GSA RELEASES PHASE I E-COMMERCE PORTAL REPORT
GSA is asking Congress to raise the Micro-Purchase threshold to $25,000 for all federal agencies as part of its plan to implement a previous Congressional mandate to establish commercial e-commerce portals. The recommendation was just one legislative change GSA requested as part of the agency’s Phase I report released late last week. Other legislative changes include revising open market commercial buying rules to look more like the streamlined rules used for GSA Schedule contracts and an expanded definition of “commercial e-commerce portal”. The report also stated that GSA intends to apply mandatory source rules for Ability One and Federal Prison Industries to any e-commerce portal transactions, though the applicability of other rules, such as the Trade Agreements Act, is less certain. The agency will now move on to Phase II, a step that is designed to take one year. During Phase II, GSA will seek input from industry on: establishing commercial portals as an attractive business partner/opportunity; ensuring transparency across marketplaces; and minimizing the administrative, financial, and business burdens placed on suppliers. The e-commerce initiative could change the way the government buys commodity-type products. As such, we recommend that companies in this space engage with GSA.