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GSA and OMB Submit Phase 2 Implementation Plan for Commercial e-Commerce Portals Program to Congress

Plan Issued Today Outlines Key Decision Points For Implementation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have issued the phase 2 joint implementation plan for the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Section 846, Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals. Section 846 directs GSA, in consultation with OMB, to establish a program to procure commercial products through commercial e-commerce portals. This phase of the plan has focused on market research, and phase 3 will focus on implementation guidance, informed by an initial proof of concept and continued stakeholder engagement.

“GSA is focused on continuously improving the federal buying and selling experience through the commercial platform program as a part of our broader federal marketplace strategy,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. “GSA has received valuable feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders throughout this process and we look forward to continuing our work with our partners in Congress, industry, and across federal agencies as we move towards an initial proof of concept. By creating a modern buying experience for commercial items, GSA will reduce the burden on small businesses and our customer agencies. Ultimately, this will create greater value for taxpayers.”

To inform the development of the phase 2 implementation plan, GSA and OMB focused on extensive market research and consultation with customers and industry partners. This included hosting two public meetings with hundreds of stakeholders participating and the release of three Requests for Information to gather feedback on program requirements.

In the phase 2 implementation plan, GSA and OMB outline three key decisions necessary to begin the implementation of purchasing through e-commerce portals using an initial proof of concept:

  1. Begin operational implementation of the program with an initial proof of concept to start small, test, and refine as lessons are learned;
  2. Limit purchases made through the initial proof of concept to the micro-purchase threshold to drive adoption and mitigate risk; and
  3. Start with the e-marketplace model for this initial proof of concept while continuing to assess opportunities to leverage the benefits of the other commercial e-commerce portal models.

To maximize the effectiveness of the initial proof of concept, GSA and OMB are recommending one legislative change viewed as necessary for implementation:

  • Increase the micro-purchase threshold from $10,000 to $25,000 for a limited period of five years. The proposed authority would only apply to purchases made through the GSA-approved commercial e-commerce portals. This will provide GSA the opportunity to provide a higher-value proof of concept and test the full potential of streamlined buying.

Moving into phase 3 (continuing through FY20), GSA will focus on program implementation guidance. This phase will include an initial proof of concept with a planned launch toward the end of calendar year 2019 and a draft solicitation released in the Q3 FY19 timeframe. Stakeholder engagement will continue to be a high priority for GSA and OMB throughout this phase, with additional opportunities for feedback in the coming months. For more information and to see the published implementation plan, please visit the Commercial Platforms Initiative group page on Interact.

The Commercial Platforms initiative is one of four cornerstone projects underpinning GSA's 2019 Federal Marketplace Strategy to modernize and simplify the buying and selling experience for customers, suppliers, and acquisition professionals.

About GSA: The mission of GSA is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government. One of its four strategic goals is to establish GSA as the premier provider of efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the government.

To learn more about GSA visit or join the conversation on social media at @USGSA, @GSAEmily, and @FAS_Outreach.