The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded contracts to Amazon Business, Fisher Scientific and Overstock.com to expand implementation efforts for the Commercial Platforms program and Section 846 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, GSA reported on Friday.
“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 and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, Emily Murphy.
The no-cost contracts will enable GSA to test the use of commercial e-commerce portals for purchases below the micro-purchase threshold of $10 thousand, using a proof-of-concept. The platforms will be available to federal agencies to modernize the procurement and gain insights into open-market online spending.
Open market purchases on government purchase cards represent an addressable market of approximately $6 billion annually. The GSA’s advances will 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.
The solution will also leverage the government’s buying power and increase supply chain security awareness with a governmentwide approach. GSA anticipates the e-marketplace platforms will be available for use in the next 30 days.
“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,” Murphy added.
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.
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.”
The mission of GSA is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government. One of its four strategic goals is to establish GSA as the premier provider of efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the government.