GSA Announces Pilot to Boost Procurement Transparency, Competition

The General Services Administration on Wednesday announced a new pilot program that aims to provide more transparency around its schedule contracts and potentially attract more vendors to participate in the Federal marketplace.

The new pilot involves GSA’s eBuy, “an electronic Request for Quote (RFQ) / Request for Proposal (RFP) system designed to allow government buyers to request information, find sources, and prepare RFQs/RFPs, online, for millions of services and products offered through GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) and GSA Technology Contracts.”

The eBuy Open GSA First pilot will aim to create more visibility into the GSA schedule contracts that account for roughly $35 billion in Federal procurements. The pilot will begin with both a control group and a test group, which includes contracting officers from the GSA Office of Internal Acquisition, and the FAS Region 7 Southwest Supply and Acquisition Center for GSA funded procurements.

The test group was chosen because it is currently the most active on the eBuy system, GSA said.

“Providing more transparency into how the Federal government buys products and services will help contractors and our agency customers make more informed decisions when considering GSA contracts,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy in a statement Wednesday. “Making this data public will be especially helpful for small businesses who often aren’t able to dedicate resources to navigate the government contracting process.”

The pilot will aim to increase competition primarily through more openly available procurement data. Post-award eBuy RFQ information on GSA procurements will now be posted on the FedBizOpps website.

“During the pilot, the test group will upload the award notice of each individual eBuy award, including a copy of the RFQ, on FedBizOpps for public viewing,” GSA said. The pilot program will run for one year, ending Oct. 9, 2019.

“Stakeholders have been asking for access to eBuy for some time, this pilot enables GSA to explore the best options to improve transparency in the eBuy program,” said GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Alan Thomas. “Not only will publishing post-award RFQ information publicly give our industry partners greater insight, but it will also encourage more vendors to pursue opportunities with GSA.”

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