4:50 am, May 29, 2015

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    Via Obama’s blessings and initiative, GSA is incrementally shutting down all competition & destroying small businesses via each schedule. A total of $50 Billion Dollars which will cost tax payers additional billions. To clarify a GSA Schedule can be compared to a department in a store (in this case the store is GSA). Imagine if each store department one by one decided to buy from only 10 or 20 vendors rather than 10,000's and they gave these vendors a long term contract. And the store did this one department at a time, not all it once but over a couple yrs. Just imagine if Walmart decided to do this. Well it doesn't take a genius to figure out that they wouldn't be paying the lowest vendor prices for very long. This is exactly what GSA is doing. Via this socialistic procurement program GSA will definitely pay more in the future for products & services, while simultaneously destroying small businesses, disabled veteran owned companies, ect. Over 17,000 companies will feel GSA’s wrath and 100,000’s of jobs will be lost. This socialistic procurement program is called Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative or FSSI. GSA is eliminating competition via this FSSI Program. The first to feel this FSSI wrath has been the 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 525 Schedule 75 GSA Contractors, orders are given to only 15 companies, including 2 “Big Box” retailers, namely Staples and Office Depot, both 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 already. GSA Schedules 70, 36, 67 are the next victims for eliminating free competition, destroying 1000's of small businesses and 100,000's 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 incorrect & 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, price control abilities and 1,000’s of interacting programs. 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 unnecessary 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. I wanted to summarize a 21st Century Open market solution vs GSA's Socialistic FSSI Program : I strongly believe GSA should modify existing software to control buyers rather than eliminating competition via the FSSI procurement program. If buyer breaks protocol hence buyer would be disciplined. This software project can be done without additional funding. GSA, DoD & NASA can prioritize this software project via existing employed Software Engineers. It takes the will and priority to make this happen. From what I can see there are some really big holes in the procurement process. 1) Via this GAO report http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-705T most purchases were made outside of GSA procurement web site www.gsaadvantage.gov. A solution to this problem would be take away the buyers PHYSICAL credit card and store the credit card information online via www.gsaadvantage.gov Again this can be done with no additional funding. Amazon.com is a perfect example. I know the government is not a company but I am certain GSA has great software engineers to accomplish this task via a top priority and no additional funding software project. For open market purchases buyer currently utilize fbo.gov and/or other existing procurement sites. The same projects can be accomplished via these sites. 2) An independent software company should be allowed to screen scrape information from gsaadvantage.gov to prove selected FSSI Vendors "DO NOT" offer the lowest prices/ best quality. 3) Via Vendor uploads develop back end software to monitor and reject outrageously priced items. Example a $25,000 toilet seat or $5,000 hammer. Statistical databases exist via the free market to determine low / high prices per item hence halting outrageously priced item(s) uploaded to gsaadvantage.gov. GSA software engineers would need to create software to utilize this database. 4) I believe various government buyers have different volume purchase requirements. FSSI is not a one size fits all solution. Example many government buyers have less than a $3,000 requirement. Internet purchasing may be more advantageous for this type of purchase. Example open competition via gsaadvantage.gov 5) GSA claims its employees are overworked and can no longer handle additional and/or existing vendors. All existing employee manual operations should be analyzed via GSA’s Software Engineers to automate current manual human labor. It may be possible to handle unlimited vendors and buyers once this project is completed. Each new additional GSA Human assignment should be analyzed by software engineers for possible automation. 6) I strongly believe an independent software company should be allowed to give alternative 21st Century solutions versus FSSI. 7) There will be very little motivation for these very few FSSI vendors to vigorously compete via price / best quality. All prices are available via gsaadvantage.gov and each vendor will easily identify competitors. 8) Reduce the number of schedule solicitations. Currently GSA claims it costs $3,000 per year, per contract to maintain each contract and numerous GSA employees. There are 40 solicitations (GSA and VA). The solicitations should be consolidated down to a handful—with a goal of a single solicitation (contractors could then choose to consolidate their contracts or maintain separate contracts depending on their business models). The current structure of the schedules often forces companies to submit multiple offers for multiple contracts when a single contract would be more efficient. Consolidating solicitations allows companies to efficiently and effectively consolidate contracts rather than having multiple contracts across schedules and business lines. This approach would provide the opportunity for contractors and GSA to reduce costs associated with seeking, obtaining and managing multiple schedule contracts. It is an opportunity to leverage contractor and GSA resources through a more efficient structure. Consolidating schedules would lead to a more efficient and effective platform for market research by customer agencies. Also all human manual work should be analyzed via GSA software engineers for automation and efficiency. 9) It is this writer's belief FSSI is nothing similar to Corporate volume purchasing. Example lets take Walmart. They currently have 66,000 vendors and counting each day. FSSI eliminates virtually all competition with possible oligopoly price fixing. Keep in mind all vendor prices are available via gsaadvantage.gov Giving very few companies exclusive selling rights via a long term contract and eliminating competition is not the answer. Why have 1,000s of existing GSA software programs go to waste monitoring a few vendors. GSA needs to enhance existing software to truly and easily maintain a vigorous open competitive market via existing web sites (gsaadvantage.gov and other existing procurement sites). Programmatically controlling the buyer via software is the 21st Century Solution.
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