Washington Management Group

Contract Sales Retention Criteria

Practical Advice on GSA Schedule Contracting
By: Carolyn Alston, General Counsel, Washington Management Group

November 2011

The GSA Multiple Award Schedule Program has more than 19,000 contractors that cumulatively make sales of nearly $40 billion annually to federal agencies. What you may not know is that a considerable number of Schedule contractors make no sales at all. A schedule contract gives you a very valuable license to sell, but for all intents and purposes, the government does not guarantee anything.

A GSA Schedule contract contains sales retention criteria. These criteria allow GSA to cancel your contract if you do not have $25,000 in sales through your contract within 24 months after the initial contract award and then $25,000 in sales every year thereafter. If GSA cancels a contract for low sales the contractor will not be allowed to resubmit an offer for 12 months following the cancellation. I have it on good authority that reviews of contracts with low sales are taking place in a number of GSA acquisition centers.

Negotiating a GSA Schedule contract is quite an investment of a company’s time and resources. So, protect your investment by assuring that you aggressively market your contract after you receive an award.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Prior to award of your Schedule Contract, develop a business plan for your federal business
  • Don’t blanket the federal market but take the time to strategically target market federal agencies
  • Make sure that the items and solutions on your schedule stay current with your commercial offerings
  • Use GSA’s e-tools effectively. It is important that you continually update your GSA Advantage! files and monitor GSA e-Buy for opportunities. Particularly with the changes to MAS ordering procedures that became effective in May of this year, we expect more agencies to post requirements using GSA e-Buy. See Carolyn’s Corner, May 2011.

Hopefully these types of activities will boost sales. At a minimum, they will demonstrate to GSA that you are making your best efforts to achieve the sales criteria included in the contract.

WMG consultants are available to assist clients with information to help market their schedules and provide support on Contractor Assistance Visits (CAV) where the topic of low sales may be surfaced by GSA.

Do you have a government contracting question? Please email it to me at CarolynsCorner@washmg.com.

About Carolyn:

Carolyn Alston is General Counsel of Washington Management Group. She provides legal counsel to WMG's federal acquisition consulting operation, focusing on Multiple Award Schedule contract award, compliance, and audit procedures.

Prior to joining WMG, Carolyn had a distinguished career with the U.S. General Services Administration. Her experience as a senior attorney in the GSA's Office of General Counsel led to her role as the lead in developing and writing GSA's Multiple Award Schedule policy. Her GSA career culminated in running the agency's successful GSA Schedule program as Assistant Commissioner for Acquisition at GSA.

Carolyn holds a BA from Cornell University and a JD from Georgetown Law Center. Carolyn is a member of the bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia.


WMG offers the information provided on this web site for informational purposes only.

WMG is a well recognized expert in GSA Schedule contracting, with more than 30 years of corporate experience. The information provided on this site is based on our substantial acquisition expertise, particularly with respect to commercial item contracting. Nothing on this site should be interpreted as legal advice.

As you recognize, most decisions regarding your GSA Schedule contract are highly dependent upon the facts of your particular circumstances. You should not rely on this site to make specific decisions about your contract. If you are considering taking specific actions on a matter affecting your GSA Schedule contract, we highly recommend that you contact WMG regarding a proposal for individual acquisition consulting services or that you seek advice from legal counsel with expertise in GSA Schedule contracting.


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