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GSA Moves Forward with Next Generation of FSSI Office Supplies Contract

June 10, 2014

GAO Dismisses Several Protests on OS3 Request for Proposals

Washington, D.C.--- Today the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed a number of protests alleging that the procurement for GSA’s FSSI Office Supply Third Generation (OS3) solution for government-wide provision of office supply items failed to comply with the Small Business Jobs Act. The GAO found that, “consistent with the relevant statutory requirements, the agency reasonably considered the potential impact on small businesses and concluded that the consolidation would result in substantial benefits to the government.”

OS3 is an 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. OS3 builds on the success of OS2, the previous FSSI vehicle, which generated more than $370 million in direct and indirect savings since 2010, and achieved a small business utilization rate of 76 percent. OS3 is expected to deliver even more savings and opportunities for small businesses with an estimated result of more than $9 in every $10 spent will go to small business.

GSA FAS Commissioner Tom Sharpe:

“This ruling is an important step in our efforts to continue buying smarter on behalf of the federal government to help small businesses and save taxpayer money. Everyday shoppers know that buying in bulk saves both time and money, and the government has a similar responsibility to leverage its buying power to get the best value for the taxpayer. GSA is firmly committed to this Administration’s efforts to realize better value and savings on commonly purchased goods such as office supplies and services such package delivery through strategic sourcing. The agency is also committed to continuing to promote small business participation in strategic sourcing initiatives. We are working to ensure that, as soon as possible, agencies will have access to GSA’s third generation office supply strategic sourcing program, FSSI OS3.”

GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini:

“In support of the Administration’s efforts to better leverage the government’s buying power through the use of strategic sourcing, GSA has saved more than $300 million since 2010 on commonly purchased goods such as office supplies. At the same time, the Administration and GSA are committed to expanding contracting opportunities for small businesses and has worked closely with us, and the small business community, to ensure they have maximum opportunity to participate in strategic sourcing solutions.”

As GSA works to complete award on OS3, there are a number of alternative sources where federal agencies can access office supplies, including GSA Global Supply and the more than 400 vendors on GSA Schedule 75 and GSAAdvantage.

General Facts on OS3:

  • OS3: 23 of 24 projected awards will be to small businesses
  • OS3 is expected to provide more than $90 million in annual savings through lower prices.
  • GSA built-in a strong preference for Small Business for more than 95% (all but one of 24 awards) This is estimated to result in more than $9 in every $10 spent going to small business.
  • OS3 established further preferences for SDVOSBs and HUBZone vendors.


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