A multiple-award proof of concept — for sites similar to Amazon, Overstock or Jet.com and required by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act — is expected later this year and will modernize how agencies buy commercial products outside of existing contracts.
GSA estimates $6 billion in open-market purchases are made on government-issued credit cards, but the pilot will begin with a subset of agencies and a $10,000 spending limit on any one order. Agency officials have asked Congress to raise that micro-purchase threshold to $25,000 for the five-year pilot to better evaluate streamlined buying.
“During the initial proof of concept, GSA will encourage robust competition through the implementation of multiple e-marketplace platforms,” said Laura Stanton, a deputy assistant commissioner at the Federal Acquisition Service within GSA. “We are looking to leverage business-to-business terms whenever practicable, to allow for streamlined buying while obtaining a more transparent and centralized view of this type of government-wide spend.”
The solicitation is open for public comment for 30 days, and the Commercial Platforms Initiative is one of four Federal Marketplace Strategy projects intended to simplify the space for agencies and vendors.