COVID-19 forces GSA to delay e-commerce portal plans 

With COVID-19 support response prioritized, the General Services Administration puts a hold on its e-commerce portal proof of concept contract.

NOTE: This article first appeared on

The General Services Administration's push to create an electronic purchasing portal for federal agencies has been shoved to the sidelines by the government's more urgent demands for IT hardware and service support for telework.

"Not surprisingly, GSA's resources have shifted to support the COVID-19 response, and we're having to prioritize certain activities to support the immediate needs of the federal government," said Laura Stanton, deputy assistant commissioner for Category Management, Information Technology Category, in an April 1 post on the agency's Interact site.

"As a result, the contracting team for the commercial platform's proof of concept has also had to shift their focus to COVID-19 response efforts," she said, delaying the pending award for the proof-of-concept. Stanton didn't specify when GSA would award the contract, but said that "our goal is to make the contract award in the coming months."

The agency had planned to award the proof-of-concept contract in early spring, but faced some protests from potential vendors. had filed a pre-award protest of the contract in January. It withdrew the complaint in late February, however.

"We will continue to move forward as we are able, recognizing that many of our acquisition professionals are prioritizing COVID-19 response work over other acquisition initiatives," Stanton said.

During a House Oversight and Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing in early March on GSA issues, one of the agency's officials in charge of the platform initiative told lawmakers that there were three pending protests of the contract.