The Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative, or FSSI, is the government’s attempt to trim billions of taxpayer dollars from the federal procurement budget.

The government-wide program was established in 2005 by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy within the Office of Budget and Management, and is also chartered under the purview of the Chief Acquisition Officer’s Council, as a “commodity management” strategy — basically, a broad attempt to slash costs. The program’s goal is to reduce costs by about 15 percent.

The GSA has cited a lack of oversight in government purchasing, which has led to product redundancies and a wide range of vendor pricing across agencies, as primary reasons behind the latest push.

For example, a disclosure shows the same pack of paper towels is available from 185 vendors, listed under 23 different part numbers, and includes catalog pricing ranging from $26 to $116.

“Maintaining the status quo will not promote savings or efficiencies for government agencies or the taxpayer,” the GSA says in its report. “There is significant de-centralized purchasing of janitorial and sanitation items across the federal government.”

While the janitorial industry isn’t the only sector affected by the changes, it is a significant portion of the fiscal budget. Other industries that are also seeing cuts due to strategic sourcing include foodservice, hospitality, and office supplies and services.

According to the GSA, the government spends nearly $600 million on cleaning products, annually. With the latest inclusion of jan/san requisition channels, adding another $461 million to the pot, the government estimates these expenses to total more than $1 billion.

The GSA has touted that JanSan FSSI will open the door to smaller businesses whom wish to bid on upcoming contracts. Currently, the Top 10 vendors account for nearly 50 percent of federal spend, with just one of those businesses falling under the “small business” designation.

Despite the inclusion of small businesses, the pool of vendors who secure BPAs will be a shallow one. During the first round of JanSan FSSI, the GSA targeted jan/san purchasing channels, and reduced the number of distributors from about 900 to just 21. And the agency has announced that the number of JanSan Requisition BPAs will be even fewer — just 10 contracts are expected to be awarded.

Bidding has closed for the JanSan Purchasing BPAs, but as of press time, the GSA had not yet announced the awardees.

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