GSA declares strategic sourcing contract open for business

With a series of bid protests out of the way, the General Services Administration has declared its $1.2 billion strategic sourcing contract open for business.

The Government Accountability Office denied all the protests against the contracts earlier and GSA began promoting use of the Office Supplies Third Generation (OS3) contract on Dec. 4. The contract is part of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI).

“In this critical time of reduced budgets, GSA is working diligently on strategic initiatives to include FSSI, the Common Acquisition Platform (CAP), and category management to leverage data, dollars, and good business sense in helping the government buy smarter to meet its goals,” Tom Sharpe, Federal Acquisition Service commissioner, said in a statement.

OS3 provides agencies with a vehicle to buy every-day items, such as paper, pens and printer items. But it is also setting the foundation for more strategic sourcing efforts in other areas.

The contract is expected to boost the amount of spending to small businesses. On the contract, 20 of the 21 awardees are small businesses.

But small businesses that were not awarded spots on OS3 objected to GAO about the contract’s impact on small businesses. The Small Business Administration sided with the protestors. Still, GAO denied the protests in June.

OS3 builds on the FSSI Office Supply Second Generation (OS2) solution, which generated more than $370 million in direct and indirect savings since 2010. It also achieved a small business utilization rate of 76 percent. GSA officials expect OS3 to deliver more savings and increased opportunities for small businesses. They estimate more than $9 in every $10 spent through OS3 going to small business.

“OS3 will help government save money while at the same time ensuring that we are maximizing small business opportunities,” Sharpe said.

Reader Comments

Tue, Dec 9, 2014 Rick Vogel Simi Valley, CA

The government calls spending a slightly larger percentage with 20 small businesses an increase in small business utilization? What about the other hundreds of small businesses who are being barred from competing for local business with agencies in their region? How does this increase competition, or stimulate growth for emerging small business in this marketplace? I'm very confused as to why the government is ignoring agency input from the SBA. I'm confused as to why, after more than three years of significant efforts to get their attention, Congress just doesn't care about the impact to small business that is unavoidable when it comes to mass consolidations of this nature. The SBA agrees that this vehicle represents a violation of the limitations on consolidation of contract vehicles from the small business jobs act, how can any other agency override this position? Just wait... Ten years from now none of us will be left if we don't start making more noise.

Mon, Dec 8, 2014 Prof. Samuel D. Bornstei n New York City Area

Now that OS3 has survived the Protests, if you sell to the federal government you should be made aware of the "history" of the FSSI as it was applied to the first FSSI for GSA Schedule 75-Office Supplies (OS2). Since the inception of the FSSI OS2 in June 2010 to FYE 2014, the 15 FSSI BPA awardees saw an increase in their Schedule 75 Sales of approx. 140% while the 550+ Non-winners realized a LOSS OF MORE THAN 40% in their Schedule 75 Sales. The message is clear. As Joseph Jordan admitted, "THERE WILL BE WINNERS AND LOSERS, AND NOT ALL WHO WANT TO SELL TO THE GOVERNMENT CAN SELL TO THE GOVERNMENT". The FSSI will now take center stage and will be applied to $277 Billion in Government Spending. This will impact 10s of thousands of small businesses. Anne Rung, the OFPP Administrator said "the Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council (SSLC) will lead the initiative to set up categories across 10 commonly purchased goods and services. OFPP estimates agencies spend about $277 billion a year across these 10 areas, which include IT ($47.4 billion), professional services ($64.6 billion), facilities and construction ($72.1 billion) and medical ($33.2 billion)."

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