The U.S. General Services Administration has awarded contracts to three e-marketplace platform providers as part of implementation efforts for the Commercial Platforms program and Section 846 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Awarding these no-cost contracts to Amazon Business, Fisher Scientific, and Overstock.com, Inc. allows GSA to test the use of commercial e-commerce portals for purchases below the micro-purchase threshold of $10,000 using a proof-of-concept (for up to three years).
These contracts and platforms will be available to federal agencies as part of a governmentwide effort to modernize the buying experience for agencies and help them gain insights into open-market online spend occurring outside of existing contracts. It is estimated that open market purchases on government purchase cards represent an addressable market of $6 billion annually.
“The e-commerce portals proof-of-concept is an important step in offering a solution for purchasing commercial products online that protects our federal supply chain against malicious and counterfeit goods, furthering our national security,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. “Our approach continues to be shaped by DHS’s Best Practices for E-Commerce Platforms and Third-Party Marketplaces, combining better security practices, better data, and better pricing. I’m pleased that GSA is at the forefront of leading such dynamic and innovative change.”
The goal of the proof-of-concept is to provide a modern buying solution for federal customers and increase transparency on agency spending that’s already taking place with better data through this solution. Further, this solution leverages the government’s buying power and increases supply chain security awareness with a governmentwide approach. According to GSA Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Julie Dunne, the proof-of-concept will start small and be refined through repeated testing. GSA will continue to solicit stakeholder feedback as has been the case throughout the program’s development.
“The feedback GSA has already received from a wide variety of stakeholders has been critical to achieving this important milestone in the Section 846 implementation,” said Dunne. “I’m excited for the path ahead — especially the spend data. Such data will help with compliance in areas like AbilityOne, small business, and supply chain risk management.”
GSA anticipates the e-marketplace platforms will be available for use in the next 30 days. For more information on contract awards and the proof-of-concept, visit the Commercial Platforms Initiative group page on Interact.
The Commercial Platforms initiative is one of four cornerstone projects underpinning GSA’s Federal Marketplace Strategy to modernize and simplify the buying and selling experience for customers, suppliers, and acquisition professionals.