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GSA and OMB Finalize Joint Implementation Plan for Commercial e-Commerce Portal Program


Plan Submitted to Congress Today Focuses on Driving Continuous Value, Marketplace Establishment and Facilitating Customer Agency Mission-Critical Needs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have issued their joint implementation plan for the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Section 846 Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals, which directs GSA, in consultation with OMB, to establish a program to procure commercial products through commercial e-commerce portals. The implementation plan satisfies phase one of the legislation.

To inform the development of the implementation plan, GSA and OMB engaged industry stakeholders throughout the process, including hosting a public industry day with more than 200 in-person and more than 300 virtual attendees from a wide array of stakeholder groups. GSA also reviewed and incorporated key best practices from industry and engaged with several federal agencies to better understand their perspectives.

“The Section 846 authority allows the federal government to leverage technology to fundamentally change the way government can buy commercial off-the-shelf items,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. “This opportunity to increase competition and improve transparency in the acquisition process can greatly reduce the burden the current processes place on both our acquisition workforce and industry partners. GSA appreciates the wide-ranging feedback we have received from stakeholders throughout this planning process and look forward to working with our partners in Congress to ensure this game-changing opportunity is implemented in a way that creates maximum value.”

As part of the phase one implementation plan, GSA and OMB are recommending four legislative changes viewed as necessary to begin the implementation of purchasing through e-commerce portals.

  • Increasing the micro-purchase threshold to $25,000 to facilitate easy product comparisons to simplify purchases made under this program;
  • Empowering GSA to develop modernized competition requirements for the program;
  • Authorizing GSA to take advantage of contractual arrangements that maximize efficiency for buyers, portal providers, and sellers; and
  • Clarifying and broadening the definition of ‘commercial e-commerce portals’ to take advantage of both current and future business models.

For phase two of GSA’s and OMB’s statutory requirements under Section 846, market analysis and consultation, GSA will conduct the appropriate market research while also identifying opportunities for an initial rollout for the end of FY19. For phase three, program implementation guidance, in FY20, GSA and OMB will focus on impact and policy assessments, data management, change management and scaling our proof of concept. Stakeholder engagement will remain GSA’s and OMB’s highest priority throughout these phases. For more information and to see the published plan, please visit the Commercial Platform Initiative group page on Interact.  

About GSA: The mission of GSA is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across Government.