9:54 am, July 11, 2014

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  • Government Spending
    Kenny Ray
    Funny how "small business" is always touted as the major job creator, not government. The arguments always make it sound like small businesses can save the economy if only the governement would get out of the way... Now we have small businesses whining because the teet they've been suckling at gets pulled back. Glad to see Uncle Sam is looking for addtional ways to economize other than just whacking away at his employees.
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  • GSA Socialistic FSSI Program
    gsaconcern
    Via Obama's blessings and initiative GSA is incrementally shutting down all competition & destroying small businesses via each schedule a total of $70 Billion Dollars which will cost tax payers additional billions. This program is called Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative or FSSI. GSA is eliminating Competition via this FSSI Program. The first to feel this FSSI rath has been GSA Schedule 75 which has shut down all competition via this socialistic FSSI program. This schedule is for office supplies (Schedule 75). From a selection of 600 Schedule 75 GSA Contractors, orders are given to only 15 companies, including 2 “big box” retailers, namely Staples and Office Depot, both which have been fined by GSA for fraudulent procurement practices. Office Depot & Staples are currently obtaining 65% of all GSA Schedule 75 Sales. GSA Schedules 70, 36, 67 are the next victims for eliminating free competition, destoying 1000’s of small businesses and 100,000s of jobs. Hence small business vendors are being kicked out of GSA. There are ongoing SBA and congressional hearings going on http://smbiz.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Tucker_Testimony.pdf Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C last week read http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2012/06/small-businesses-may-get-left-out-gsa-procurement-modernization-lawmakers-fear/56181/ And many more hearings have been held This is the irony. Obama supported The 2010 Small Business Jobs Act giving small businesses a chance to fairly and equally compete for government business. Obama then in 2010 gave the go ahead for GSA to eliminate free competition via the above Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative. Schedule 75 was the first victim to lose free competition and all other GSA Schedules a total of $70 Billion are next. Keep in mind GSA is the largest and sometimes only way for small businesses to sell to the government. GSA claims by using this socialistic procurement method they will save billions of dollars. They claim GSA employees are overworked and cannot keep up with numerous vendors, auditing and price control, hence eliminating free competition is GSA’s answer. GSA is full of crap & they currently have the ability to audit and control prices GSA and DoD both currently utilize very sophisticated web sites for buyers to use which currently have very sophisticated audit and price control abilities I will prove it : 1) go to gsaadvantage.gov 2) In the search box put in : Q5950A Remanufactured Toner & Click the Go Button 3) Now you will see the Sort By Most Relevant Drop Down Box, Hence select Price - Low to High 4) Then you will notice all the different companies that offer this item hence to drill down if they are a small business, woman owned, 8A, veteran owned ect then click the very top description line that is underlined for given company, hence you will go into another page, hence go to the bottom of that page and see Socio, hence that tells you if it is a small business, vet owned, ect. 5) If they have questions go to mid part of page you will see : $Price EA sold and shipped by abc Company, LLC Hence click the company name for their phone #, address, email address, phone #, and fax # 6) Also you will notice via gsaadvantage.gov there are symbols for environmental friendly products, Ability One, ect. Everything you need is here 7) DoD EMALL is exactly the same but you need a secure token to enter web site. Only vendors and buyers have a security token. 