According to IHS Global Insight, the federal government will spend more than $3 trillion on goods and services in 2014. That figure includes office supplies, mail delivery, and janitorial equipment.
Purchasing is decentralized, so prices vary from agency to agency -- sometimes even with the same contractor.
In 2005, the General Services Administration got involved with the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative. But some contractors remain concerned about FSSI's impact on small business.
Stan Soloway, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, discussed the issue with Government Matters.
For more, click the play icon above.
Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharp e-mailed the following statement to GM:
"GSA understands the importance of small business participation in federal procurement. In partnership with the Office of Management and Budget, GSA has worked to bring Strategic Sourcing solutions to the government that save time and money, while supporting our small business objectives. In fact, the stated purpose of our strategic programs is to drive savings and increase small business participation. The results have been impressive. GSA's Strategic Sourcing solutions have saved the government more than $350M in direct and $750M indirect savings through five solutions. (office supplies, domestic delivery, telecommunications expense management services, wireless, and print management), while increasing small business participation (For example, small business obligations in office supplies increased from 67% before FSSI for Office Supplies to 79% with it).
"Ensuring small business opportunity, while driving savings for the taxpayers, is a top priority of GSA. We will continue to maximize small business opportunities through our acquisition strategies and we remain committed to improving small business participation in strategic sourcing efforts.
"Toward that end:
1. We have committed to ensuring small business input at every point of the FSSI process.
2. Per the Small Business Act of 2010, we perform extensive market research and take active steps to include small businesses, with the overwhelming majority of awards being reserved for small businesses when appropriate.
3. On recent FSSI awards, our acquisition strategy was tailored to optimize small business participation through category alignment, small business set-asides, and use of waiver to the non-manufacturing rule to ensure maximum small business opportunity.
4. On all new FSSI solicitations, GSA's acquisition team works directly with the small business community through online discussions, in-person listening sessions, and partnering sessions. In almost all instances, based on comments, suggested changes, and information shared by small businesses GSA does make adjustments to the program. (For example: increasing the number of awardees, adding additional spots for small business awards, reducing some of the data-reporting requirements, removing requirements that would increase costs leading to increased prices.)"