SEWP Contract Guide

SEWP has the Answers
SEWP has published a comprehensive list of FAQs. Here are 10 of the most common. Visit www.sewp.nasa.gov for everything you need to know about using SEWP.

1. What is the difference between SEWP Groups and Classes?
SEWP III had classes. There are NO classes in SEWP IV. SEWP is a Fixed Price with Economic Price Adjustment, IDIQ and has 38 Prime Contract Holders.

SEWP is divided into five Groups of contracts. Groups A, B, C and D were awarded through a Competitive process with the Group B competition set-aside for SDVOSB (Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses) and Group C competition set-aside for Small Business. Group E consists of non-Competed 8(a) set-aside contracts.

Each competed group has the same scope which provides overlap among all Contracts and Groups according to SEWP officials. The groups are:
* Group A (OEMs and Value Added Resellers(VARs)
* Group B: SDVOSB Set-asides (VARs)
* Group C: Small Business Set-asides (VARs)
* Group D: Non-Set-aside (VARs)
* Group E: Non-Competed 8(a) set-aside contracts (recently awarded)

Group selection can be based on market research, suggested sources, pre-existing quotes, use of the SEWP Manufacturer tool, etc. or you may go to multiple groups.

2. Who Can Use SEWP? Can DOD? What about State and Local Governments and Contractors?
SEWP is a GWAC open to all federal civilian and DOD agencies.

SEWP officials are quick to point out that as a GWAC, DOD – including all service branches – may utilize the SEWP contracts.

Visit the SEWP website and you’ll see that NASA has a signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DOD about using SEWP, acknowledging that they are federal partners and “the mutual agreement of the involved parties to work together as Federal partners and to demonstrate their commitment to achieve compliance with acquisition.”

Along with a framework outlining the relationship, the MOA establishes procedures for the use of the SEWP contract by DOD.

Don’t hesitate to contact the SEWP Help line at 301-286-1478 or email help@sewp.nasa.gov to get the answers to all
your questions. Plus coming soon, this FAQ site will be
structured and interactive.


Based on a DOD IG audit, a training requirement is required of any contracting officer or credit card customer using the SEWP contracts.  Initial training can be obtained through the on-line training video with full certification through attendance at a free on-site training.

While DOD can use SEWP, state and local governments cannot. Only GSA has been authorized by Congress for use by state and local entities.

SEWP IV can be used by “authorized support service federal agency contractors” according to SEWP officials.  The contractor CO needs to send a copy of an authorization letter to the SEWP Program Office.  The details of the FAR requirements and what the letter needs to contain are listed on the SEWP website under ‘Order Info’.

3. Can I use SEWP if my agency contract office allows us to use only other contracts?
By law, SEWP is a GWAC authorized by OMB for use by all federal agencies. Individual agencies may have their own rules as to what contract vehicle(s) are permissible. You need to check with your procurement office to find out the final answer. As a rule, Defense must first leverage their own contracts but may
utilize SEWP (or GSA) with the right justification (such as price, or availability), say SEWP officials.

4.  Do I need a small business contracting plan if I am awarding a delivery order over $500,000 to a large business?
Under the FAR, SEWP orders are orders under existing contracts (FAR. 16.5) and not a stand-alone procurement. All the basics are covered in FAR requirements for Part 12 commercial contracts. According to the SEWP website, “all SEWP large businesses have either a commercial subcontract plan or a SEWP contract specific subcontract plan as part of the basic contract.”

5. What about leasing? Is it allowed?
On this point the SEWP officials are clear. As long as the terms and conditions are not in conflict with the basic SEWP contracts, additional terms and conditions can be negotiated at the delivery order level, including leasing. SEWP does not provide a lease template for customers and COs must put together their own adhering to the FAR and their own internal policies.

6. Can I have a BPA on SEWP?
SEWP can be used for an activity similar to a GSA Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA).  According to SEWP officials, “a name was assigned – CUPA – to distinguish a SEWP BPA-like order structure from GSA BPA’s – but the name has no real meaning.” Check with the SEWP Program Office for details on how you can develop you CUPA based on FAR Part 13.303-1.

7. Can I go directly to a single SEWP Contract Holder for all my needs?
SEWP contracts are pre-competed and therefore formal competition (including synopsis, formal RFPs, etc.) is not required according to SEWP officials.  They also say however that “as with all multi-award contracts (including GSA), Fair Opportunity must be provided to all associated multi-award Contract Holders.  Check the SEWP website for all the information on Fair Opportunity. The good news is the SEWP RFI/RFQ tool has automatic prompts providing with the set of Contract Holders for which Fair Opportunity should be provided.

8. Can I get a better price than the SEWP price posted on the web?
According to SEWP officials, “the published SEWP prices are the maximum prices the Contract Holders can charge the Government.” You can get better prices either on a per order basis, or for limited-time basis (e.g. close-out sale).  This allows you the flexibility to negotiate. Already many agencies are using this flexibility and combining it with and continuous SEWP competition among Contract Holders to negotiate large savings, particularly for large purchases.

9. Can I purchase Open Market items on my SEWP order?
Yes; as long as the items are under the micro-purchase threshold of $3,000 per order; within scope of SEWP contract but not available as a separately orderable item, according to the SEWP website.

10. Do I need to obtain 3 quotes and can I can I limit my RFQ to 3 suggested sources?
In short, NO on both counts! For 3 quotes Fair Opportunity, not the “3 quote” rule applies to the SEWP contracts according to SEWP officials.

Fair Opportunity must be provided to all Contract Holders within at least one of the Contract Groups.  SEWP officials say, “If after providing the Fair Opportunity (preferably using the SEWP on-line RFI/RFQ tool), only one company provides a quote you may proceed with the award and order.”

Please note this is not a sole source since you provided opportunity to the other Contract Holders. However they recommend that “if only one Contract Group is queried and only one quote is obtained, the RFQ should be re-issued, including all Contract Groups in order to maximize competition.”

On using only 3 suggested sources, all Contract Holders within the Group must be provided a Fair Opportunity.

Source: SEWP