GSA has awarded contracts to three providers–Amazon Business, Fisher Scientific, and Overstock.com—under a pilot program to test the use of commercial e-commerce portals for purchases below the micro-purchase threshold of $10,000.
“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,” it said.
“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,” it added.
The contracts–see https://interact.gsa.gov/group/commercial-platforms-initiative–are to be active within a month.
They result from a directive in a 2017 defense spending bill that the government test the concept. The GSA in 2018 reviewed best practices and consulted with industry stakeholders and federal agencies, and last year issued a solicitation requesting proposals from e-marketplace portal providers.