Some small businesses are calling into question the benefits of the Obama administration’s strategic sourcing initiative. They say the agencies are mandating the use of the office supplies BPA and putting more than 500 Schedule 75 holders at risk of losing their business. GSA, which runs Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI), said there still are plenty of sales to go around as the BPA accounts for less than half of the $1.4 billion office supplies market.
GSA issued a draft solicitation for the Office supplies 3 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract Nov. 25 that puts more emphasis on small businesses, including consortiums, and would not be based on Schedule special item numbers.
SBA said GSA’s impact analysis failed on two main accounts. SBA said it disagreed on GSA’s claim that OS3 is a follow-on contract to OS2 and therefore is not a consolidation of contract requirements subject to the provisions of the Small Business Act. SBA also said GSA’s argument that it is “contrary to law” to provide an economic analysis on the consequences of small business on a consolidated contract is wrong.
Reps. Grace Meng and Tim Walberg introduce a provision in the Defense authorization bill to require GAO to study the impact of strategic sourcing on small businesses. GSA also is facing more than two dozen protests over its current and future office supplies contracts and now OASIS.
The General Services Administration is soliciting industry input on how to buy office supplies differently through the multiple award schedules. Some in industry say GSA is reacting to continued challenges with the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI).