As Congress moves to reconcile two versions of the National Defense Authorization Act in the coming weeks, one of the provisions legislators will be considering could significantly alter how federal agencies might buy commercial off the shelf items — eventually including IT products.
If approved, the measure would task the General Services Administration to develop online e-commerce portals that the Defense Department and federal agencies could use to buy basic commercial products.
Existing companies that specialize in office supplies as well as larger e-commerce platforms could create special government-focused marketplaces that buyers could use to obtain basic items.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, first proposed the measure as the Defense Acquisition Streamlining and Transparency Act in May. It passed with some modifications in the House NDAA.
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