GSA tries to make office supplies easy

Friday - 6/4/2010, 10:57am EDT

Steve Kempf, Acting Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service, GSA

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

The Chief Executive has ordered all government agencies to cut spending, which may sound painful. Somehow the General Services Administration has come up with a way to save millions of dollars, while making easier for feds to shop!

Steve Kempf, Acting Commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service gave Federal News Radio some details about 12 new blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) for office supplies under the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative.

The key thing for feds to remember is they really don't have to remember anything, said Kempf.

In six months we will have point of sale discounts. So, for instance, as a government employee walks into an Office Depot store, for instance, they will get the BPA price at the register, not even knowing the BPA exists. Or if somebody calls up or orders online, they will get that BPA price as well.

GSA has a website up with a list of the vendors in the three pools of the initiative. Two of the pools are for office supplies and the third is for toner cartridges, said Kempf.

And it all can go on your SmartPay card.

According to a press release about the initiative, "The estimated savings that can be achieved through these BPAs is $48 million per year for a four year total of $192 million, a seven percent savings."

Kempf said office supplies may not seem like much at first, but "it's a big purchase item. All told the government spends over a billion dollars a year on office supplies, and it's a big deal."