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Change Number: Change 178 GSAR Case 2020-G511
Effective Date: 03/25/2024

Subpart 537.1 - Service Contracts—General

Subpart 537.1 - Service Contracts—General

537.101 Definitions.

“Contracts for building services” means contracts for services relating to the operation and maintenance of a building (e.g., janitorial, window washing, snow removal, trash removal, lawn and grounds care), inspection, maintenance, repair or replacement of building systems or equipment (e.g., elevators, air-conditioning, heating systems, and protection or guard service).

537.102-70 Application of performance-based acquisition (PBA) policy for leases and leasehold interests in real property.

GSA contracting activities are not required to use PBA methods for leases and leasehold interests in real property. However, contracting activities are not precluded from using PBA methods when contracting for leases or leasehold interests in real property if using PBA best meets the Government’s needs.

537.104 Personal Services Contracts.

(a) General. GSA is generally not authorized to award personal service contracts. Personal services contracts are often triggered by perception, in particular when it is hard to differentiate between contractor employees and Federal employees. GSA contracting activities should avoid engaging in personal services contracts as described in FAR 37.104, unless excepted (see paragraph (b)), and work to establish and administer contracts such that the risk of the appearance of personal service contracts is mitigated and documented in the file. For more information on how to administer service contracts and avoid inappropriate personal service contract perception, see 537.504.

(b) Exceptions. There are limited exceptions in which GSA may actively engage in personal service type contracts:

(1) A contracting officer may enter into a personal services contract if the acquisition is being conducted on behalf of another agency who has statutory authority to enter into personal service contracts specific to that acquisition The contracting officer must obtain the written concurrence of the Office of Legal Counsel and the Contracting Directors prior to issuing a solicitation.

(2) A contracting officer may enter into a personal services contract for GSA use only after obtaining the written concurrence of the Office of Legal Counsel and of the Contracting Director. See FAR 37.104(e) and GSA Order ADM 5000.4, Office of General Counsel Legal Review.

(3) GSA has authority to enter into contracts for personal services for Information Technology, per 40 USC 321(c)(1)(A)(iii), only when the contract is less than one year in duration, after meeting the requirements above.

(c) Delegating Responsibilities. Contracting officers must ensure any contracting officer's representative (COR) delegation letter includes language regarding personal service contract responsibilities. Standard delegation language can be found on GSA's Acquisition Portal at

537.106 Funding and term of service contracts.

517.101 identifies GSA-specific statutory authority for multiyear contracts for certain services.

537.110 Contract clauses.

(a) Contracts for building services. Except for solicitations and contracts for building services placed under FAR subpart 8.7, insert the clause at 552.237-71, Qualifications of Employees, in solicitations and contracts for building services that are anticipated to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

(b) Contracts for guard services. Insert the clause at 552.237-72, Prohibition Regarding “Quasi-Military Armed Forces,” in solicitations and contracts for guard services.