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GSA Unveils New Approach to Government Office Supplies Purchasing

Agency issues RFP for 3rd generation office supply purchasing initiative

WASHINGTON, DC -- The General Services Administration (GSA) today posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the third generation of a Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) aimed at reducing costs for federal office supply purchases. Office Supply Third Generation or OS3 is the agency’s latest effort to cut costs and increase efficiencies by buying everyday supplies like pens, paper, and printing items from a list of vendors with negotiated low prices. This initiative builds upon the success of OS2, which generated more than $350 million in savings and achieved a small business utilization rate of 76 percent. OS3 is expected to provide government savings of $65 million annually on administrative costs plus an additional $90 million in annual savings captured through lower prices.

To increase transparency, gather feedback, and help Industry prepare for the final solicitation, GSA is collaborating with interested office supplies vendors through its OS3 Interact Community. Through video tutorials, a draft RFP comment period and an Industry Engagement Event with more than 400 registrants, GSA provided the vendor community an opportunity to participate in shaping the solicitation and requirements outlined the final OS3 RFP.

FAS Commissioner Tom Sharpe Weighs in:
“With increasingly constrained resources and budgets, GSA’s mission of saving the government time and money has never been more important. The success of GSA’s FSSI programs requires ongoing collaboration and dialog with our partners across government and industry in order deliver millions in savings for taxpayers.”

Collaboration with Industry Shapes Final RFP:
Based on comments, suggested changes, and information shared by industry and by various associations, GSA made some adjustments to the final RFP:

  • GSA is increasing the number of awardees for certain sections and will add two small business awards to the existing three Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOB) awards.
  • To align with commercial practice, GSA will reduce some of the data-reporting requirements.
  • GSA is removing the price reduction requirement. Industry comments indicated it would increase costs leading to increased prices.

Building on the successes of OS2, OS3 will include the following new and additional benefits:

  • This procurement will be a full-and-open solicitation, open to all office supply businesses, including any businesses that do not have a GSA Multiple Award Schedule contract.
  • Additional purchasing channel options for agencies with the inclusion of a requisition channel and eventually the 4th Party Logistics (vendor direct-delivery requisition/fulfillment) channel
  • Increased opportunities for small businesses with open season on-ramping and an increase in the number of awards reserved for small business
  • Lower prices through increased competition and a dynamic pricing model, which reduces price variances

How OS3 Works:
GSA’s FSSI programs help federal agencies buy smarter and save money for taxpayers by leveraging the large quantity the government purchases to negotiate lower prices from suppliers. The OS3 program does this by working with agencies to figure out how much they are spending on common supplies and then working with office supplies vendors to agree on bulk prices that reflect how much the government is buying each year.


About the U.S. General Services Administration

The mission of U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and the American people.

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