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Office of Procurement, Acquisition and Logistics (OPAL)


No Awarded Proposals

Tel: (708) 786-7737 Contacts Survey

Common Mistakes, Best Practices and Other Advice

Imagine this:  you’ve spent innumerable hours sifting through all of the available information and regulations in an effort to understand the VA Schedules program.  Finally, you feel you have enough of an understanding to submit a proposal and in turn fully dedicate your time and resources to put together a proposal you believe to not only be competitive with other Schedule contractors, but also in the Government’s best interest.  You submit your proposal and a short time later receive notice from your assigned contract specialist that your proposal is being returned without further action and you have no idea where to go from here.

This has become an all too common experience for many of our offerors and even existing contractors submitting follow-on proposals – and you’ve let us know your frustrations.  You talked, we listened.  To help you develop your proposal we have looked at the most common reasons that result in no awarding an offer and have captured them in a No Award Checklist.

Our contract specialists will also be using this checklist throughout the acceptance, review, and award process to work with you in order to identify and no award proposals in a timely manner if checklist items cannot be resolved.  It is our hope that the No Award Checklist will help reduce your frustrations and result in the more efficient and timely award of new solicitation proposals.

Consultants and Your Schedule Proposal

One of the ways many new offerors combat the complicated proposal process is to hire a consultant to help with the paperwork and negotiations.  Feeling overwhelmed, many see a consultant as the light at the end of the tunnel – that they have all of the answers.

While consultants may have some, or even all of the answers upfront, we caution that you may be left to “fend for yourself” prior to executing your contract or once your contract is in place.  Often this leaves our contractors with little to no clear understanding of the requirements of their contract – including negotiated terms and conditions, contract deliverables, and performance requirements.

No matter the role of your consultant during the pre-award review process, your contract can be terminated if you are unable to complete negotiations or perform in accordance with the awarded terms and conditions of your contract.

Be sure that you have a thorough understanding of your Schedule contract.  In addition to the No Award Checklist, the FSS Web Portal is a great resource for learning about and understanding the VA Schedules program.  Additionally, we offer monthly online training on topics of interest to our contractor community and have made all of the materials from our prior sessions available on our training page.  Other free resources include the FSS Help Desk, the Small Business Administration and your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).


No Award Checklist–For Publication
28 May 2015
(May apply to entire proposal or only certain items as applicable-List not all inclusive)

Common reasons for no award, either upon receipt of proposal or at any time up until award.  Those reasons in bold warrant return of proposal upon receipt.  If reason is only applicable to one or a small portion of items offered, offeror will be required to amend their offer to remove items not in compliance in lieu of no award of entire offer.

Offer is missing significant information and is so deficient that it requires a complete resubmission.

Document 05 - Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) format is not completed or is substantially incomplete.  Example:

  • CSP incorrect, e.g. 515.4-2 is not complete, either in Exhibit 05 or Exhibit 06.

Document 06 is not provided or is missing material information (i.e. missing pricing and discount information for the Most Favored Customer or proposed Tracing Customer).

Proposed pricing is not considered fair and reasonable:  e.g. failing to grant the Government equal to MFC or MFC pricing is not justified.  The Government may consider all sources of pricing information for comparison to proposed pricing, in addition to information provided as part of CSP, in order to make this determination.

Proposed pricing is not competitive with identical or like product(s) already on FSS contracts.

Annual sales are not expected to reach $25K within the first 24 months following contract award.  Exception for drugs subject to Public Law 102-585.  See I-FSS-639 – Contract Sales Criteria.

If after no award of some offered items due to any other reason, the remaining products left on the proposal are not estimated to reach annual sales of $25K.

Dealer/distributor/reseller must submit letter of supply/commitment from all product manufacturers.  Letter may not be from another dealer/distributor/reseller.

The offeror is a dealer/distributor/reseller, and the offeror is limited to a specific territory/region for selling a manufacturer’s products (cannot service nation-wide).  See 552.238-78 – Scope of Contract (Eligible Ordering Activities).

Pharmaceuticals must be FDA approved.  Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs without a new drug application (NDA) or an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) issued by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will only be awarded for (1) items with an approved OTC monograph for the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API); or (2) FDA is currently reviewing offeror’s product for monograph approval under a tentative final monograph or a proposed monograph, and FDA has determined that the drug is generally recognized as safe and effective for its intended utilization.  See AS 1913 – New Drug Application.

Medical devices must be FDA 510k approved or have a medical device class exemption from this requirement.  See Pre-Market Approval (August 2000).

FDA recall depending upon scope and severity.

The product items included in the offer do not comply with the requirements of the Trade Agreements Act (TAA).  See 52.225-5.  *See also the exceptions for 65IB SIN 42-2a non-availability determinations on our TAA webpage.

High Tech Medical Equipment (HTME) will not be awarded under a FSS.  In general, the following items (not all inclusive) are considered to be HTME:  Portable X-Ray, Portable C-Arm, Ultrasound, CR Readers, Bone Densitometers, MRI, CT, Radiographic Equipment, Fluoroscopy, Mammography, IR, Nuclear Medicine, Cath Labs, Hybrid OR, Linear Accelerator, PACS and PET-CT.

Items are Low Vision Products.

Items are offered with Direct to Patient delivery.

Items are offered with Leasing.

Product offered is “custom packs.”  As of June 1, 2013, FSS no longer accepts custom packs to be placed on schedule.

Vendor is non-responsive within stated timeframe when requested to provide additional or updated information and has not provided supporting rationale for an extension.

Product offered under incorrect schedule.

Product not within the scope of the schedule.

Offeror proposed against obsolete solicitation (and the offer was not received within the stated grace period).  See FSS web site for the applicable grace periods.

SF 1449 not signed or not signed by an individual with authority to sign.

Submitted offer without proof of Insurance.  Applicable to Schedule 621I offers.  See Exhibit 2, #2, Sub-Factor D – Technical Proposal, Instructions, and Professional Liability Insurance.  A shared insurance policy is not acceptable, and certificate must indicate correct coverage amounts.

Missing agent authorization letter if a consultant or an agent, other than an employee of the company, is being used during or after award.

Warranty and Return Goods policy not submitted.

Complete Past Performance submission not provided if required.  See Document 07.

Large Business did not provide a subcontracting plan.  See Document 08 and FAR 19.7.

Large Business has proposed limited subcontracting goals and SBA is unwilling to grant a waiver.

Cannot agree on Tracking Customer for the purpose of the Price Reduction clause.

If there is a change in ownership after offer submission offer will be no awarded and must be resubmitted once new owner has all registrations and updated documents in place.

Vendor is debarred.

Duns & Bradstreet reports Tax (Federal/State) or other type of liens and/or lawsuits and vendor cannot prove these have been resolved (court documents or other evidence).

Vendor determined non-responsible in accordance with FAR 9.104.

If small business is determined non-responsible in accordance with FAR 9.104, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) declines to provide a Certificate of Competency (COC).

Past Performance indicates negative issues that cannot be resolved and the Government risk is too high.

Offeror does not accept government credit cards under 65IB (SINs other than 42-2A).

Offeror takes exception(s) to solicitation clauses and they are not in the best interest of the Government.

Offered delivery time does not meet delivery time required per solicitation clause and rationale is not practical.

Not registered in SAM, or registration is incomplete or not up to date (CCR, and ORCA).

SAM registration does not reflect the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code(s) for solicitation.

For New FSS contractors, Missing Pathway to Success training certificate.  See Document 01 of the Solicitation – Do You Qualify for a FSS Contract?


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