8) ALL GOVERNMENT BUYERS ARE TRAINED HOW TO NAVIGATE THESE SITES. These are my thoughts Why is GSA slapping competition in the face. Instead they should be slapping buyers hands if they make uneccesary and dumb over cost purchases. What is required is a very strict government buyer purchase program with very strict disciplinary action if purchases are made outside of given web sites allowing free and open competition within these web sites. Also, disciplinary action would occur if the government buyer does not buy the best quality & lowest priced item(s) per SBA small business requirements, goals, regulations, laws & rules I know it is not Congress Job to Micro Manage With that said I wanted to add this very vital additional information for Congressional general understanding A software company should definitely give testimony to Congress on how GSA & DoD can wisely use their vast amounts of computerized GSA/DoD information & data. No need to reinvent the wheel. Via creating various programs both GSA & DoD can both save much more money than using the FSSI Schedule 75 BPA which is a 20th century old fashion approach. This can be done without additional funding. If our nation goes to war of course the military dedicates its main resources to that cause. GSA & DoD can prioritize this software project via existing employed Software Engineers with no additional funds. It takes the will and priority to make this happen. Case and point look at amazon.com. If they can handle 1,000,000s of orders via 100,000s of vendors then GSA with their existing data should be able to do the same. I know the government is not a company but GSA has incredible amounts of data and very smart software engineers. Via new created programs they can easily identify buyers overspending and notify given superiors and agencies. A big problem I have noticed via EBUY many government buyers are purchasing OEM & New items when they are mandated & required to purchase recycled items. We can go on and on but GSA & DoD has more than enough data to really control budgets and cost via the buyer. They can also create programs to control vendor issues currently being done via GSA & DoD employees hence automating given tasks humans are currently performing. Also go to google.com and in the google search box enter : congressional fssi hearing You will find additional information Currently there are proposed rules to enhance The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 regarding unfair FSSI agreements implemented by GSA, DoD & NASA . to see rules simply go to google.com and via search box enter : Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 95 / Wednesday, May 16, 2012 / Proposed Rules You may submit comments, identified by RIN: 3245–AG20 Or contact Dean Koppel, Assistant Director, Office of Policy and Research, Office of Government Contracting, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205–7322. Also Samuel D. Bornstein is preparing a study Professor of Accounting and Taxation Kean University, School of Business, Union, NJ Partner-Bornstein & Song, CPAs & Consultants, Oakhurst, NJ email: bornsteinsong@aol.com www.bornsteinsong.com Tel: (732) 493 - 4799 Fax: (732) 493 - 3399 Obama has it wrong – Socialism is not needed
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  • FSSI BPA Schedule 75
    Go Nats
    Office Depot & Staples are currently obtaining 65% of all GSA Schedule 75 Sales. This statement is not quite accurate. GSA publishes contract sales on vsc.gsa.gov. In Fiscal 2011 Office Depot & Staples did a combined 15% of all GSA Schedule 75 Sales.
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  • RE GSA Socialistic FSSI Program
    gsaconcern
    To clarify a schedule can be compared to a department in a store (in this case the store is GSA). Imagine if each department one by one decided to buy from only 10 or 20 vendors rather than 1000's. And the store did this one department at a time, not all it once but over a couple yrs. Well it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this store will not be able to compete with other stores. This is exactly what GSA is doing GSA claims they are saving money via this socialistic procurement program which is false. Any GSA vendor has the opportunity to offer a lower price via the phone, Internet, ect. We can also offer a lower price over and above the one that is listed via our GSA Contract. Example : If I am selling an item for $50 hence I can sell it for $30 without notifying my GSA contact. Why slap competition in the face instead they should be slapping buyers hands for not shopping for the best price / highest quality item When I receive calls for orders, all my government buyers always ask : What is the absolute best price can you do. Also, all vendors will do what they can to obtain an order. Wouldn't you? Let the best company win. Small businesses are only asking one thing : Let us get in the ring and fight it out via competition. All of us worked one year or more obtaining our GSA Contracts, passing security clearances, ect. We get it the government needs to know who is delivering products, ect for security purposes. But throwing small businesses to the curb for a mid 20th Century Socialistic Procurement Program is totally uncalled for. Competition is the answer!
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  • Want the truth about what is really going on at the GSA?
