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DFAS Gets "Best Buy" Through Federal Government's Largest Ever On-Line Reverse AuctionGeneral Services Administration Officials Estimate Cost Avoidance in Excess of $2.2 Million

GSA # 9739

September 26, 2000
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231
bill.bearden@gsa.gov


Washington, DC --The Department of Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) and the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service (FTS) have announced the successful completion of the largest online reverse auction in the history of eGovernment - and the first under GSA's Buyers.Gov exchange.

The DFAS electronic auction for the procurement of Information Technology products was conducted this past Friday, with a group of 15 pre-qualified IT commodity suppliers, including some of the most notable companies in the federal IT market. Four lots --6,200 desktops, 200 laptops, 744 light and 729 heavy-duty printers -- were awarded to three companies - Gateway Computers, Micron Computers, and SR Tech, which is a small 8(a) business.

The Buyers.Gov event was competed in a dynamic, real-time reverse auctioning event. The live simultaneous bidding on four lots, scheduled to last only one hour, continued for over four hours, spurred on by descending prices.

Thomas R. Bloom, Director of DFAS, was impressed with the results of the reverse private auction, and communicated his belief that Buyers.Gov could be a powerful savings tool in future procurements. "The Buyers.gov auction was tremendously successful and is a great vehicle to add to the competitive process. I think it has a great future in government procurement, " Mr. Bloom said.

Buyers.Gov provides federal agencies with multiple options for making purchases, such as Private Auctions, volume purchases through aggregations (eFAST), and Quick Quotes, using reverse auctions, credit cards and dynamic competition. Buyers.gov's e-procurement solution is intended to leverage the best of the private sector's electronic procurement solutions for the benefit of government organizations.

"The auction concept, combined with Internet technologies, has significant potential for bringing buying communities together to leverage their buying power," said FTS Commissioner Sandra Bates. "Buyers.gov could be considered a dot -com initiative in government, because of its business model and practices."

Vance Kauzlarich, Chief Information Officer of DFAS added, "We expected the format to accelerate the contract award process and result in the lowest price possible, and this exceeded expectations. The auction was beneficial and we saw healthy competition between the bidders."

"We have launched a new era in leveraging the government's buying power," said Bob Suda, FTS Assistant Commissioner for Information Technology Solutions. "We have found a way to streamline the procurement cycle while maintaining a truly competitive environment, thereby providing the best value for both the government and the taxpayer. This is an IT solution that the procurement, financial, and CIO communities should find easy to embrace in this era of procurement reform, budget constraints, and evolving technologies."

The Buyers.Gov project manager, Steve Timchak, said that the results of this auction help to validate the concept of reverse auctions as a useful procurement tool for IT products in the federal arena. "We have already scheduled additional reverse auctions for use with other federal agencies," he said, "and we are confident that we can achieve similar results."

The technology solution for this auction was powered by FAR compliant software provided by ACS Government Solutions, Inc. ACS has partnered with Ariba Sourcing, a leading provider of reverse auction services to offer B2GExpress.

The benefits of Buyers.Gov include:

Increased competition and real-time market pricing.
A resource center for aggregation and reverse auctions in the federal government that documents competition.
A forum for leveraged and aggregated high-volume, low-dollar transactions to obtain significant discounts.
Reduced costs and acquisition cycle time.
Ability to award contracts on bases other than cost, such as best value.


For additional information, contact Manny De Vera GSA FTS at 703-605-9760 or Steve Timchak GSA FTS at 703-605-9755.