Tom Sharpe: Ruling against protestors is 'important step' for GSA. (Mike Morones/Staff)
The Government Accountability Office denied four protests June 10 against the General Services Administration’s Office Supply Third Generation contract solicitation issued January 31, 2014.
The protestors—American Toner and Ink, KPaul Properties, LLC., Dolphin Blue, Inc., and Capital Shredder Corp.,—said GSA was harming small business by consolidating several office supply contracts into one strategically sourced contract vehicle. That meant GSA failed to comply with laws requiring it to consider the potential impact of such a change on small businesses, according to the protestors.
But GAO rejected the protests, saying GSA conducted market research and considered alternatives before issuing the contract solicitation and that the agency found the benefits of the new contract outweighed the potential negative effect on small businesses.
GSA expects the new contract to save the government more than $90 million a year while still driving federal spending to small businesses, according to an agency announcement. The agency expects 23 of the 24 expected awards will go to small businesses.
“This ruling is an important step in our efforts to continue buying smarter on behalf of the federal government to help small businesses and save taxpayer money. Everyday shoppers know that buying in bulk saves both time and money, and the government has a similar responsibility to leverage its buying power to get the best value for the taxpayer,” said GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service commissioner Tom Sharpe.