Amazon looms large over the world’s commerce, drawing a stark contrast to old ways of shopping, and an even starker contrast to the way government agencies buy things. In fact, there’s even a term for it: The Amazon Effect.
So, when Section 846 of 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was enacted, providing for the Pentagon and other federal government agencies to buy directly from e-marketplaces, it was immediately dubbed the “Amazon Bill,” and not just because of the Amazon Effect.
Introduced by Congressman Mac Thornberry, the bill was crafted to help speed the procurement process for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products through e-commerce portals. The General Services Administration (GSA), in partnership with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is currently working on the strategy and plan to properly implement and execute this legislation.
Based on input from the providers of commercial e-commerce portals and e-procurement solutions, the GSA and OMB team has developed the initial plan (Phase I) and is now working on the market research and industry consultation needed to develop the program’s implementation guidance (Phase II). This is not a simple task, as the team must review and consider existing processes and all the requirements of public procurement — buying off negotiated contracts from vetted suppliers who have invested heavily in meeting government requirements, and giving fair treatment to small, disadvantaged, minority women-owned and veteran-owned companies. The target is to have things completed by 2020.
However, the gap between expectations of selection, ease of use and speed that Amazon has created among consumers, and the reality of what is actually possible in the federal government continues to crop up as we move into the next phase of this process, the proof of concept phase.
Keep reading this article at: https://www.publicspendforum.net/blogs/andrew-malay/2018/10/09/future-federal-government-procurement-ecommerce