GSA PRESSES CONGRESS TO INCREASE MICRO-PURCHASE LEVEL FOR E-COMMERCE BUYS
GSA is again asking Congress to increase the Micro-Purchase Threshold (MPT) from $10,000 to $25,000, but this time with the limitation that it be only for purchases made through its e-commerce portal program and with a sunset provision after 5 years. This was among the information released last week in the agency’s much-anticipated report to Congress on the status of its e-commerce portal project. GSA also stated its intent to move forward with a pilot program, initially restricted to e-marketplace providers, and limited to items such as office supplies and industrial products. Other types of e-commerce systems, such as e-commerce models where a provider purchases products from a supplier base and sells them as inventory, would have to wait until a later phase. GSA identified three benchmarks on how the pilot would be evaluated: 1. To what extent is the program successfully modernizing the COTS buying experience? 2. To what extent is the program attracting buyers and thus shifting work away from contracting officers to allow them to focus on higher value work? And 3: To what extent can the program’s increased transparency, both in terms of spending data visibility and access to mandatory source and socioeconomic programs, drive better buying strategies and decisions? Notably absent is a pricing comparison benchmark on whether the prices paid via the e-commerce project will be higher or lower than those available from GSA’s existing Schedule contracts or other pricing on GSA Advantage. GSA still intends to move forward with an RFP in the 3rd quarter of the year, with a plan to get a pilot up and running by the end of the calendar year.