I-2-5-31.Blanket Purchase Agreements - Obtaining Expert Evidence
Last Update: 6/16/16 (Transmittal I-2-174)
Detailed information about how the Federal government uses blanket purchase agreements (BPA) can be found on the U.S. General Services Administration website. In general terms, the Federal government uses BPAs when there is a recurring need for supplies or services from a specified contractor.
The Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) uses BPAs when obtaining expert evidence at a hearing. Each OHO regional office maintains a roster of medical experts (ME) and vocational experts (VE) who have agreed to provide impartial expert opinions pursuant to a BPA. Except in the limited circumstances outlined in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-1-31, I-2-5-36, and I-2-5-52 every ME or VE who testifies at a hearing or provides a written response to an interrogatory is covered under a BPA.
See HALLEX I-2-5-61 for handling a BPA for individuals who meet the qualifications for both an ME and a VE.
If an administrative law judge (ALJ) requests an expert from the RO roster, hearing office (HO) staff will enter the ME or VE information into the Case Processing and Management System (CPMS) scheduling event screen. This will automatically create a call order to be associated in CPMS. After signoff by the ALJ, the HO staff will give the call order number to the ME or VE at or after the hearing.