As part of our ongoing effort to keep our clients informed of changes in Federal contracting that affect their business, we wanted to tell you about a potentially important change. The Government is looking at doing business along the lines of an “Amazon-type” e-Commerce platform to keep pace with technological changes long adapted in the private sector.
Section 846 of the National Defense Authorization Act directs the General Services Administration (GSA) and OMB to define and establish the use of an e-Commerce platform to procure commercial products. GSA had been hosting sites and public forums to gain feedback and suggestions on how the platform should operate but the public comment period has ended. We are providing links to the Federal Register and full transcript for your review.
GSA is applying a three-phased approach to e-commerce procurement platform to be fully operational within 2-3 years of implementation:
- Phase I — 90 Days— Developing an implementation plan and gathering recommendations on law and policy changes.
- Phase II – 1stYear – Market Research to understand how agencies might use a commercial procurement platform to improve buying experience, reduce contracting officer workload, and ensure price reasonableness.
- Phase II – 2ndYear and beyond – Implementation guidance.
GSA is evaluating program design, buying practices, and regulatory compliance. GSA will then accordingly create or modify the e-Commerce platform for implementation. E-Commerce acquisitions will be below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT), currently $250,000.
This initiative reflects GSA’s mission to align transactions with the private sector while maximizing Government savings. GSA is reviewing competition requirements and commercial best practices to create an e-Commerce platform that meets these objectives, as well as facilitates purchases from small businesses and other socioeconomic categories.
Despite competition from other contracting vehicles, GSA schedules remain the largest. The e-Commerce platform is expected to generate more revenue from Federal agencies and diversify contractor opportunities.
Coley GCS continuously to monitors GSA and the Federal Register as GSA and OMB consider the previous town hall concerns and questions. Our decades of experience in assisting clients with catalog management including the former DoD Emall, GSAAdvantage!, FedMall, and more, give us insight into the challenges presented by new Federal commerce platforms. If you have any questions, contact Coley GCS to discuss how we can help you be positioned to win sales.