GSA taps FedBid for reverse auctions

FedBid, an online marketplace specializing in public-sector acquisition of commercial items, has won a five-year contract from the General Services Administration to provide online reverse auction services.

In a reverse auction, rather than having multiple buyers compete for a purchase, multiple sellers try to underbid competitors to meet a specific buyer's need. The FedBid contract is open to GSA and to agencies eligible to use GSA supply sources.

The contract lasts one year, with four one-year options, to a maximum of five years. FedBid did not disclose the potential value, but said GSA and the other eligible agencies account for about $100 billion in annual commodity purchases. The company claims to save buyers an average of 10 percent to 15 percent on acquisitions.

"This contract is a result of years of hard work and is doubly sweet because it solidifies our ability to support GSA's regional procurement teams currently using FedBid, as well as providing a formal mechanism for other GSA offices around the world to begin working with our service,” said John Lee, FedBid's senior vice president.

Steve Kelman, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a Federal Computer Week columnist, serves on FedBid's advisory board. In a written statement, he praised GSA's willingness to implement creative ways to use GSA schedules.

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