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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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SMG f:2610.2





Transmittal Number f:76-2 -- Date: 03/26/1976

[PDF Version]

 1. Purpose
 2. Definition
 3. Conditions for Use
 4. Competition and Pricing
 5. Mandatory Sources of Supply
 6. Terms and Conditions of Blanket Purchase Arrangement
 7. Maintenance of Blanket Purchase Arrangement Files

Attachment A - Sample Blanket Purchase Arrangement
Attachment B - Blanket Purchase Arrangement Register


The purpose of this guide is to provide all FDA field locations with a uniform prescribed procedure for an efficient and economical means of establishing, completing and maintaining Blanket Purchase Arrangements (BPA).


The Blanket Purchase Arrangement is equivalent to a commercial "charge account." It provides the most efficient and economical means of effecting small purchases of items of the same general category. The BPA eliminates the issuance of individual purchase orders for small requirements by placing oral calls. All terms and conditions are agreed upon in advance and apply to each call for the duration of the BPA.


Blanket Purchase Arrangements are particularly desirable where there is a repetitive need for small quantities of supplies or services of closely related types available from one source, and when the exact requirements are not known in advance and may vary considerably. These may be technical books, electrical supplies, laboratory supplies, or miscellaneous hardware items.


The rules governing competition and pricing on small purchases equally apply to purchases made under Blanket Purchase arrangements. (Refer to Staff Manual Guide FDA 2610.9).

1. All competitive sources in the local area from whom numerous individual purchases would likely be made should be given an opportunity to furnish supplies or services under Blanket Purchase Arrangements. In order to obtain the best possible price for like items of supplies and services, Blanket Purchase Arrangements should be made with as many sources as is deemed practical.

2. Competition need not be solicited for individual purchases less than $500, provided that the offered price can be determined to be fair and reasonable. Under no circumstances shall a known requirement be purchased on a split basis to avoid the $500 limitation (Refer to Staff Manual Guide FDA 2610.9).

3. Items considered to be accountable personal property as defined in paragraph 3d of Staff Manual Guide FDA 2620.3 shall not be purchased under a Blanket Purchase Arrangement.


Procurement by the Blanket Purchase Arrangement method does not eliminate screening of requirements against availability from regular supply channels. Therefore, prior to placing an order against the Blanket Purchase Arrangement, each requirement shall be screened for availability from stock or a mandatory source, e.g., Federal Supply Schedules, General Services Administration Stores Depots, PHS Supply Depots, Federal Prison Industries, Inc., and National Industries for the Blind. (Refer to Staff Manual Guide FDA 2610.8).


All Blanket Purchase Arrangements shall be formalized by means of a typed SF-147 Order for Supplies or Services. A statement shall preface each Blanket Purchase Arrangement indicating that the BPA shall not exceed the fiscal Year limitation of $5.000 for Open Market Purchases. The arrangement shall further contain the terms and conditions as shown below and in Attachment A:

1. The types of supplies or services to be covered under the arrangement and the period of time covered. The period shall never extend beyond a given fiscal year.

2. The Government will be obligated only to the extent of orders placed under the arrangement by authorized individual(s). The name of such individual(s) authorized to place calls shall be furnished to the vendor.

3. The prices quoted to the Government will be as low as, or lower than, those charged the supplier's most favored customer, in addition to any discounts for prompt payment.

3. No accountable personal property shall be purchased against this arrangement.

4. No individual order under this arrangement shall exceed $500.

5. Prices will generally be obtained orally except that informally written quotations may be obtained when necessary.

6. All orders placed against this arrangement shall be documented by an identifying order number, i.e., BPA-ATL-1-77(2), BPA-ATL-1-77(3), etc., in numerical sequence.

7. All shipments under this arrangement shall be accompanied by delivery tickets or sales slips which shall contain the following minimum information:

a. Name of supplier.

b. Blanket Purchase Arrangement number, followed by the call order number.

c. Date of call order.

d. Identification of the individual placing the call.

e. Itemized list of supplies furnished.

f. Quantity, unit price, and extension of each item.

g. Date of delivery or shipment.

8. A summary invoice shall be submitted at least monthly or upon expiration of the Blanket Purchase Arrangement, whichever occurs first, for all deliveries made during the billing period, identifying the delivery tickets covered therein, stating their total dollar value and supported by receipted copies of the delivery ticket or sales slip. Payment will be accomplished promptly on the basis of invoices submitted in full accordance with the provisions of this paragraph.


All Blanket Purchase Arrangements shall be maintained in separate file folders. Each BPA folder shall contain the following:

1. One side of the folder shall contain a copy of the Requisition (HEW 393) used to initiate the arrangement. All documentation used with regard to competition shall then be placed under the HEW 393 In the event competition is not possible, a justification to substantiate the Sole Source must be included (refer to paragraph 5d of Staff Manual Guide FDA 2610.9). This information may be obtained by using either the Form FD-1590 (Informal Telephone Quotation), or SF-18 (Request for Quotation). Placed directly on top of this documentation shall be a copy of the typed BPA. As individual orders are placed under the BPA, they should be documented by a Requisition Form HEW 393 and filed in numerical sequence on top of the typed BPA Form SF-147.

2. The opposite side of the folder shall contain a register (See Attachment B) reflecting all orders placed under the arrangement. As individual orders are placed, they shall be assigned consecutive numbers, documented on the register and the original copy of the HEW-393 used to make the purchase placed in the file in numerical order by purchase order number. The numbers assigned to each order shall be indicated by BPA number and individual call order number, i.e., original order BPA-ATL-1-77, first call order BPA-ATL-1-77(1), second order BPA-ATL-1-77(2), etc. The register shall show each order and remaining open market after each order has been placed.