Selling Items Not on My Contract - Open Market Items

While generally an issue for sales, a contract administrator must be aware of issues about the sale of non-contract items, known as Open Market Items.

Your company may sell Open Market Items may to Agencies under a GSA Contract order, but you must clearly inform the customer that the items to be sold are indeed open market. This concept is important to understand and new contractors often have problems with the GSA auditors if they do not manage this correctly.

What are Open Market Items

Open-Market items are also known as:

  • Incidental Items
  • Non-Contract Items
  • Non-Schedule Items
  • Other Direct Costs (ODC’s)

An agency (customer) may add open market items to an order. However, contractors must ensure that the customer is made aware of these items before the sale.

Doing so is extremely important due to differing Federal Acquisition Regulations for Federal Supply Schedule procurements versus open market procurements. NOT DOING SO COULD CONSTITUTE FRAUD.

Document that you provided this information to the customer before the sale in a written quote (just put the term "Open Market Item" at the end of each open-market line item) or email correspondence, as well as upon the actual invoice.

NOTE: Schedule contractors should NOT include the value of open market sales when reporting the quarterly 72a sales, only the total sales of contract items.

Why are Open Market Items allowed?

For administrative convenience, an agency contracting officer may add items not on the GSA Schedule contract — i.e., open market items — to a GSA Schedule Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) or an individual task or delivery order only if:

  • All applicable acquisition regulations about the purchase of products not on the GSA Schedule contract have been followed. For example, publicizing (FAR Part 5), competition requirements (FAR Part 6), acquisition of commercial items (FAR Part 12), contracting methods (FAR Parts 13, 14, and 15), and small business programs (FAR Part 19);
  • The ordering activity contracting officer has determined the prices for the items not on the GSA Schedule contract are fair and reasonable;
  • The items are clearly labeled on the order as items not on the GSA Schedule contract; and
  • All clauses applicable to items not on the GSA Schedule contract are included in the order.

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