The agency will solicit information from vendors interested in hosting the platform and another for selling on it.
The General Services Administration is once again asking for industry input on a massive e-commerce portal that would make buying commercial products easier and faster for federal agencies.
GSA will host an industry day for the platform at its headquarters on June 21, Mark Lee, the agency’s assistant commissioner for policy and compliance, said Wednesday at a Coalition for Government Procurement conference. The event is open to any group looking to weigh in on the online platform that will handle billions of dollars in federal spending on commercial products.
Lee said the agency will also publish two related requests for information by the end of May: one for sellers interested in joining the portal and another for providers looking to host it.
“[The e-commerce portal] is still very much a work in progress and it very much is a dialogue with industry,” GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said at the event. She added Congress has already made three of the four suggested amendments to Section 846 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which sanctioned the project.
Lawmakers did agree to let agencies increase their sharing of spending data, as GSA and the Office of Management and Budget requested, according to Murphy.
GSA plans to spend the next year conducting market research and working with agencies and companies to hammer out details of the portal, according to the official timeline. Initial testing of the platform is scheduled to begin by the end of fiscal 2019, with a final rollout scheduled for the following year.
The agency is especially open to information about different e-commerce business models, the impact of different programs on the government supply chain and balancing customer experience with acquisition compliance standards, Lee said. He added GSA is open to input from all everyone, and his office has yet to deny a meeting to an interested group.