    NationalOO
    In a time when we and our Administration should be focused on job creation and retention, Obama gave Dan Gordon (OMB) and Martha Johnson (GSA) the green light to implement the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI). The result is 3,000 small and small disadvantaged businesses, to include service disabled veterans, being put under and 30,000 jobs going to the unemployment line, private sector jobs. Why? GSA in their infinite wisdom formed Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA’s) from with inside the GSA Multiple Award Schedule program. BPA’s are usually formed at the government agency or military activity level per the ADM 4800 Eligibility Order issued by the GSA. Certain classifications were targeted, such as office supplies, class 75. The result was a reduction of 500 companies to 15 by issuing a BPA that supposedly reduces operational overheads. Companies already vetted and issued GSA Schedule contracts. Companies awarded a FSSI BPA included Office Depot, Office Max and Staples all of whom have been brought up on fraud charges under 31 USC 3729 and SEC charges and were fined and penalized for millions of dollars. On the second round of FSSI BPA's that were awarded, originally only 12 companies were awarded this BPA. Staples forced their way in by threatening litigation against another contractor. So you have the GSA rewarding contractors that are known to be cheating the system. Even after the whistle has been blown, GSA Officials continue the let the contractors reap the rewards of the privilege to work with the government instead of cutting them off. So yes besides the wasteful spending, there is fraud and mismanagement going on as well. GSA is receiving a kickback of a 2% fee of all the money they funnel to these few contractors. In the last two years, GSA received a kickback of $9,463,066 from these 15 contractors on total sales of $473,153,324.00! GSA claims to expect a $48 million annual savings (less than 7% of annual Schedule 75 spending) by issuing the BPA's. If that's the case, why wouldn't GSA accept more offers that ensure continued competition, thus increasing the governments savings? Why shut out new offers and increased competition? The fifteen awardees garnered less than 25% of GSA schedule 75 sales in 2009. Additionally, 66% of those sales were captured by (big surprise) Office Depot and Staples (large business concerns). BPA's are not mandatory and I hope that agencies continue to purchase from GSA awardees that they like, based upon the "best value" or developed relationships. Lurita Doan was scandalous during the previous administration when she routed contract dollars into GOP PAC’s. Before Doan was Perry who was at the helm during the Safavian and Emily Murphy hearings, which had linkage to the Abramoff scandal. When you go all the way back to 1950 when the program was started, Administrator Larsen was involved in a Cuban silver mine scandal. Do you think this is just more of the same? No, this time it is not just about grease, it is about the demise and decimation of our small and small disadvantaged businesses. What we have here is Obama cleaning up the trail that leads back to him. Gordon at OMB is gone and now Johnson from GSA is gone. Total plausible deniability and the potential of blowback significantly reduced. However, the committees in their infinite wisdom will focus on public buildings and maybe the “Best Value Evaluation” of bicycle construction or palm reading. Want some more truth? Ask for the real reason why Senator Coburn ran the committee hearings against Safavian and Murphy. How about some more truth or have you had enough? Why does the DOJ turn down 85% of all fraud cases filed? Why did Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Sponseller meet Ex Parte with Federal judge, T. Rawles Jones in the U.S. Eastern District located in Alexandria, VA, after hours, to intentionally derail a fraud settlement that was in the process of paying millions of dollars back to the U.S. Taxpayers? What should we expect next, the closing of Schedule 70 to new offers ($16 billion a year in sales), when the government issues fifteen BPA's with an expected savings of $1.2 billion annually? There is already in the works a FSSI BPA for Schedule 70, and no one seems to have any idea that it is happening. OMB has already outlined that after the Schedule 70, several others are to follow as per a report put out by Jack Kelly on April 5, 2012. The GSA story in the news is a misdirect... A political volleyball during an election cycle, imagine that! After all what happens in Vegas, well you know... You now have the truth... The Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiatives (FSSI), National Information Technology Commodity Program (NITCP), and OASIS programs represent the Death of Small Business Federal Contracting in America, and are poised to greatly damage the US economy through drastic drastic job loss, and cannibalization of the tax basis. The unintended consequences of these programs have already impacted over 500 Small Businesses... and counting. It is our hope that you will support this effort based upon the fact that our economy is in a precarious state, and massive unintended job losses of this nature will wreak havoc on our ability to stabilize and rebuild. America has a vested interest in the success of our cause. One way to get involved... stopFSSI.org 4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814‐6067 (301) 652‐7410 – info@stopFSSI.org– www.stopFSSI.org
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  • FSSI BPA
    Go Nats
    Office Max did not receive a FSSI BPA (2nd generation) (they have lost the most $ due to the FSSI BPA) Staples & Office Depot in Fiscal 2011 received about 11% of the total Schedule 75 sales. (Staples&OfficeDepot GSA Schedule sales have actually decreased during the last 5 yrs). The 13 small businesses under the FSSI BPA have picked up the marketshare from the other 500 Schedule 75 companies. GSA puts out all GSA Schedule Sales information vsc.gsa.gov take a look...
