GSA Holds Online Marketplace

June 26, 2018

On June 21, 2018, the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) hosted a second stakeholder meeting on the topic of Section 846, the new online marketplace.  This meeting is part of the Phase II plan, which calls for GSA to begin its market research effort by GSA to gather information and to conduct analysis necessary to support the Phase III development of implementation guidance for procurement through e-Commerce portals.

IOPFDA continues to applaud GSA’s efforts to host these meetings, but left the meeting disappointed.  Both during Phase I and now again during Phase II, GSA has held stakeholder meetings without any representation on the panels. Furthermore, there has been very little discussion on real issues impacting small businesses.  IOPFDA has and will continue to work with GSA to make sure all future discussions include both small business participation and small business issues.  

The day centered around three major themes, with the first being increasing the Micro-purchase threshold from $5,000 for the Department of Defense and $5,000 for civilian agencies to $25,000 agency-wide.  The thing to remember is that this increase only applies to purchase that will be made through the online portals.  This issue generated a lot of comments both from GSA, panelists and the audience.  A common theme around this issue was that GSA needed to put in place some real detailed procedures for purchase card holders in order for this increase not to be abused.  IOPFDA continues to talk to its members on how this would or could both positively and negatively impact their businesses.  We plan to share those thoughts with GSA during this Phase II process. 

Another issue discussed at great length was the issue of counterfeit products.  IOPFDA was pleased to see Steve Noyes with Clover Technologies on the panel addressing this issue and its impact on the industry.  Steve shared with GSA and the audience the things his company, IOPFDA, BSA and others are working on with GSA in this area.  The hope is these procedures and efforts will be included in the final portals created by GSA. 

There was also a focus on data security and how portal re-selllers information would be protected.  One of the concerning things IOPFDA heard was that GSA had not ruled out allowing a company from both serving as a portal provider and selling its own products on the portal.  This issue concerns IOPFDA and is one we continue to work with GSA to resolve. 

Prior to the meeting, GSA issued two Requests for Information in the Federal Register.  The first is specifically for re-sellers and the second is for portal providers.  If you haven’t seen them, you can download them here, Request 1 and Request 2

IOPFDA is urging all independent dealers to review the RFI’s and submit comments.  If you do plan to submit comments, please send a copy to Paul Miller, IOPFDA’s director of government affairs. We’d like to try and include your concerns or questions into our submission.  

IOPFDA continues to follow this process and continues to dialogue with GSA on issues impacting the industry as well as concerns we have on major issues impacting small businesses.