If your firm wants to obtain a GSA contract but does not manufacture the products it sells, then a letter of supply is needed. GSA sometimes also refers to this as a Letter of Supply (LOS), or occasionally a Letter of Commitment. This requirement is noted in Clause I-FSS-644 – Dealers and Suppliers of the Solicitation.
A GSA Letter of Supply serves this purpose:
If you are is a dealer or reseller of a product, you must ask your supplier/manufacturer for a Letter of Supply for each brand offered.
This letter must be
The solicitation contains a Letter of Supply template.
This image is an example of a GSA Letter of Supply / Letter of Commitment
Check your GSA solicitation for a current template. Or see bottom of this page for the text of Letters of Supply.
This is a common question, and quite often, if you asked a GSA contracting officer, they would answer yes. Less experienced CO's would almost certainly respond yes.
Also, GSA solicitations tend to suggest that a GSA LOS is mandatory. Take for example GSA IT Schedule 70. In the solicitation's general proposal instructions, it states that GSA may reject offers that do not include a letter of supply if the firm is not the manufacturer.
Later it states that a LOS is not required for used or refurbished equipment under SIN 133-9, which to many, implies it is necessary in all other cases.
But GSA's actual policy is quite the opposite. A Contracting Officer is required only to determine if your firm has a sufficient source of supply. GSA's policy is that a LOS is not needed so long as other evidence is submitted that substantiates the vendor has an acceptable source of supply.
At the 2012 GSA Expo, Mark Lee, Policy Chief, Office of Acquisition Management in the GSA Federal Acquisition made this point quite clear, as shown in the following brief video clip. The Office of Acquisition Management is responsible for establishing the standards and framework for managing the acquisition workforce under policy established by the GSA Chief Acquisition Officer. The Office of Acquisition Management leads, supports and facilitates the review of Federal Acquisition Service programs and procedures.
Go to the 3 minute mark for the LOS Q&A:
The following is the suggested text for a Letter of Supply for firms seeking to obtain a GSA IT Schedule 70:
GSA Product Supply Letter
(Letter must be on company Letterhead and signed by a corporate officer)
[Company Address Line 2]
[City State Zip]
Re: Letter of Supply for FCS Group 70
(Manufacturer's or Other “Uninterrupted Supplier’s” Name) agrees that it will supply [Offeror’s Name], Inc. with sufficient quantities of the offered product(s) to meet the Government’s needs for the duration of the contract period and any extensions thereof.
(Manufacturer’s or Other “Uninterrupted Supplier’s” Name) certifies that all products proposed for inclusion on the Contract or any subsequent contract modification are newly manufactured products, that are of a type customarily used by the general public or by non-governmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes, and are sold, leased, or licensed in the course of normal business operations to the general public.
The discount being offered to [Offeror’s Name] is _______. [Offeror’s Name] is classified as a (insert dealer/distributor type) pursuant to (insert name and date of any agreement between the supplier and reseller).
(Manufacturer's or “Other Uninterrupted Supplier’s” Name) hereby states that each end product to be delivered under this contract is aU.S. made end product, a designated country end product, aCaribbeanBasin country end product, a Canadian end product, or a Mexican end product as defined in the FAR clause 52.225-5 TRADE AGREEMENTS (Aug 2009). Any Trade Agreements clauses other than 52.225-5, are not acceptable.
(Manufacturer’s or “Other Uninterrupted Supplier’s” Name) agrees to notify [Offeror’s Name] no less than thirty (30) days before any of the following:
(Manufacturer’s or “Other Uninterrupted Supplier’s” Name)Dunn and Bradstreet number is _____________________.
(Manufacturer’s or “Other Uninterrupted Supplier’s” Name)production point for product(s) submitted for this solicitation is:
City, State, Zip County
Title (Must be signed by a CORPORATE OFFICER)
This is the format for a Letter of Supply for other GSA Products Schedules.
Letter of Supply Template* – Offerors/Contractors – this is the approved GSA format for Letters of Supply – please forward this to your supplier with the appropriate Solicitation number (if this is for a new offer) or contract number (if this is for adding a new product line or an extension)
[Submitted on Supplier Letterhead]
[Date (must be within 12 months of offer submittal)]
[Supplier Point of Contact (POC)]
Re: Letter of Supply
Dear [Offeror POC],
This Letter of Supply is in reference to the offer that [Offeror Name] submitted in response to the General Services Administration’s Solicitation/Contract [enter Solicitation Number if a new offer, or Contract number if an existing contract].
In the event that [Offeror Name] is awarded a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract under the aforementioned solicitation number, [Supplier Name] will assure an uninterrupted source of supply, with sufficient quantities of product, for the duration of the contract period.
[Supplier Name] understands that all products and services that are offered on MAS contracts must be compliant with the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) (19 U.S.C. 2501, et seq.) As such, all products supplied by [Supplier Name] to [Offeror Name] will be TAA compliant. You will be notified immediately upon discovery of any changes in the Country of Origin of supplied products.
[Supplier Name] understands that if they certify that the products being supplied meet or exceed the minimum content levels established under the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPGs)*** program then they must furnish [Offeror Name] proof in the form of a copy of the certification from the manufacturer or a copy of the environmental organization’s certification in order for [Offeror Name] to be allowed to display the appropriate environmental attributes on their GSA contract. The percentage of the recovered materials and post-consumer materials must also be provided to the offeror/contractor.
[Supplier Name] understands that if no proof of the environmental attributes being claimed is provided then the offeror will not be allowed to display the applicable environmental attribute icon.
The person whose signature appears below is authorized to make the commitments noted above.
[Signed by a company official authorized to make the commitment]
*The above is a mandatory template and will constitute the first page of the Letter of Supply. Although the content of the template is sufficient, Suppliers may attach additional verbiage in subsequent pages as long as the verbiage does not contradict the statements made above.
**Please note that "Supplier" name is synonymous with "Manufacturer" and/or "Distributor."
*** The EPA maintains a list of EPA-designated products in their CPGs to provide Federal agencies purchasing recommendations on specific products in several Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMANs). Each RMAN contains recommended recovered and post-consumer material content levels for the specific products designated by EPA (40 CFR part 247 and EO 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management). Visit the CPG web site at http://www.epa.gov/cpg to view the current list of products that must comply with Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPGs). Also, CPG supporting documentations and background information (such as RMANs) can be found at http://epa.gov/cpg/backgrnd.htm.