Renewing your GSA Contract
A GSA contract comes with an initial 5-year base period and three 5-year option periods for a total of 20 years.
As the contract approaches the end of each period, GSA offers you the opportunity to extend your GSA contract for another five years. GSA refers to this as an option to renew or a option to extend your contract.
This is not an automatic extension and GSA takes this renewal process seriously.
When does the GSA Renewal Process Start?
It's not when you think!
Most vendors believe that the process starts 7 months before the contract end date, when GSA sends an email asking the vendor if it would like to extend your contract. But did you know that it really begins 40 days before that date? That's when GSA begins its internal review to see if there are sufficient sales and contract compliance to warrant moving ahead.
Too many vendors are surprised to learn too late, that there will be no renewal.
GSA Contract Renewal Process
Many vendors will receive the renewal email, but that does not mean that the renewal is automatic. GSA asks for a formal letter addressing certain issues and submitting various documents:
- latest pricing,
- commercial sales practices and
- related certifications and representations.
Your situation may also require you to address the following matters:
Not as Simple as You Might Think
While the volume of information is not as extensive as when you first applied for the contract, the requirements can be significant. GSA has changed their process in recent years requiring less information upfront when you seek your renewal, but a lot more information during their review, especially if there have been contract issues or if the pricing no longer appears to be quite as fair and reasonable as it once was.
Making matters worse, different GSA acquisition centers and schedules may ask for more documentation before or after you submit your request. Two of the more popular schedules, the IT Schedule 70 and MOBIS (Schedule 874) for example, require additional documentation up front.
Many businesses tend to underestimate the seriousness of GSA contract issues, only to find out too late that the issues are far more significant. Contractors are advised not to take this renewal process lightly. Make sure you adequately prepare for your GSA contract renewal!
When Should I Start my GSA Renewal?
While GSA may contact you about 7 months beforehand, TurboGSA recommends that you begin preparation 1 year before your contract expires.
This will give you ample time to:
- address Report Card audit (CAV) concerns,
- make final modifications before the renewal freeze (when GSA will not accept any changes),
- augment sales, and
- begin preparing documents without the pressure of short GSA deadlines.
Why Wouldn't GSA Renew my Contract?
If you are a good contractor under the GSA schedule program, then you should not fear this renewal process. But then again, you should not take it for granted. GSA is tougher than ever with renewals.
Some of the more common reasons for GSA not renewing a GSA contract include:
- Lack of GSA sales - GSA will probably not renew if your contract has not generated an average of $25,000 per year.
- Low sales on a competitive GSA schedule - Even if you generate sales, you could have your contract canceled if there are many other contractors generating greater sales.
- Agency complaints - If doing business with your firm has become difficult and the CO has received complaints, GSA may not exercise the renewal.
- Audit or CAV Report Card Deficiencies - If you have had bad reports and not remedied the problems in a timely manner, GSA may not renew.
- Changes to your Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) - If your CSP have changed dramatically, it may affect how GSA views your contract. Presenting CSP information carefully is essential.
These are just a few of the common problems that prevent contracts from being renewed.