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The GSA is Launching a New Government-wide E-Commerce Portal

By Debbie Gregory.

The new GSA Portal is Scheduled for late 2019 and selling to the federal government is about to get easier!

A new E-Commerce platform that will make it easier for government agencies to buy commercial products is in its final stages and is about ready to launch! Built over the last few years by the General Services Administration (GSA) with assistance from the Office of Management and Budget, the platform is slated to launch late in 2019. The GSA is focused on continuously improving how the federal government buys and sells goods and by modernizing the experience it will reduce the burden on small businesses, the agencies themselves, and create greater value for taxpayers.

This new system will allow agencies to quickly browse and purchase a wide range of commercial goods without having to go through the lengthy government procurement process that they do now. The goal of this new E-Commerce platform is to make it easier and less expensive for businesses to sell items, such as tools, hardware, and office supplies, to federal agencies.

The portal will follow the traditional E-marketplace model which will allow third-party vendors to sell goods on the platform. The new portal will launch with a handful of hand-picked agencies at the end of the calendar year in 2019 with the ultimate goal of scaling it up government-wide, if it is successful, by mid 2020. These agencies will be allowed to buy goods that cost less than the federal “micro-purchase threshold” – which is currently set at $10,000.

The platform is also being built to remove barriers for small businesses who wish to sell to federal agencies and allow them to compete with traditional larger government vendors. Currently there is not a specific number for how many vendors will be a part of the program at its launch.  GSA is confident that the new E-Commerce platform will provide agencies more choice and better vendor performance.  The program will help prevent monopolies on government purchases as well as give smaller businesses opportunities to compete.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association encourages all members to take advantage of this new platform.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

GSA’s Centers of Excellence Will See Expansion This Year

By Debbie Gregory.

The General Services Administration (GSA) will be refreshing the acquisition model for its Centers of Excellence (CoE) initiative this year as it gears up for IT modernization.

The RFQ includes a challenge question to assess a vendor’s technical capabilities in a functional area; a scenario question to evaluate a vendor’s ability to collaborate with federal employees and other contractors in a cross-functional team; and another factor to test a contractor’s ability to send a response with regards to one functional area. The challenge questions will be available through Google Forms beginning March 28.

The award for the BPA or Blanket Purchase Agreement is valued at $100 million and is set to last for three years from the date of award. The RFQ or Request for Quotation notes this is not a ceiling and the total value can exceed the $100 million without the need to modify the contract.

The program, initiated by the White House’s Office of American Innovation, launched in December, 2017 as a way for GSA and industry to partner on targeted technology overhauls at selected agencies. beginning the process will be the Agriculture Department and the Housing and Urban Development Department.

“The CoEs are focused on establishing a model of private/public relationships for IT modernization efforts that will prove fruitful to both sides of the partnership.  The objective is to obtain and incorporate industry feedback.

According to Bob De Luca who is the Executive Director of the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence at GSA hopes to onboard more agencies this year and at a faster rate.

The next generation of the program will include the original five centers that are focused on cloud adoption, contact centers, customer experience, data analytics and infrastructure optimization in addition to two additional centers for change management and information security. Prospective bidders must hold GSA Schedule 70 contracts for the relevant special item number listed in the document.  The entire package is due by noon on April 1.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

DUNS Numbers To Be Phased Out – First New Managing Vendor After 20 Years

A new vendor is taking over management of the vendor verification system run through the General Services Administration, ending a 20-year dynasty for the company that established the Data Universal Numbering System, or DUNS.

Through the Integrated Award Environment, GSA issues each vendor or organization that does business with the government a unique DUNS number. The system has been managed by Dun & Bradstreet since it was created in 1962 and the company has held the contract with GSA since DUNS became part of the Federal Acquisition Regulation in 1998.

After opening the contract to competitive bids last year, GSA announced Monday that a new vendor, Ernst & Young, would be taking over the entity validation system.  The new deal has a one-year base period with four one-year options.  The value of the contract is $41.8 million if all options are exercised.

GSA is taking the opportunity to reengineer the system. The DUNS number will be phased out over the coming months and replaced by the System for Award Management Managed Identifier, or SAMMI, number.  The standards on how the system will function are be worked out by an interagency working group.  The federal government will have a safe, secure and unified method for validating entities, while also simplifying the process for those who seek awards,” GSA Office of Systems Management Assistant Commissioner Judith Zawatsky said in a release announcing the award.  Dun & Bradstreet will continue to work with GSA and Ernst & Young during the transition.

Additionally, the new system will also create a workaround for the proprietary nature of validation services which many have characterized as monopolistic.  A GSA spokesperson said that Ernst & Young will retain proprietary rights to certain data but going forward, the process will be structured in a different way.  The entity validation services contract features a new approach wherein users will provide their registration information at SAM.gov and that information will be validated against [Ernst & Young’s] data..  The government has unlimited rights in perpetuity to the validated results and there is no charge to SAM.gov registrants.”

 #GeneralServicesAdministration #GSA #DUNS #Dun&Bradstreet #Ernst&Young #SAM.gov #JudithZawatsky

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