GSA Suspends OS2 Contract Due to Ongoing Protests
The Office Supplies 2 Strategic Sourcing Contract, also known as OS2, recently found itself back in the newsroom as the General Services Administration (GSA) suspended governmentwide use of OS2 due to numerous protests from several vendors. The strategic sourcing contract was slated to expire on May 31st, but the GSA continued to make efforts to have it extended through November.
Vendors sent their timely protest to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which immediately shutdown the extension. Along with the freeze of OS2, all contract performances faced suspension until further notice. The original protest was sent from Coast-to-Coast (CTC) Computer Products, which stated that “these extensions represent newly awarded bridge contracts” which means that these new OS2 contracts would form a sort of alliance causing hundreds of small businesses to lose an opportunity to do business with the government.
As a result, CTC has requested the GSA conduct an “impact assessment” for small businesses with a possible OS2 extension. The protests have also sparked additional requests for GAO to request that the Small Business Administration (SBA) enforce the rules listed under the Small Business Jobs Act and implement a contract consolidation impact study.
Additionally, CTC’s initial protest has sparked over two dozen protests causing House lawmakers to request that GAO to study the impact of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) on small businesses. The suspension is leaving government agencies detached as they must now find alternative options for further office supply purchases. The suspension is unfortunate as OS2’s implementation in 2010 has allowed for $360 million in savings, meaning both government agencies and contractors are losing until this problem is properly assessed and a solution arrives.