The General Services Administration (GSA) first approach to increasing transparency is to first identify unintended consequences. Current data indicates greater competition results from use of eBuy without overburdening workforce. Because Contracting Officers are not required to use eBuy, the pilot seeks to determine how greater transparency of opportunities impacts usage of eBuy and competition.
All GSA acquisition operations that utilize eBuy to post request for quotes were considered as potential participants for the pilot. The analysis of eBuy users revealed that FAS Region 7 Southwest Supply and Acquisition Center and GSA Office of Internal Acquisitions procurement activities were significant users of eBuy. GSA used a balanced approach to identify the procurement activities participating in the pilot as either a ‘test’ or a ‘control’ group member for comparative purposes.
The information being posted on FedBizOpps is the information associated with an award notification and the request for quote that was posted in eBuy. This information includes the award date, task order number, award amount, contractor’s name, point of contact, and a survey link to receive industry feedback.
Pilot metrics include eBuy usage, competition, increase in workload, increase in new entrants, and protest monitoring.
No, the contracting activities for the eBuy Open GSA First Pilot were determined by their eBuy usage.
GSA will decide whether to expand the view of eBuy opportunities to the public by the first quarter of 2020. A final review of Pilot results, unintended consequences, workload, potential risks and the benefits of increasing transparency will be conducted before deciding if eBuy transparency will be increased.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established precedence for increased transparency into orders through the requirement to publicize pre and post award notices to Federal Business Opportunities. GSA is using this approach to examine the benefits of increasing eBuy transparency and its impact upon the acquisition workforce before incurring the cost of system changes.
Current data indicates that using eBuy results in greater competition with minimal additional effort. The pilot will enable GSA to analyze whether expanded transparency of eBuy RFQs retains current benefits while increasing interest in use of GSA contracts - thereby further increasing competition.
Viewing multiple award IDIQ contract/Schedule opportunities is normally limited to the businesses that are eligible to submit quotes (ie.. contract holders), which is consistent with how other IDIQ contracts operate. Since providing pre-award transparency is not the current practice, GSA must first understand the benefits and unintended consequences of increasing transparency upon eBuy’s competition and usage rates before increasing transparency to include pre-award RFQs.
No, in fact two of the GSA Administrator’s priorities are increasing transparency and competition. When contracting officers use eBuy to request quotes, on average they receive more quotes than if they used a different approach. When increasing transparency, GSA must consider the effects of increased transparency upon eBuy usage. This pilot looks to increase transparency without impacting competition.
No, providing transparency after award will allow businesses to view purchases the Government is making and to determine if they want to pursue a GSA contract to compete for similar opportunities. Since the award notices identify the awardee, it could help businesses pursue subcontracting opportunities.
eBuy is a competition portal for initiating contract opportunities for IDIQ contracts. GSA’s decision to post RFQs after award is consistent with how RFQs are made transparent for other federal IDIQ contracts. These opportunities are limited to those vendors that have a federal contract.

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