The Jansan Purchasing RFQ represents the first phase of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) implementing the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) in regard to the procurement of cleaning products and supplies including: cleaning compounds and related dispensers; non-motorized cleaning equipment and trash receptacles; paper products and dispensers; and motorized floor cleaning equipment. This RFQ is designed to meet the requirements of the Purchasing Channel, which is used for orders placed through the vendor (i.e., purchase card, E-Buy, DOD E-mall, etc.). The second phase or RFQ will be issued for the Requisition based ordering channel for ordering through GSA Global Supply via FedStrip and MilStrip. See Jansan Requisition RFQ.
As currently drafted, the Jansan Purchasing RFQ would inflict economic distress on those manufacturers and distributors that are currently doing business with the federal government (i.e., a GSA schedule holder). In effect, the RFQ would disenfranchise hundreds of companies in the Jansan sector by eliminating the opportunity for them to continue selling cleaning products and supplies to the federal government because GSA intends to:
- Establish a limited number of Blanket Purchase Agreements with only 21 vendors—a drastic reduction from the estimated 900-1,000 plus vendors that currently supply the federal government with Jansan products and supplies; and
- Require all federal agencies to purchase Jansan products from only the selected 21 vendors, diverting business away from those vendors that currently do business with the federal government.
If implemented in this manner, the estimated 1,000 or so Jansan vendors who currently do business with the federal government would be whittled down to 21 vendors—meaning that close to 980 companies would be precluded from doing any further business with the federal government, and would suffer a substantial loss in sales revenues, leading to likely layoffs and otherwise inflict economic harm in the cleaning industry
On June 11, 2014, ISSA and several other key trade associations conducted the inaugural meeting of the Coalition for Common Sense Contracting (“Coalition”) that was established to combat the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) which threatens to shut down federal sales opportunities for small businesses.
The Coalition is focused on ensuring that federal strategic sourcing is implemented in a manner that still allows small business to compete fairly for government contracts. Stated simply, the Coalition believes that the federal government should focus on providing “best value” and not the lowest price in issuing awards under FSSI, and should maximize the use of small businesses as required by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
The following are the principles prescribed to by the Coalition:
- Strategic Sourcing has hurt small businesses. The length, size of the contracts, and the limited number of vendors preclude small business participation.
- Strategic Sourcing is not necessarily good for the government. It weakens its industrial base and limits competition.
- While the government may realize short term gains in pricing, the long term effect could result in higher prices, given the limited competition.
- Strategic sourcing inappropriately focuses on the lowest cost products and does allow Federal Agencies to consider which products that provide the best long-term value to the Federal Government.
ISSA has communicated its position on FSSI in various regulatory and legislative venues including the following:
- ISSA Testimony before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce (June 13, 2013)
- Letter to GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini (August 15, 2013)
- GSA Response to ISSA (September 5, 2013)
- ISSA Letter to GSA Commissioner Tom Sharpe (September 23, 2013)
- ISSA Email to GSA Commissioner Tom Sharpe (November 27, 2013)
The JanSan Purchasing RFQ was issued as final on October 8, 2013, with the deadline for submitting bids on the JanSan Purchasing RFQ set at on Dec. 5, 2013. However, as a result of protests filed on this RFQ (including those coordinated by ISSA), the process was delayed significantly.
In late July 2014, GSA announced that it established a total of 35 blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) for the JanSan Purchasing Channel. These 35 BPAs were issued as follows:
- Cleaning Compounds and Related Dispensers—10 BPAs
- Non-Motorized Cleaning Equipment and Trash Receptacles—8 BPAs
- Paper Products and Related Dispensers—9 BPAs
- Motorized Floor Cleaning Equipment and Accessories—8 BPAs
These 35 BPAs were awarded to 18 companies, and represent GSA’s strategic sourcing solution designed to supply federal agencies with janitorial and sanitation (JanSan) supplies at discounted prices through the purchasing channel. It is GSA’s goal to have all federal agencies procure their JanSan products through these 35 BPAs, thereby diverting business away from the current GSA Schedule 73 vendors that number in the hundreds.
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