Trying to stop the GSA from implementing this FSSI program is “like trying to stop a 20-ton locomotive — it’s moving forward,” Bornstein says.

However, Bornstein and others in the cleaning industry are suggesting that the government postpone the implementation until an alternative strategy can be developed.

“Implementing FSSI at this time, when we’re barely recovering from our recession, is not the right thing to do because the cost to our economy will be to further delay the recovery,” Bornstein says.

Bornstein will be releasing the results of two Bornstein & Song FSSI National Surveys: from office supply companies affected by that strategic sourcing initiative and of jan/san vendors who are eligible to quote on the JanSan RFQ.

Meanwhile, ISSA is exploring legislative options with members of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, who have circulated draft language to address the issue of strategic sourcing. Stay tuned for developments, says Balek.

“I would recommend that cleaning industry professionals contact their congressperson and inform them about their concerns about the initiative,” he adds. “Before we instigate or actively promote a grassroots activity, we want to have a legislative vehicle. Rather than simply complaining about the state of affairs, we want to be able to put forward a solution to that potential problem and that’s what we’re working on.”

The final RFQ will be released in August, according to the GSA website. 

Lisa Ridgely is a freelancer based in Milwaukee. She is the former Deputy Editor of Sanitary Maintenance.

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