GSA Reveals Federal E-commerce Plan

GSA Reveals Federal E-Commerce Plan

(MAY 2, 2019) - The US General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have issued their Phase 2 implementation plan for the use of commercial e-commerce portals for US government purchases.

The GSA and OMB were originally due to submit their plan to Congress in March, but the report was delayed due to the US government shutdown that ran for several weeks from the end of 2018. However, the report has now been published, with the GSA outlining how it intends to begin testing this Commercial Platforms Initiative via an initial proof of concept (POC).

While the GSA says it has listened carefully to various stakeholders in the past few months, this latest report shows that the POC will be based on some of the controversial proposals made at the end of 2018.

Notably, the GSA will begin the initial POC with an e-marketplace model, although it said it will “continue to assess opportunities to leverage the benefits of the other commercial e-commerce portal models”, namely e-procurement and e-commerce platforms. The government agency also stressed that the POC would be a multiple award, ie involving more than one e-commerce marketplace.

In order to “drive adoption and mitigate risk”, purchases made through the marketplaces will be limited to an amount known as the micro-purchase threshold (MPT). The GSA will ask for legislation to be changed to raise the MPT from its current level of $10,000 to $25,000.

“GSA has received valuable feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders throughout this process and we look forward to continuing our work with our partners in Congress, industry, and across federal agencies as we move towards an initial proof of concept,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy.

“By creating a modern buying experience for commercial items, GSA will reduce the burden on small businesses and our customer agencies. Ultimately, this will create greater value for taxpayers.”

An RFP (request for proposals) is due to be published in the next couple of months and the GSA plans to launch the POC before the end of the calendar year. - (OPI)

View the full Phase II Report: Market Research & Consultation