need to write numerous purchase orders.
  • Commercial sources for one or more offices are needed or the offices don't have a need to otherwise purchase projects in a given area.

What are the Criteria for the Blanket Purchase Agreement Program?

If you wish to be considered for the Blanket Purchase Agreement program, your business will need to meet these criteria:

  • A past performance of dependability
  • A history of quality services or products that are offered at a lower price
  • Numerous purchases that have been supplied at or below the simplified acquisition threshold
  • Status as an authorized distributor for a manufacturer, certified with a letter
  • Capability to access electronic commerce/electronic data interchange (EDI Standard ANSI X 12)

How Do I Approach a Blanket Purchase Order?

Because specifics of blanket purchase agreements aren't known in advance and many of the terms are negotiated, the best thing to do is to talk to the purchasing agent or consult your local PTAC regarding blanket purchase orders.

If you're looking for the easiest way to stay on top of on-call services contracts, BPAs, or IDIQ contracts, consider a term contracts report. In this one report, you'll get important contact names, phone numbers, contract term dates, current provider names, renewal options and other key pieces of information to help you get in early, size up your market and be more competitive.