A Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is a simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing “charge accounts” with qualified contractors below simplified acquisition thresholds (SAT). BPAs should be established for use by an organization responsible for providing supplies for its own operations or for other offices, installations, projects, or functions. The use of BPAs does not exempt an agency from the responsibility for keeping obligations and expenditures within available funds and executed in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.405-3.
Definition: A Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is a simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for open market supplies and services below the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT).
Purpose of a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)
The purpose of a BPA is to reduce administrative costs in accomplishing small purchases by eliminating the need to write a separate contract each time. When the government knows they will be buying the same service or part multiple times over and over again, it’s easier to issue a BPA than write a new contract each time.
When to Use a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)
The following are circumstances under which contracting professionals may establish BPAs:
- There are a wide variety of items in a broad class of supplies or services that are generally purchased, but the exact items, quantities, and delivery requirements are not known in advance and may vary considerably.
- There is a need to provide commercial sources of supply for one or more offices or projects in a given area that do not have or need authority to purchase otherwise.
- The use of this procedure would avoid the writing of numerous purchase orders.
The General Services Administration (GSA) offers BPS for supplies and services to government agencies under any GSA Schedule contract. GSA Schedules simplify the filling of recurring needs for supplies and services while leveraging ordering activities’ buying power by taking advantage of quantity discounts, saving administrative time, and reducing paperwork.
Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) Simplified Acquisition Procedures
A BPA is part of the Simplified Acquisition Procedures by allowing for repetitive contracts which are below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) to be awarded easier. The procedures to establish and place orders against BPAs are described:
Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) Main References
The main reference for utilizing a BPA can be found in the instructions and guidebook listed below:
Benefits and Advantages of Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) 
BPAs offer an excellent option for federal agencies and Schedule contractors alike, providing convenience, efficiency, and reduced costs. Contractual terms and conditions are contained in GSA Schedule contracts and are not to be re-negotiated for GSA Schedule BPAs. Therefore, as a purchasing option, BPAs eliminate such contracting and open market costs as the search for sources, the need to prepare solicitations, and the requirement to synopsize the acquisition. BPAs also:
- Provide opportunities to negotiate improved discounts
- Satisfy recurring requirements
- Reduce administrative costs by eliminating repetitive acquisition efforts
- Permit ordering activities to leverage buying power through volume purchasing
- Enable ordering activities by streamlined ordering procedures
- Permit ordering activities to incorporate Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs)
- Reduce procurement lead time
- Permit ordering activities the ability to incorporate terms and conditions not in conflict with the underlying contract.
Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) Regulation
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 13.303 for BPAs:
- 13.303-2 Establishment
- 13.303-3 Preparation
- 13.303-4 Clauses
- 13.303-5 Purchases
- 13.303-6 Review procedures
- 13.303-7 Completion
- 13.303-8 Optional clause
Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) Invoices / Payments
- The Vendor must submit an invoice directly to the Comptroller on an at-least-monthly basis. The Contracting Officer must obtain agreement from the Vendor on the method of invoicing to be used and the Vendor’s invoicing (billing) period before establishing a BPA. The three methods of invoicing are:
- Summary: Lists individual ticket numbers, each call number placed under the BPA, amounts, and total amount due. If used, must contain delivery tickets covered and their dollar value, and delivery tickets or sales slips supported with a signature indicating the materials have been received.
- Itemized: Items are listed by applicable delivery ticket and number.
- Individual: An invoice is submitted for each delivery
- The Contracting Officer (or designated representative) must submit a copy of each sales slip or delivery ticket with the monthly call sheet to the Comptroller for obligation and receipt purposes when hard copies are used. When using electronically generated forms, electronic call sheets without delivery or sales slips can be submitted.
How Long Should a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) Last
In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.405-3; multiple-award BPAs generally should not exceed five years in length, but may do so to meet program requirements. (2) A single-award BPA shall not exceed one year. It may have up to four one-year options
Difference Between Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) vs. Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)
The main difference between a Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) and Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is that BPA establishes “charge accounts” with qualified contractors with a predetermined price list. A BOA on the other hand describes the method for determining prices to be paid to the contractor for the supplies or services. The prices will actually be determined prior to the contract award through the described method.
AcqLinks and References:
-  Website: GSA – Blanket Purchase Agreement
- Website: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.405-3
- Website: FAR 13.303 “Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs)”
- Website: DFARS 213.303 “Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs)”
- PA Sample Format from GSA
- DAU “Comparison of Major Contract Types” – May 2013
- Blanket Purchase Agreement User Instructions
- Blanket Purchase Agreement User Guideline