GSA: Auctions going, going strong
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Nov 01, 2000
Despite its success with reverse auctions, the General Services Administration
still has challenges to overcome to perfect the system, GSA insiders said
Wednesday at the Coalition for Government Procurement's fall conference.
The demand for faster procurement cycles, lower prices and connecting
the best suppliers with government buyers led GSA to explore new procurement
methods including reverse auctions, in which suppliers bid down the price
of goods that the government wants to buy.
Through its Buyers.gov Web site, GSA's Federal
Technology Service has conducted two successful reverse auctions, said Manny
DeVera, assistant commissioner at the General Services Administration's
Federal Technology Service.
But, DeVera added, GSA is working to address future goals, such as making
sure that small businesses are equally represented in the system. GSA also
wants to conduct value-driven auctions, as opposed to simply price-based
ones, he said.
"We want to be a center of expertise for aggregation and reverse auctions,
but we're going to make some mistakes," DeVera said. "We hope to run at
least several hundred million dollars in the next year or so."
DeVera also said that the Coast Guard will conduct a reverse auction
this month using the GSA system.
In other GSA auction news, Ed O'Hare, the chief information officer
for the GSA's Federal Supply Service, said the agency's GSAauctions.gov Web site would conduct its first Internet sale in January.
The site, which auctions the government's surplus personal property
to the public, is ready to go. The first sale would have been made this
month, but a regulatory issue hung up the proceedings.
"Our customer realm is the public, so a privacy notice had to be posted
in the Federal Register," O'Hare said.
O'Hare also said that delays associated with GSA Advantage E-buys, which
will feature a request for quote system that will be seamless for current
Advantage users, came from the commercial product the GSA selected.
"Functionally it was great, but the idea was for it to be seamless for
Advantage users, and the "seamlessly' is where it wasn't good enough," O'Hare
said, adding that the site will be up and running "this winter."