GSA is implementing the Commercial Platforms program, as directed in Section 846 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and is partnering with a subset of participating agencies to test the initial proof of concept.
In response to Section 846 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), Procurement Through Commercial e-Commerce Portals, GSA is partnering with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish a program to procure commercial products through commercial e-commerce portals.
GSA is implementing the program in multiple phases (with reports due to Congress after each phase):
New Business Model Cost Estimate Analysis [PDF - 505 KB] (in response to FY20 NDAA, Section 827) (July 2021)
What does the legislation outline as requirements?
- Contract must be competitive with multiple portal providers
- GSA shall accept portal provider commercial terms and conditions to the maximum extent practicable
- All existing procurement rules and regulations apply
- Orders shall not exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) (note: the proof of concept will focus only on purchases within the Micro-Purchase Threshold)
- Platforms must be widely used in the private sector and excludes portals managed by Government
In Summer 2020, GSA launched the Commercial Platforms proof of concept to GSA SmartPay® Purchase Card (GPC) holders, providing access to multiple e-marketplace platforms for purchases of commercial products within the micro-purchase threshold. The proof of concept is open to GPC holders from participating agencies.
Why a proof of concept?
The proof of concept represents an initial starting point for implementation of the Commercial Platforms program. GSA is intentional about starting small, to allow for testing and refinement as data and feedback are received. The proof of concept enables GSA to demonstrate the viability of a government-wide approach to online buying so we can smartly scale the program in the future.
What is an e-marketplace platform?
An e-marketplace platform is an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers, and offers the sellers a way to compete for the sale of each item on the platform. The sellers are typically third-party suppliers, but can also include the portal providers themselves who might sell their own products. Transactions are processed on the marketplace, and the sellers are responsible for order fulfillment.
Commercial Platforms Landing Page
The landing page on GSA.gov provides quick and easy access to the available platforms.
Each e-marketplace is a purchasing platform that allows you to browse, search, compare, and purchase routine commercial products.
Hundreds of suppliers are on each e-marketplace.
Visit the awarded e-marketplace platforms to learn more!
What are the benefits of the proof of concept?
- A modern, streamlined buying experience
- Choice across a large pool of suppliers and products
- Pricing benefits (B2B discounts, tiered pricing, bulk discounts)
- Supports mandatory source purchasing through the AbilityOne program
- Facilitates small business purchasing
- Enhanced data visibility and key insights into online purchases
- Implementation of Supply Chain Risk Management requirements, to include restricting access to debarred vendors, a focus on counterfeit prevention, and support for Section 889.
- Standardized terms and conditions through a whole-of-government approach
- A dedicated team to assist with training, change management, and data analytics across the e-marketplace platforms.
When do I purchase from the proof of concept?
GSA SmartPay® Purchase Card (GPC) holders from participating agencies are encouraged to use the program's e-marketplace platforms for the purchase of routine commercial items, typically made from consumer websites under the micro-purchase threshold. GPC holders should follow existing purchase card policies before purchasing items on the Commercial Platforms proof of concept.
For additional details on purchasing requirements and guidelines, download the ordering procedures [PDF] and consult your program coordinator regarding any agency-specific policies.
Provided below are resources to help you learn more about the program.
For questions related to the program, email us at Section846@gsa.gov.