GSA’s Open Government Initiatives

GSA's Open Government Initiatives

What is the GSA Advantage program?

We can imagine GSA Advantage! as the Amazon shopping service of the U.S. Government. It is an online platform run by the General Services Administration, which government agencies use to find and buy millions of commercial products and services, at great prices. Only approved vendors who have been awarded a GSA Schedule can list their catalogs on GSA Advantage!, so that buyers can be sure of their fair prices and impeccable quality.

Check if you Qualify to be a GSA Contractor


Getting on the GSA approved vendor list is your first step towards accessing fantastic business opportunities. There are three main steps to acquiring  a GSA Schedule:

  1. Evaluate whether your business meets the requirements to become a GSA Schedule holder.
  2. Prepare your GSA Offer – roughly 150–200 pages of various documents, forms, templates, spreadsheets, catalogs, financial statements, and marketing materials.
  3. Submit the Offer to the GSA.
  4. Negotiate your prices and T&Cs with a GSA Contracting Officer, to eventual approval.
  5. Publish your T&C / Catalog on the GSA Library

You can learn more about getting on the GSA Schedule Program here.

How do I get listed on GSA Advantage?

First, you have to obtain a GSA Schedule. The next step is registering with the GSA Vendor Support Center (VSC), which will provide you with a password that is required on all catalog submissions. You must then  submit your electronic catalog file, either via the Schedule Input Program (SIP) software or Electronic Data Integration (EDI), with details like part numbers, manufacturers, descriptions, prices, and photos. You must do this no more than six months after your contract has been awarded and make sure that your catalog is up to date at all times.

Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI)

What is a sourcing initiative, and what is a strategic sourcing vehicle?

Imagine the sheer number of products and services that the U.S. Government procures on GSA Advantage! on a daily basis – everything from advanced cybersecurity systems to office chairs. Such complex sourcing processes and supply chains come hand in hand with inefficient use of time and money. Sourcing initiatives aim to reduce or eliminate disorganized procurement and centralize the decision-making process, so a strategic sourcing vehicle is any organization/program which facilitates this.

What is GSA FSSI?

The GSA Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) is one of the government’s purchasing programs. It aims to improve government acquisitions and facilitate strategic sourcing. FSSI achieves this by encouraging collaboration between various government customer agencies, allowing them to synchronize their requirements, streamline the buying process, and use their combined purchasing power. We’ll learn more about the different GSA FSSI solutions below.

What are the benefits of FSSI for GSA contractors?

The Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) is a special type of Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) contract which offers fantastic prospects for GSA vendors. In certain specific industries they can be listed as “Priority Vendors ” for the top buying agencies of the United States Government, putting them first in line for some exclusive business opportunities. You can learn more about the benefits for GSA FSSI BPA vendors, or keep reading to discover the industries where FSSI has been implemented. 

What are the current FSSI commodity solutions?

 Building Maintenance and Operations

The Building Maintenance and Operations (BMO) strategic sourcing solution is a government contracting vehicle that reduces costs and boosts efficiency for federal agencies purchasing BMO services. These include:

  • Architectural Services
  • Electrical Maintenance
  • Elevator Maintenance
  • Fire Alarm System Maintenance and Repair
  • Janitorial Services
  • Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance
  • Pest Control
  • Roofing Services
  • Waste Management and Recycling Services

The BMO solution has been highly praised, winning a best-in-class designation from the Office of Management and Budget, and encourages the procurement of environmentally-friendly products. This is a great initiative for all kinds of GSA vendors, as there are unrestricted contracting opportunities as well as government set-asides, reserved for small and disadvantaged businesses. What’s more, under the BMO, the U.S. is divided into smaller regions which allow small businesses to compete sensibly in the government marketplace.

Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Office Supplies Fourth Generation (FSSI OS4)

The FSSI for Office Supplies Fourth Generation (FSSI OS4) is GSA’s newest strategic sourcing initiative. Combining the Multiple Award Schedule and the old Office Supplies Third Generation (FSSI OS3) into a single sourcing solution, FSSI OS4 reduces contract duplication, drives efficiency, and saves government buyers significant amounts of money on their office supply purchases. 

The OS4 program is compliant with all GSA regulations, including the AbilityOne program and the Trade Agreement Act. Like BMO, it has been designated best-in-class by the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, it simplifies procedures for government buyers to source environmentally sustainable products under the “Office Supplies & Equipment – FSSI” heading on the GSA Advantage! website. 

FSSI OS4 covers 2 enhanced Special Item Numbers (SINs):

  1. SIN 339940OS4 (formerly SIN 75 220) – Enhanced SIN for Office Products and Services
  2. SIN 339940OVER (formerly SIN 75 280) – Enhanced SIN for Overseas Office Products and Services


FSSI Maintenance Repair Facility Supplies (MRFS) is a strategic sourcing initiative which streamlines government purchasing of maintenance, repair, janitorial, and sanitation solutions. Just some of the items available under MRFS (which processes nearly $3bn per year in federal spending) include:

  • Tools and drills
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Paints and brushes
  • Portable generators
  • Paper products
  • Motorized and non-motorized cleaning equipment 
  • Soap, bleach, and sanitizer 
  • Disinfectants
  • Brooms and mops

Much like the other FSSIs, MRFS helps certain types of business to flourish in the government marketplace, including Women-Owned Small Businesses, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, and Small Disadvantaged Businesses. All contractors are AbilityOne-authorized distributors and products are listed under sustainable government programs, such as WaterSense and Energy Star.

Legacy Wireless FSSI

One initiative, which has since been retired, is the Wireless GSA FSSI BPA. This initiative made it easier for the federal government to acquire and manage wireless services.

Price Reporter and FSSI

We’ve looked at the initiative products and services that are available on GSA Advantage!, at the FSSI BPA benefits that GSA contractors can gain, and at current FSSI commodity solutions,  so what next? Price Reporter has successfully helped companies like yours to win and manage FSSI contracts, so if you’re keen to explore opportunities to expand your business, get in touch with us today!

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  • The transaction process for products is quick and easy. Once payment for the purchase has been confirmed, an email is sent to the GSA contractor, who must accept the order in order to receive payment. The order is considered complete after the GSA contractor notifies the purchaser via the GSA Advantage!® website that their shipment has shipped.

    Government purchasers looking for services can search GSA Advantage!® for their needs and compare options from GSA Schedule contractors. The government agency can seek an estimate or make an offer to contractors directly once they’ve found a service they want, but they can’t buy it through the site. Buyers of government services mostly use the GSA eLibrary or contact contractors directly using information provided on GSA Advantage!

  • What Happens When an Order is Placed on GSA Advantage?

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