Note: This is a guest blog written by Erv Koehler, Regional FAS Commissioner, Southeast Sunbelt Region. His National IT Commodity Program Team in Atlanta has spearheaded the GSA Reverse Auction tool.
GSA is on a roll and literally rolling out new tools to help the government buy smarter by making the acquisition process better, faster, and cheaper. On July 1, we were proud to launch GSA’s Reverse Auction Tool. The tool is ideal for commercial items and simple services that can be purchased on a low price technically acceptable basis.
How does Reverse Auction help government?
As we enter the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2013, GSA aims to help agencies acquire goods and services more effectively while helping them save money. During these austere times we want to assist agencies to buy smarter so they can stay focused on their missions. Let’s look at some of the ways GSA’s Reverse Auction Tool can help:
Better - There is no additional fee for GSA’s Reverse Auction. 12 GSA Schedules, 6 VA Schedules, and multiple Schedules-based Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) are already loaded. The system is familiar and easy to use because it is based on GSA’s eBuy and eLibrary. Even users’ Reverse Auction and eBuy logins are the same. The tool also assists agencies and contracting officers in meeting FAR Compliance. The small business set-aside capability of Schedules and the fair opportunity process of eBuy are already built in.
Faster – A typical reverse auction lasts five days, and multiple bids are received. Although Reverse Auction does not eliminate multiple quote requirements, it does offer a method of getting the quotes faster and provides the bid history to show price reasonableness based on competition.
Cheaper – Typical reverse auctions show an average savings of about ten percent when comparing the final price to the Independent Government Estimate (IGE). And best of all, there is no additional fee for the use of GSA Reverse Auction.
Since our launch, we’ve already seen great interest in the tool. Eight agencies have already initiated more than 40 reverse auctions using GSA’s new reverse auction platform.