GSA not accepting new vendors for office supply schedule

Friday - 9/3/2010, 3:04pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The General Services Administration is suspending new companies from offering office supplies through Schedule 75 for two years.

In an announcement on FedBizOpps.gov, GSA said for the next two years Schedule 75 will be closed to new offerors starting Oct. 1.

"GSA still recognizes the important role of our schedule holders who have long supported the MAS program," the notice states. "Since holding a schedule contract is a very expensive proposition for the schedule holder and GSA, we are reallocating our resources to better serve our customer base."

GSA states that the suspension of new Schedule 75 contractors is because it awarded in June 15 blanket purchase agreements for office supplies under the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative. The agency estimates the government can save $48 million per year or a four-year total of $192 million by using the BPA.

GSA's decision is making some vendors unhappy.

Scott Orbach, president of EZGSA, a firm that helps companies get on the GSA schedules, said the agency's decision puts a lot more pressure on vendors.

"Current Schedule 75 holders have to realize that if they fail to meet GSA's annual sales requirements or don't have their terms and conditions or GSA Advantage catalog uploaded onto GSA e-Library, they risk loss of their schedules," Orbach said in a release. "With no opportunity to replace them, they risk being locked out of the federal marketplace for up to two years."

In the frequently asked questions that came along with the notice, GSA states that it will continue to renew Schedule 75 vendors who have options as long as they are in good standing. Vendors also will continue to be able to modify or add products to existing Schedule 75 contracts.

"New offers received before the Oct. 1 deadline will be reviewed and evaluated," GSA's FAQs state. "If the offer contains deficiencies that render the offer 'unacceptable,' the incomplete offer will be formally rejected and will not be considered for award. Those offers that have been rejected can only be resubmitted after the 24 month postponement period."

The agency also said it would reevaluate the suspension in two years to see if it makes sense to continue or open it back up.

A request to GSA for comment was not immediately returned.

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