The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced on July 9, 2013 the launch of a government-managed reverse auction platform— reverseauctions.gsa.gov— available through the National Information Technology Commodity Program (NITCP) of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). GSA expects the platform to deliver increased savings for federal agencies on the most commonly purchased office products, equipment and services, while also making it easier for small businesses to compete for the government’s business.
In a reverse auction, sellers compete to win business from agencies; prices will typically decrease as the competitive auction progresses. GSA’s new reverse auction platform reduces federal agencies’ acquisition processing time and costs, drives prices and costs down, improves transparency and collection of data, and allows for small business set-asides. “Using a government-run reverse auctions tool is a fantastic innovation for GSA’s customers, and we expect that it will drive even more savings and speed into the acquisition process,” said FAS Commissioner Thomas A. Sharpe, Jr. “This approach to government procurement can be used with a good portion of GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules as an efficient and cost-effective process for purchasing commonly used products and simple services. Reverse auctions can drive down prices paid, reduce the total cost of acquisitions, and save time and precious acquisition resources for both government and industry.”
Federal agencies now may use the GSA platform to conduct reverse auctions through select GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules and established select blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) for commodities like office supplies, laptops, tablets and monitors, as well as for simple services like warranty, training and installation. Additionally, the platform will allow federal customers to set aside auctions for small business, increasing opportunities for small and disadvantaged companies to bid easily for government business.
“GSA is doing a lot of exciting and positive things to improve acquisition efficiencies and drive competition, but the new reverse auction platform hits the ball out of the park,” said U.S. Department of the Navy strategic program manager Jamey Halke. Navy is the first agency to use the platform and is already engaged in a partnership with GSA to add the Navy’s BPAs to the platform.
Historically, GSA’s customers have saved as much as 17 percent through use of reverse auctions. With GSA offering front-loaded discounted pricing as a starting point through its BPAs, the reverse auction approach will provide additional savings to the government.
Reverse auctions also provide greater transparency into prices paid which improves the government’s ability to negotiate with vendors to receive best pricing possible. The reverse auction platform also captures line-item data by agency bureau, which will aid agencies in performing prices paid analysis and provide insights into purchasing behavior for strategic sourcing opportunities.
Learn more about the Reverse Auction platform and benefits at http:\www.reverseauctions.gsa.gov