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Office of Acquisition and Logistics (OAL)

VA eTools

 
Tel: (708) 786-7737 Fax: (708) 786-5828 fss.help@va.gov Contacts Survey
 

Contract Catalog Search Tool

The National Acquisition Center’s MedSurg Contract Catalog Search Tool allows users to browse all products available under the VA Federal Supply Schedule and National Contract programs.

Key Features

  • Variety of search criteria

  • Detailed contract information, including awarded terms and conditions

  • Contractor point of contact

  • NAC contract specialist information

  • Socioeconomic Contract Search

Browsing

Search options include:  item description (key word search); FSS/BPA/BOA contract number; contractor name; SIN number/description; FSS schedule program; contract type.  Searches yield detailed information on individual line items and contractors, including contract number, contractor name and point of contact, ordering information, NAC contract specialist information, and contract terms.

Socioeconomic Contract Search

Using the Socioeconomic Contract Search, users can identify small business contract sources under specific socioeconomic categories.  This search identifies all FSS contracts awarded to small business concerns, including:  service-disabled veteran-owned, veteran-owned, 8(a) HUBZone, woman-owned, and all other small business categories.  Search results yield the same detailed vendor information as is found in the MedSurg catalog search.

Assistance

Download the NAC-CM Pricelist Instructions for additional information on the Contract Catalog Search Tool!  The information contained is for reference purposes only.  In the event of any pricing discrepancies, please refer to the contractor’s paper price list or contact the NAC contract specialist listed.

Download a blank NAC-CM Pricing Spreadsheet, for use when adding new line items.  To make changes regarding the description, pricing, unit of measure, etc. you will need to obtain an exported spreadsheet from your assigned contract specialist.

As of October 1, 2011, all VA FSS contracts have been assigned to a specific contract specialist.  Download the instructions to find your assigned contract specialist in the Contract Catalog Search Tool.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Management Database

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Management Covered Drug Database provides users with pricing for line items covered by Public Law 102-585, Veterans Health Care Act of 1992.  Pricing is either negotiated based on the vendor’s most favored commercial customer pricing or statutorily-required pricing calculations.

Key Features

There are 8 primary price files available for downloading:

  1. FSS.EXE — Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), generally available to all Federal Govt agencies

  2. FSSR.EXE — Restricted Federal Supply Schedule (FSSR), restricted to specific Federal Govt agencies

  3. BIG4.EXE — “BIG4” prices, (available to VA, DoD, Public Health & Coast Guard only)

  4. BPA.DBF — BPA (Blanket Purchase Agreements), available to VA only

  5. NC.DBF — National Contracts (Mandatory source, available to specific agencies depending on product)

  6. FSSTIER.DBF — FSS Tier Prices (FSS prices subject to minimum quantity purchase)

  7. BIG4TIER.DBF — BIG4 Tier Prices (BIG4 prices subject to minimum quantity purchase)

  8. PRICES.EXE — All prices (FSS, BIG4, BPAs, National Contracts and Tier Prices) in one file.

Assistance

The Description of Available Price Files provides additional information about the files that are available for download.  All available files can be used in various database programs and imported into many spreadsheet programs.

VA Advantage!

VA Advantage! LogoVA Advantage!, a partnership between the Veterans Administration and the General Services Administration, is a commitment towards improving the acquisition process for VA customers.  You must create an account to purchase from GSA Advantage!; however, you do not need to create an account to browse the complete offering.

Key Features

With VA Advantage!, you all have instant access to literally millions of high quality products, services, and solutions from thousands of VA and GSA approved contractors.  VA Advantage! has been primarily designed to provide the VA user robust tools for performing market research, as well as a streamlined ordering process for procuring pharmaceutical and medical supplies.

Assistance

GSA eBuy Training provides additional technical and site navigation assistance.

Search Tips & Tricks

Tips for finding what is already on contract:

  1. Getting Started:  before starting your search it is important to define your search as comprehensively and succinctly as possible.  Write down exactly what you are looking for, what you are not looking for, and why you are looking for it.

  2. Keywords:  the most successful searches utilize keywords that are broad enough in scope to capture a wide array of product.  Users may enter up to three (3) keywords when using the Contract Catalog Search Tool; however it is recommended that you have six to eight (6 to 8) keywords on hand.  Search engines work best with keywords that are nouns and objects.  Avoid verbs and pronouns; and use modifiers to help define objects more precisely.

  3. Phrases:  when possible, combine keywords into phrases by using quotation marks, as in “adhesive bandages.”  The Advanced Search function of VA Advantage! allows users to search using “exact phrases.”

  4. Advanced Search:  use advanced search functions whenever possible.  These search methods include additional functionality that allows the user to employ more than one search parameter at a time.

  5. Expanding your Search Criteria:  if your search yields few relevant results you may need to review your search criteria.

It may take several tries to yield useful results, so don’t worry if you are unable to find what you’re looking for on the first try.  Remember that each database and search engine is different and that you should utilize the Help function to learn the specific quirks and preferences of each site.  By using all the tools made available to you on each page you will simplify your search task and yield more relevant results!

Source:  How to Search the Internet Effectively by the Media Awareness Network.