The GSA, History of the Administration and its Process
The General Services Administration or the GSA for short is an independent agency within the U.S. Federal Government. The GSA serves as the primary vehicle for the buying and selling of goods, services, and products to the various sectors of the federal government. More specifically, the GSA works to “deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government.” The products and services that are purchased and sold through the GSA range from intangible products such as software programs to tangible products such as government buildings and facilities.
Why was the GSA created?
The GSA was created in 1949 to help improve and support the functionality of the various products, services, and goods that are provided to the American populace on behalf of the U.S. Federal government. The GSA consolidated several government programs and agencies, including the Federal Works Agency, the Bureau of Federal Supply, and the Office of Contract Settlement, among others, into a single agency within the federal government. In the context of U.S. government operations in the year 1949, the original purpose for the creation of the GSA was to “dispose of war surplus goods, manage and store government records, handle emergency preparedness, and stockpile strategic supplies for wartime”, as well as manage numerous other bureaucratic tasks.
Efforts to formulate the GSA were initiated by former U.S. President Harry Truman in 1947, who requested assistance from another former U.S. President, Herbert Hoover, with the goal of reorganizing the various operations of the federal government. These reorganization efforts eventually to the form of the Hoover Commission, which then led to the creation of both the GSA, as well as the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare or the HEW for short. In the years since 1949, the GSA has expanded in size and function considerably, and now offers products and services ranging from real estate, acquisition services, and technology.
How can businesses and organizations sell their products and services through the GSA?
If a business or organization is looking to sell their products, services, or goods through the vehicle of the GSA, they must first submit an application to the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program and go through a lengthy and rigorous process prior to receiving approval. GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) “are long-term governmentwide, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts that provide federal, state, and local government buyers commercial products and services at volume discount pricing.” Due to the enormous benefits of being approved for such a program, there are a number of financial requirements that must first be met.
For example, a business or organization seeking to sell their products through the GSA must have financial stability, have been in business for at least 2 years, and must be able to provide products and services that have or can be sold commercially. Moreover, proposals to the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) are broken down into three subcategories, which include administrative, technical, and pricing. While the pricing aspect of the proposal is considered to be the most important, there are a number of other variables that can factor into the GSA’s decision to approve or deny a particular product or service, including demonstrating why a particular service or product is superior to or more effective than another.
Does the GSA sell software products and ICT services?
The GSA has a long history of selling technology products, services, and goods. For example, the GSA created the Federal Telecommunications System in 1960, a government intercity telephone system. Alternatively, as it relates to more modern offerings, the GSA currently sells a wide range of software programs, Information and Computer Technology or ICT products, and security products and services. Furthermore, the GSA also sells a number of hardware products as well, including but not limited to laptops, desktops, keyboards, printers, scanners, electronic equipment, communications equipment, and fiber-optic equipment.
To this point, CaseGuard Studio’s automatic video, audio, PDF, email, and image redaction software is now available for purchase via the GSA as of January 2022. Notably, CaseGuard Studio is the only all-in-one-redaction software program that is currently available on the GSA marketplace, as no other software program that is currently being offered via the GSA contains the tools and features that consumers need to both manually and automatically redaction personal information and objects from content in a variety of formats and mediums. As such, consumers, government agencies, and a host of other businesses and organizations will now be able to take advantage of the cutting-edge technology contained within CaseGuard Studio.