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  • 21st Century Solution that is much better than FSSI
    gsaconcern
    Hmmmm ! Lets use Walmart as an example. To clarify a GSA Schedule can be compared to a department in a store (in this case the store is GSA). If for an example each department in their store decided to use only 15 vendors (WITH A LONG TERM CONTRACT) instead of 500 competitive vendors can anyone tell me with a straight face they will save money year after year. Come On ! Economics 101 - GSA customers will start to pay more within days or weeks. There are 40 different schedules. Do you really think the government will save money dealing with 600 (LONG TERM CONTRACTUAL) vendors versus 17,000 vendors? Castro could figure this out. It doesn't take a genius to know the government will be paying more money for goods and services. A software company should definitely give testimony to Congress on how GSA & DoD can wisely use their vast amounts of computerized GSA/DoD information & data to monitor the buyers versus curtailing competition. GSA currently possess 10,000s of 1,000's of very sophisticated programs and systems. Probably more ! I have a question : Does GSA currently posses programs to monitor Government Buyers? This is an interesting question that no one has raised. IF not I am totally confident GSA possesses enough data to tweek existing programs to strictly monitor buyers purchases? No need to reinvent the wheel. Companies and governments worldwide are always modifying existing software systems. It's extremely rare software systems / programs need to be created from scratch for enhanced functionality. From my take GSA only needs to add additional functionality to existing programs to monitor buyers. This can be done without additional funding. It takes the will and priority to make this happen. Trust me if buyers know big brother (GSA PROGRAMS) are watching all their purchases and it is thoroughly explained to buyers how GSA monitors purchases - It doesn't take a genius to figure out 97%-99% of all buyers will carefully buy the best quality & lowest priced purchases, and if a buyer buys outside of gsaadvantage.gov, DoD EMALL, fbo.gov, ect, hence that buyer would feel the wrath of GSA. FSSI is a 1940's-1950's platform approach to monitor purchases. Monitoring Buyers via computer systems is a 21st Century approach. It is this writers opinion slapping a buyers hand will save the Government billions more versus slapping competition in the face.
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  • RE: 21st Century Solution vs FSSI 1940s-50s Business platform approach
    gsaconcern
    This ties into above. GSA is trying to compare FSSI to large corporate volume purchasing to save money. FSSI is nothing like large corporate volume purchasing. I believe several famous professors and large corporations should testify in front of Congress to prove my point. Most large corporate volume purchasing models emulate Walmart, Target, Cosco, ect. "COMPUTERIZED" business models. Again each dept within a large corporation will normally purchase from 1'000's of vendors (NOT 15 VENDORS per schedule - WITH A LOCKED IN LONG TERM CONTRACT). These businesses analyze sales by the minute "VIA COMPUTER SYSTEMS" to verify if each product purchased from given vendor(s) meets their profit/sales expectations. These corporations will not give a second thought about yanking a product off the shelf and replacing it with another vendor(s) lower priced / more profitable like item. And if a buyer makes wild purchases within a corporation "Buyers Gone Wild", guaranteed his/her superiors will be reading him/her the riot act that same day. AGAIN THIS IS A QUESTION NO ONE HAS ASKED GSA : Does GSA currently posses programs to monitor Government Buyers? IF not I am totally confident GSA possesses enough data to tweak existing programs to strictly monitor buyer purchases without additional funding. This would be the true corporate solution. This is the other issue the government should be asking : Does your business model emulate for example : amazon.com (Internet purchases) or does it emulate a brick and mortar store such as Walmart or does it emulate a little of both. Are purchases being made via numerous buyers / small orders under $3,000 or $25,000? This question should be asked for each schedule. The solutions will vary schedule to schedule.
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  • Does GSA Monitor Vendor Item Uploads ?
    gsaconcern
    All vendors have a GSA point of contact and all vendor new / modified items need GSA's approval. Of course GSA and vendors perform this function via computer via http://eoffer.gsa.gov/ eOffer and eMod. Vendors also use a program called SIP to upload to gsaadvantage.gov. By the way – If your item is not uploaded to gsaadvantage.gov within 6 months hence that item is rejected and removed from your GSA Catalog. Obviously GSA has some very sophisticated programs monitoring all these activities. THIS IS ANOTHER QUESTION TO ASK GSA : Does GSA reject vendor item computer uploads programmatically ? Example : What happens if a vendor trys to upload a $25,000 hammer or $5,000 toilet seat. Are GSA's computer software systems catching these outrageous prices and contacting the vendor and/or put the upload on hold ? If not GSA should be asking this question : How does the corporate real world handle this scenario via computer software.
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