The General Services Administration (GSA) is moving forward with its plan to acquire e-marketplace portal providers for Federal agencies to leverage enterprise pricing for micropurchases by issuing a request for proposals (RFP) on October 1.
The RFP, open until November 1, is part of GSA’s push to procure online portal providers that can provide a convenient experience for agencies while still taking advantage of enterprise prices that leverage the size of the Federal government. The program was mandated by the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as the starting point of a larger shift for how agencies buy commercial products.
“Federal agencies spent approximately $260 million using online portals last year, and it is critical that we use the Commercial Platforms program to better understand and manage this spend,” said Emily Murphy, GSA Administrator, in a press release.
The program is aimed more at common commercial items, like office supplies, rather than more complex systems like IT. While the NDAA clause encourages GSA to look at multiple areas for an online portal, GSA decided to focus on micropurchases and more standard items during the initial pilot. GSA also opted for an e-marketplace portal, which allows multiple suppliers on one platform, over an e-commerce model, which would see the platform purchase and warehouse goods until agencies subsequently bought them.
The agency plans to award multiple contracts, each with one base year and two option years.