LINCOLNWOOD, IL — Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that requires investigation of the negative impact of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) on America’s small-business industrial base. The bill also requires the government’s justification for a strategic sourcing solicitation to be publicly released prior to the actual solicitation.ISSA applauds the leadership of Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) for their leadership in promoting these new requirements as an amendment to National Defense Authorization Act for FiscalYear 2015 (HR 4435).
Under the FSSI, General Services Administration (GSA) is working with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and all federal government agencies to create 10 new government?wide FSSI programs for commonly purchased products and services. One of these new programs will be for jansan products and supplies, such as general purpose and glass cleaners, trash bags, paper towels, toilet paper, mops, floor buffers, etc. A second category is for maintenance, repair, and operations—or MRO— supplies, which includes supplies and equipment (excluding services) such as bathroom fixtures, hardware, power tools, pipes, valves, electrical equipment, lighting, etc. GSA is also considering implementing an FSSI program for commercial cleaning services. The current implementation of these initiatives will result in severe economic losses in the commercial cleaning industry.
While we appreciate the need for government savings and more efficient federal purchasing, the administration’s current approach to FSSI is misguided because it decreases the opportunity for many small businesses as well as veteran-, women and minority-owned businesses to compete for federal contracts, giving a few large companies greater market share that will lead to price increases over time. FSSI will also erode America’s small-business industrial base, which is counter to our nation’s national security.
“Quantifying the impacts of FSSI on America’s small-business industrial base will help allow informed discussions regarding how GSA and other federal agencies can achieve the goal of increased purchasing efficiency while ensuring FSSI does not economically harm the cleaning industry and America’s small business industrial base,” says ISSA Legislative Affairs & Environmental Services Director Bill Balek. “We look forward to working with the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate on meaningful reforms to the government procurement process that can make the process more efficient and also ensure that small businesses will be able to continue to sell products to the federal government. The recent vote by the House is an important first step in that process.”
As the leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide, ISSA is committed to helping its members change the way the world views cleaning. The association provides its members with the business tools they need to promote the vision that cleaning is an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line. For more information on ISSA, visit www.issa.comor call 800-255-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.